Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Life,’ ‘Secretariat’ neck in neck

HollywoodNews.com: Despite the entry of three wide releases this weekend, Sony’s Facebook biopic “The Social Network” could beat them all.

Warner Bros. drama-edy “Life As We Know It” and Disney’s femme sports drama “Secretariat” are both expected to cash in $15 million, however, “Life” could have the edge. Film stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as two singles who tend to an orphan girl after their friends perish in a car accident. Heigl’s last romantic comedy “Killers” died at the summer box office, so she’s back in an effort to redeem her leading star status. So far critics are slamming it with a 28% Rotten Tomato score, however, they rarely get chick pics. Betsy Sharkey at the L.A. Times enjoyed the film saying, “What you may not expect is quite how satisfying much of the film is, with Duhamel turning out to be a very good sparring partner for Heigl, whose lush, soft exterior conceals a very spiky interior that tends to wilt her co-stars.”

“Secretariat” returns Diane Lane to the big screen in a film that’s being buzzed about for Oscars. Critics are favoring the film giving it a 64% fresh score on the Tomatometer. Pic follows the true story of the 1973 female Triple Crown winner, who was a homemaker turned horse racer. John Malkovich and Dylan Walsh also star. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times says, “It’s a pleasurable, seductive fantasy partly because, as we have known from the start of cinema, the sight of a running horse is a beautiful thing.”

Rogue Pictures’ “My Soul to Take” released through Universal marks the return of horror auteur Wes Craven after five years. Film is in 3D and will surely bulk up its admissions based on the visual format. “Soul” should rake in under $10 million.

Film follows a small town serial killer who may have returned to murder those children he promised to off years ago. The studio chose not to have the film reviewed, opting to show it to certain genre-philes. Edward Douglas at ShockTillYouDrop.com says, “Easily the worst movie of Craven’s career and not even remotely scary or creepy or any of the things you expect from a good horror movie.”

Focus Features goes out with its dramatic comedy “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” in 742 venues. The film directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck of “Half Nelson” fame follows a confused teenager who checks himself into an adult insane asylum after having his heart broken by a girl. There he befriends an eccentric, inspirational elder played by Zach Galifianakis and falls for a suicidal girl portrayed by Emma Roberts. “Funny Story” looks to laugh up $4 million.

Peter Travers at Rolling Stone praises, “Galifianakis is a comic force of nature, but he digs down here and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance that gets under your skin. Just like the movie.” Film counts a 57% rotten score among all reviewers, but a 67% fresh rating among top shelf critics.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros., Disney, Rogue Pictures, Focus Features


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