October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Hollywood Movie Roundup: J-Lo, comic book action and lots of water


How lackluster a week is this for new movies? A movie in its fourth week of release is likely to trump the trio of new films opening. Consider it the calm before the coming Summer storm of blockbusters, sequels and remakes.


Jennifer Lopez returns to the romantic comedy genre that served her well a decade ago starring as a woman tired of waiting for the right guy. Just as she’s about to embark on single motherhood, she meets a potential Mr. Right (Alex O’Laughlin). TV vet Alan Poul (“Six Feet Under,” “Swingtown”) directed from a script by another tube alum Kate Angelo.

Most critics are finding the film blandly inoffensive and suggest you have your own back-up plan — for another movie. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls it “a not very good and yet painless waste of time,” while the Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey labels it “tedious.” Not exactly ad-quote material, but Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times goes a step further, writing that the movie is not even worthy of being compared to a third-rate sitcom. Ouch.

Lopez’s last and biggest hit was “Maid in Manhattan,” which opened nearly eight years ago with $18.7 million ($25M adjusted), according to Box Office Mojo. The performer’s absence from the mainstream figures to cut that figure in half with prognosticators pegging “The Back-Up Plan’s” debut at $12-13 million. That should be low enough to allow holdover “How to Train Your Dragon” to sneak back to the number one spot with approximately $14M.



Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a fresh-off “Avatar” Zoe Saldana, the newly-minted Captain America Chris Evans and Idris Elba head the cast of this adaptation of Andy Diggle’s sci-fi comic. “Stomp the Yard’s” Sylvain White directed the tale of a Special Forces team sent to Bolivia to wreak havoc. The screenplay is credited to Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt.

Critics are divided, but not with the fervor that greeted “Kick-Ass.” Ebert certainly prefers “The Losers,” calling it a “classical action movie,” and praising it as “a clean, efficient and entertaining thriller.” Dargis stakes out a middle-ground with a been-there, done-that review, recalling better films such as “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Wild Bunch.”  John Anderson, registers a stronger dislike in the Wall Street Journal, assailing the film’s cliched overkill and all that it portends for the future of movies.

Hardcore action fans should push “Losers” to between $10-14M and despite the lack of a big-name genre hero, it could challenge for the top of the chart. Its more direct competition for fans will come from the second week of “Kick-Ass.”



From directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud — who brought us “Winged Migration” — comes this French underwater documentary. In the spirit of “March of the Penguins,” DisneyNature has added a famous actor (Pierce Brosnan) to deliver the English-language narration that accompanies the fascinating images of the aquatic world.

By far the best reviewed film of the week. Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman cites technology as the factor that moves it beyond previous docs that explored the murky depths. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times writes that it transcends its weak narration and “manages to show us things we’ve never seen and make what we have already seen look different and new.”

Disney duplicates its 2009 strategy of opening “Earth” on Earth Day by also launching “Oceans” on April 22. It figures to land in the $5M range.


About Kevin Crust

KEVIN CRUST is a Southern California-based writer and editor of the Eclectic Odeon Review, an online guide to seeing movies in Los Angeles, launching in March 2010. In 18 years at the Los Angeles Times, he worked as a copy editor, senior researcher and staff writer. For most of the past decade, he was a key part of the Times' award-winning film department, coordinating the Calendar section's popular Sneaks issues, writing columns on alternative cinema and DVDs, and reviewing hundreds of movies. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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One Comment

  • April 23, 2010 | Permalink |

    Love you mama. Hot booty 🙂

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