The Weekend Warrior

The Weekend Warrior: June 17 - 19

Source: Edward Douglas
June 14, 2011

Greetings and welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly guide to the weekend's new movies. Tune in every Tuesday for the latest look at the upcoming weekend, and then check back on Thursday night for final projections based on actual theatre counts.

If you aren't doing so already, you can follow The Weekend Warrior on Twitter where he talks about box office, movies, music, comic books and all sorts of random things.

Updated Predictions and Comparisons -

UPDATE: Not a ton of big changes although we are lowering our prediction on Green Lantern even though it's getting more theaters and yes, it is partially due to the amount of negative reviews. With an anticipated movie that's not a sequel to get so many bad reviews is never a good thing. Although some of our compatriots are predicting a far lower opening for Mr. Popper's Penguins, the marketing has been improving and the movie actually is decent and we think both things combined will help it open well and have better legs after next week's Cars 2 comes out. One thing we didn't take into account earlier in the week was the fact that Sunday is Father's Day which should have a positive impact on movies geared towards older guys that they can go see with their kids and the family films should be helped by that.

1. Green Lantern (Warner Bros.) - $56.6 million N/A (down 1.5 million)

2. Mr. Popper's Penguins (20th Century Fox) - $23.2 million N/A (up .7 million)

3. Super 8 (Paramount) - $19.0 million -47% (up .2 million)

4. X-Men: First Class (20th Century Fox) - $13.5 million -44% (up .7 million)

5. Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) - $10.7 million -35%

6. The Hangover Part II (Warner Bros.) - $9.8 million -45% (down .2 million)

7. Bridesmaids (Universal) - $7.5 million -26%

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Walt Disney Pictures) - $6.0 million -45%

9. Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics) - $4.7 million -22% (up .2 million)

10. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer (Relativity Media) - $3.5 million -43%

-- The Art of Getting By (Fox Searchlight) - $1.8 million N/A (down .2 million)

Weekend Overview

Following the relative success of Marvel Studios' Thor earlier this summer, DC Entertainment is trying to get into the act releasing their first feature film based on a superhero not related to Batman or Superman with Green Lantern (Warner Bros.), starring Ryan Reynolds in the CG suit of the Emerald Knight (or whatever the kids are calling him these days). Directed by Martin Campbell, who helped resuscitate James Bond with Casino Royale, the movie should benefit from its ability to bring in younger kids than some of the other movies currently in theaters, and though business will still be mostly driven by males, Reynolds' popularity among women, as well as the presence of "Gossip Girl" Blake Lively might convince them to give it a look. Even so, we expect it to open somewhere between X-Men: First Class and Thor as it's slightly hindered by its release in the middle of much higher anticipated summer movies.

Jim Carrey returns after a couple of years with the family movie Mr. Popper's Penguins (20th Century Fox), which pairs him with a bunch of loveable Antarctic birds in hopes it will bring in the same family audience that flocked to movies like Hop and the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movies. It's somewhat questionable whether Carrey still has what it takes to bring audiences into theaters, but it's doubtful anyone expects this to be one of his big hits, and it's more likely to end up in the low 20s before being overrun by next week's Cars 2

Opening in roughly 500 theaters, possibly more, is Gavin Wiesen's Sundance drama The Art of Getting By (Fox Searchlight) starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts, a movie that's been getting a big push on MTV following its pick-up at the festival. We think it will end up just around the $2 million mark and outside the Top 10.

We also expect some interesting shake-ups in the Top 10 as Kung Fu Panda 2 surpasses The Hangover Part II after being slaughtered over Memorial Day and Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids ends up higher than the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

This week's "Chosen One" is Andrew Rossi's documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia), which you can read more about below.

This weekend last year saw the release of what would end up being the biggest movie of the year as well as an Oscar winner, the long-awaited threequel Toy Story 3 (Disnar•Pixar), which opened in over 4,000 theaters with $110.3 million. Besides being the 11th-biggest opening for a movie ever, it went on to gross $415 million by year's end to become Pixar's highest domestic grosser, but also put it in the Top 10 highest grossing movies ever. The weekend also lived in infamy because it marked the release of Jonah Hex (Warner Bros.), the Western comic adaptation starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox, which tanked with just $5.4 million in 2825 theatres ending up in 7th place for the weekend behind movies like Prince of Persia, which had been open for a month. The Top 10 grossed $187.6 million, which might be tough to beat since it's doubtful the top two or three movies will make as much as Toy Story 3 did on its own.



THE BATTLE CRY

A question that's been on many minds over the last few weeks and months is a simple one: "Is 3D dead?"

It certainly would seem that way if you listen to the negativity coming out of certain parts of the online world, and it certainly would seem that way if you look at the box office and how the percentage of 3D business is dropping compared to 2D. We've already seen a number of movies being heavily advertised as being in 3D that didn't excite audiences enough for the higher ticket prices to make much of a difference as both Drive Angry 3D and Disney's Mars Needs Moms were outright bombs this past spring.

Wall Street has also been taking notice and two of the big summer tentpole movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the first in their franchises fully in 3D, really are going to have to deliver to prove that doing 3D movies is still worth the extra time and money. Almost as if in answer to those concerns, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation and one of the early supporters of 3D, trying to spin things positively.

But let's face it, moviegoers are not happy with how the studios have turned the success of Avatar as an excuse to fleece them of their hard-earned money. While there are many who are decrying 3D of all varieties, there are also factions forming between those who will only vouch for movies that are shot natively in 3D vs. those that are converted after filming.

Last week, I spent roughly 20 minutes watching a presentation by Paramount of Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which perfectly utilized the 3D process, both in filming and post-filming conversion. It's exactly the type of movie that is perfectly suited for a 3D environment, because it's a modern futuristic movie that uses CG in abundance and Bay has proven that he can combine those two things together. Even so, last week's X-Men: First Class wasn't done in 3D and that did fine, and J.J. Abrams didn't feel he needed to film or convert Super 8 into 3D even if it may have helped give it a larger opening weekend.

The big problem is that so many of the journalists who inform moviegoers about 3D are grossly uninformed themselves about what makes for good and bad 3D. Sure, some of that is subjective, but there's also a general misunderstanding of what filmmakers are trying to achieve. 3D as it exists today is not meant to be the "throwing things at the audience" gimmick that became commonplace in the '50s where things jump out of the screen at you. Instead, it's supposed to create depth so that when you look at the screen, it looks like the world you're seeing goes back forever, which theoretically allows filmmakers to pull you into their movie. That's what James Cameron was going for and succeeded with Avatar and that's the sign of a good 3D movie, though much of that has to do with the storytelling and writing as it does the 3D technology.

It's harder doing this in post-conversion for a number of somewhat obvious reasons, but there's one really good reason to post-convert and that's so filmmakers can take advantage of the look of shooting on film, which has a glamour and romanticism that you just can't get from digital. Personally, I felt that the most recent "Pirates" suffered from being shot digitally rather than on film, because it was a fantasy movie that looked too real, if that makes sense. Meanwhile, Screen Gems' Priest a movie that bombed despite (or due to) its 3D conversion, was derivative and had problems with its writing and acting, but it looked spectacular and that's because director Scott Stewart shot it on film and then converted it to 3D later.

This week's Green Lantern is another post-conversion, and already, many movie writers and critics have been asking about whether they can screen and judge the movie in 2D. (Warner Bros. has been incredibly flexible in this regard by giving them the option.) Personally, I feel like journalists and critics should be able to watch a 3D movie and be able to appreciate so many elements of it from story and writing to characters and acting without the 3D being distracting. It's a shame that ignorance and pure laziness have replaced the desire to really know what 3D brings to the mix and how it can be enjoyed as an enhancement for a movie rather than something you constantly have to be thinking about.

Studios are well aware of the backlash, and they are going to do whatever they can to protect their investment. Dozens of filmmakers are currently making their next movies in 3D, everything from Martin Scorsese's upcoming Hugo Cabret to the next "Underworld" movie and others. The problem is that instead of marketing them heavily as "3D movies," it should be made aware that it's available in 3D for those who enjoy that, and in 2D for everyone else. The premium price for 3D tickets also needs to be decreased because currently, it's roughly $3 to 4 more than regular 2D movies. When audiences have such a tough time deciding on what movies are worth paying to see at all, tacking on additional money just makes them that much more hesitant. In general, ticket prices have gotten out of control so maybe they need to be lowered across the board with 2D being even lower for those on a budget who still like to go to movies.

Otherwise, those who have made 3D their business have remained optimistic that 3D is just going through a phase and ultimately, those who appreciate the added dimensionality will be back for some of the bigger movies that use it well. It may be too early to tell if 3D is dead or if it's here to stay, but it's not too early for the voice of reason--and God, I hope that's not me--to make it clear that 3D is just another way of screening/viewing movies and it should never ever be the be-all-end-all in determining whether a movie works.



Green Lantern (Warner Bros.)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins, Temuera Morrison, Jay O. Sanders, Taika Waititi, Jon Tenney and the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan
Directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, The Legend of Zorro, The Mask of Zorro, Edge of Darkness); Written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Rated PG-13
Tagline: "In Brightest Day. In Blackest Night."
Plot Summary: When test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) comes upon the crashed space ship of an alien, he's handed a powerful ring that makes him the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps, a group of space-faring crimefighters who are about to face their toughest battle, against the creature known as Parallax.

Review

Analysis:

The summer of superheroes motors along with the first offering from Warner Bros. under their partnership with DC Entertainment and the first feature film starring one of DC Comics' long-running superhero characters dating all the way back to 1940 when the character was introduced in "All-American Comics" #16. Of course, that was just one incarnation of the character and during the Silver Age superhero boom of 1959, the character was revived with Hal Jordan under the mask, and Green Lantern has gone on to become one of the company's most consistent characters. There have been lots of other Green Lanterns over the years, but thanks to the work of writer Geoff Johns in bringing Jordan back, it has turned a character who one was a second-stringer into DC Comics' most widely read comics. Many of the company's biggest crossovers have revolved around the Green Lanterns and Johns' work impressed the suits enough for him to be promoted to Chief Creative Officer of the newly formed DC Entertainment in early 2010.

Playing Hal Jordan is Ryan Reynolds, an actor who has made his way into the A-list through hard work and tenacity, and he already has quite a bit of experience playing superheroes, having been cast as Hannibal King in New Line's Blade: Trinity, as well as playing Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine although he didn't really get to play the character the way he wanted, so many hope that 20th Century Fox will get rolling on Deadpool's own movie. (Reynolds also played a superhero called Captain Excellent in an indie called Paper Man.) Reynolds has also done his share of romantic comedies such as the hit The Proposal with Sandra Bullock, which will help the movie pull in more women, both young and old, than it may have otherwise.

Playing Hal's love interest and boss Carol Ferris is "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively, who appeared in Warner Bros.' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel as well as in Ben Affleck's crime-thriller hit The Town last fall. It's doubtful that her presence will bring in much of the young female fanbase who enjoy her work, unless they want to see her with Ryan Reynolds.

British character actor Mark Strong follows his role as the villain in Guy Ritchie's blockbuster Sherlock Holmes playing Hal's Green Lantern mentor (and SPOILER! future villain) Sinestro, although he has appeared in many movies in between including The Eagle, Peter Weir's The Way Back and the upcoming The Guard. The main baddie Hector Hammond is played by Peter Sarsgaard, who hasn't done many big tentpole movies like this, while Hector's father is played by Tim Robbins.

Directing the movie is Martin Campbell, who helped resuscitate James Bond with 2006's Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig, and before that, he directed two movies starring Antonio Banderas as the legendary swashbuckler Zorro. It's certainly an interesting choice right up there with the decision to have Jon Favreau direct Iron Man and Kenneth Branagh directing Thor. In some ways, Campbell has more geek cred because he did already direct a blockbuster action movie like Bond.

In the last decade, Warner Bros. has rebooted two of their superhero franchises, one to huge success, the other more moderately. Batman Begins directed by Christopher Nolan opened on the same day in 2005, though it was a Wednesday, and in its first five days it grossed $72 million which it built on for a $205 million gross. A few years later, the sequel The Dark Knight made nearly that gross in its opening weekend and went on to become the second-highest grossing movie of all time domestically. (Since then, it became the third, thanks to James Cameron's Avatar.) Bryan Singer's Superman Returns opened the following year, also on a Wednesday, with nearly $85 million in its first five days and it ended up in the $200 million range domestically, but Nolan's success with Batman convinced Warner Bros. to put him in charge of Superman, and they're doing another reboot with Zack Snyder at the helm.

The difference is both of these characters have had a huge presence in other media over the past decades including successful film franchises. Green Lantern has only really appeared in various animated series including the popular '60s show "Super Friends," but hasn't appeared in any sort of live form except in brief cameos in TV shows. So far, superhero movies haven't made huge waves in 2011 and there is already some concern about burnout on the genre. Marvel's Thor opening decently with roughly $65 million, but X-Men: First Class didn't fare as well despite being based on a known movie franchise. It may actually be surprising how many guys know about Green Lantern, because having a ring that can create constructs out of light is a pretty cool thing. Of course, comic book fans will be all over this--you can't have bought anything from DC in the last few months without being aware of the movie--and Ryan Reynolds offers more star power on his own than most of the cast of the summer's other superhero movies. Green Lantern is also being released in 3D, which may be more of a hindrance than a help, because as we've mentioned in "The Battle Cry," there's a backlash for 3D right now, which means that many might instead choose to see the movie in 2D rather than paying the premium.

But what about everyone else? The movie has an insane number of product tie-ins, possibly more than any other movies we've seen this year, with Reynolds pimping everything from Subway sandwiches to Reese's peanut butter cups to milk and other things, all raising awareness among those who aren't comic fans in an attempt to turn this into a must-see event movie. (In fact, the ridiculous number of tie-ins may turn more people off than intended.)

There are no reviews of the movie so far and we haven't seen it, but Warner Bros. does seem to be waiting until the last minute to screen for critics which is never a good sign.

This is a really important movie for Warner Bros, because it's been said that they want their DC Comics superhero franchises to take over once the "Harry Potter" series comes to an end, which is in roughly one month. Earlier this summer, we thought Green Lantern would open bigger, possibly as high as $70 milion, but it's become obvious moviegoers are already burnt out on superheroes and it looks just way too CG-driven to really make much of an impact in a world where moviegoers are looking for more natural thrills. That's not to say the movie's not going to open well but it's certainly going to be hard to hold onto business with so many big movies opening in the weeks to come. For now, we're thinking this will be another one that ends up under the $200 million mark but should do well enough internationally to warrant a sequel.

Why I Should See It: Green Lantern is one of DC Comics' coolest characters, even moreso in recent years under the guidance of Geoff Johns, so here's hoping his involvement in the movie makes it that much better.
Why Not: Early trailers and commercials make the movie look like a series of video game cut scenes which isn't a good sign.
Projections: $56 to 59 million opening weekend and roughly $160 million total.

COMPARISONS



Mr. Popper's Penguins (20th Century Fox)
Starring Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Ophelia Lovibond, Philip Baker Hall, Andrew Stewart-Jones, James Tupper, Clark Gregg, David Krumholtz, Angela Lansbury
Directed by Mark Waters (Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) ; Written by Sean Anders, John Morris (Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine, She's Out of My League)
Genre: Family, Comedy
Rated PG
Plot Summary: Businessman Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) inherits six penguins from his adventurer father and has to take care of them in his high-end New York apartment.

Review

Analysis:

It's been well over a year since Jim Carrey has appeared in a widely-released studio movie, and he follows up his last one Disney's A Christmas Carol with another movie based on a popular book, this one based on Richard & Florence Atwater's children's novel published in 1938. Not that we're expecting much of that book to remain in a movie that seems to basically be one joke which is "what happens when you put Jim Carrey in a nice apartment with a bunch of penguins?" Presumably, the cute, lovable penguins will be the big sell.

Then again, there may be a few people who might want to see a Jim Carrey movie. After all, he has appeared in movies that have grossed $4.5 billion worldwide and that's not chump change. Even though he's been doing a lot better internationally in recent years, six of his last seven wide releases have grossed close to $100 million or more and he's been doing particularly well with movies for kids and families such as Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who and A Christmas Carol didn't do terrible, grossing $138 million over the holidays in 2009. Carrey has been laying low since then, only appearing in the long-delayed Sundance movie I Love You Phillip Morris and Mr. Popper's Penguins is his return to modern-day mainstream high concept comedies like he's done well with, whether it's the blockbuster Bruce Almighty ($242 million gross) or Liar Liar ($181 million) and this one combines that with his ability to bring in kids and families, which started with his starring role in Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Mr. Popper's Penguins returns Carrey to familiar territory, acting opposite animals, something he did quite ably in his early films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and its sequel.

The cast is rounded out by Carla Gugino, who has appeared in previous family films like Race to Witch Mountain and Night at the Museum, Clark Gregg who has become known for playing Agent Coulter in various Marvel movies, and "Murder She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury. Honestly, this movie is all about Carrey and few of the others in the cast will matter much, to the point where they're barely in commercials and trailers.

The filmmakers behind the movie are strange as it's written by the duo behind R-rated comedies Sex Drive and Hot Tub Time Machine and directed by Mark Waters, who is best known for various romantic comedies and two early Lindsay Lohan hits.

20th Century Fox hasn't had much luck with family films in the last few years other than Alvin and the Chipmunks, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a few others. They released the Eddie Murphy family bomb Meet Dave a few years back, and last year's family comedy The Tooth Fairy with Dwayne Johnson should have done better but only opened with $14 million in a January weekend with no family competition. There are also plenty of other examples where Fox tried opening a family film in the summer to no avail even with star power that's done in previous family films.

There should be enough kids and parents who passed on last week's Judy Moody and have already seen Kung Fu Panda 2 that there's an audience for a movie like this - the penguins will have more appeal to the moms with kids than some of the other movies in theaters. Most schools will be letting out this weekend which also means it can do better on Friday and Sunday than it might normally. Its biggest hurdle is that Disney•Pixar's Cars 2 opens next week and even if there isn't as much demand as their past output, it seems like the most obvious choice for families with kids, which means that Mr. Popper's Penguins has just seven days to make a mark.

Why I Should See It: "Happy Feet 2" doesn't come out for a few more months.
Why Not: If penguins actually could talk, what would they have to say about their hammy co-star?
Projections: $21 to 23 million opening weekend and roughly $60 million total.

COMPARISONS



The Art of Getting By (Fox Searchlight)
Starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser, Sam Robards, Jarlath Conroy, Ann Dowd, Marcus Carl Franklin, Sasha Spielberg with Rita Wilson, Blair Underwood
Written and directed by Gavin Wiesen
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated PG-13
Tagline: "Everybody's got some." (though I guess that was used when it was still called "Homework"... d'oh!)
Plot Summary: George (Freddie Highmore) is a lonely teen coasting his way through high school while dealing with domestic problems when he befriends the wealthy girl Sally (Emma Roberts) and starts spending more time with her despite feeling she's out of his league.

Review

Interviews with Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore

Interview with Gavin Wiesen and Michael Angarano

We don't have a lot to say about this moderately-wide release this weekend. We don't think it's gotten enough promotion to warrant a release into 500 theaters right out of the gate, something Fox Searchlight doesn't do very often unless they don't have a lot of confidence in a film's legs. Apparently, it's getting its biggest push on MTV in hopes of bringing in teens who may not have many other choices right now, although it's competing against the likes of Green Lantern and last week's Super 8, which means it probably won't make much more than $2 million in its semi-wide release into 500 theaters.



THE CHOSEN ONE:

Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia)
Starring David Carr, Brian Stelter, Bruce Healam, Tim Arango, Bill Keller
Directed by Andrew Rossi (Eat This New York, Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven); Written by Kate Novack and Andrew Rossi
Genre: Documentary
Rated R
Plot Summary: Andrew Rossi takes a fly-on-the-wall approach, spending over a year within the walls of the New York Times, focusing on their Media Desk as they cover the changing technology that's threatening the venerable institution.

Interview with Andrew Rossi

As someone who has tried my best to be a good journalist despite the serious limitations that come with writing for even a big website like ComingSoon.net, there's a lot to appreciate about Andrew Rossi's look into the day-to-day at the country's most prestigious newspaper. This isn't just a fly-on-the-wall doc about how the New York Times finds and molds its stories for each issue, as much a story about how print journalism is in danger of ending due to the advent of things like the internet and the iPad where information can be found, disseminated and published in a far more timely manner.

It focuses specifically on the Media Desk that covers the ever-changing world of information technology, and Rossi found the perfect time to trail them just as the WikiLeaks story breaks and culminating in the release of the iPad. While much of the film involves how they investigate tips and develop their stories, Rossi also creates a contrast between the Times' decision to publish correspondence from WikiLeaks and the Washington Post publishing Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers, which ultimately brought down President Nixon. Meanwhile, there's a shadow looming over the Times as people are laid off and the economic crash threatens the publisher with bankruptcy as ad revenues are decreasing and other news organizations are falling left and right.

At the forefront is David Carr, who is quite a character, cynical and entertaining as he looks for stories with the type of hard-edged drive you'd expect from a street reporter. When a few of his interview subjects from the internet world take a potshot at his bread and butter, he becomes irately defensive, but he clearly has the brains that he can take the pro side of the debate on why the Times is still important and necessary. Another intriguing spokesperson is the Times' Executive Editor Bill Keller who seems to be more guarded in his interviews with Rossi.

Rossi also gets into some of the troubles the Times has faced including the Judith Miller incident and how the Times' involvement in reporting about the WMDs contributed to the country heading to war, as well as Jason Blair's plagiarism. This is just a small part of showing the recent history of the Times, and it's more about how they've been trying to recover and survive and how the Media Desk has played a large part in the Times staying with the times.

The access Rossi gets is quite incredible as is his ability to edit nearly a year's worth of footage into a tight and cohesive film. Because it's done in this way, as a series of vignettes, it doesn't get to spend a lot of time on each aspect of the story, and some aspects are more interesting than others. It also doesn't necessarily feel like a complete story, because there's a lot that's happened since the movie was filmed that could help paint a very different picture, particularly the Times switching to a paywall subscription structure, which is only barely mentioned and we don't get a chance to really see what kind of effect that has.

Even so, the film is infinitely fascinating to me as someone trying to be a better reporter and journalist, and one imagines those who actually read the Times either online or in print form will be just as interested in seeing how the stories come together and how that institution is facing the constant danger of coming to end due to changing times.

It opens in New York City exclusively at the brand-new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center and then rolls out to other cities on July 1.

Honorable Mention:

Buck (IFC Films)
Starring Buck Brannaman, Robert Redford
Directed by Cindy Meehl (debut); Written by
Genre: Documentary
Plot Summary: A film about Buck Brannaman, the horse trainer who became the inspiration for Robert Redford's film The Ghost Whisperer

The winner of the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival opens at the IFC Center in New York on Friday.

Also in Limited Release:

Miguel Angel Vivas' Spanish thriller Kidnapped (IFC Midnight) follows what happens when a middle-aged couple with a teen daughter who shortly after moving into their new home suffer a home invasion by masked Eastern European hoodlums who plan on stealing all of their money. The entire film is shot in roughly 10 long one-shot takes.

Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley's The Battle for Brooklyn documents how a group of Brooklynites fight against the Atlantic Yards Project, the brainchild of Forest Ratner which is trying to replace low-rise brownstones with skyscrapers and a sports complex for the New Jersey Nets, mainly focusing on Daniel Goldstein and the formation of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. Following its screening as Opening Night movie of the Brooklyn Film Festival and as a selection of Rooftop Films, it opens at the Cinema Village in New York.

Also opening at the Cinema Village is Michael Rowe's Leap Year (Año Bisiesto) (Strand Releasing) following a 25-year-old journalist from Mexico City named Laura who gets into an intense sexual relationship with a man named Arturo, while trying to keep her secret past from him.

Sue Bourne's doc JIG (Screen Media Films) follows the fortieth Irish Dancing World Championships in Glasgow (that's not in Ireland, by the way) where contestants in fancy wigs and dresses practice for years in preparation for their few minutes on stage. It opens on Friday at New York's Quad Cinema, as does…

Tobias Lindholm and Michael Noer's Danish drama R (Olive Films) follows a young man named Rune who is imprisoned for violent assault in the toughest section of prison where he befriends a young Muslim prisoner.



Next week, Pixar Animation Studios' second major sequel Cars 2 (Disney•Pixar) is released as is the R-rated comedy Bad Teacher (Sony), starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake.

Copyright 2011 Edward Douglas




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