The Weekend Warrior on Hotel Transylvania 2, The Intern and Everest

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The Weekend Warrior looks at the movies opening on Friday, September 25, including Hotel Transylvania 2, The Intern and The Green Inferno

After a summer that came crashing to a dismal end, September is proving to be a stronger month than it’s been in the past with two successive weeks of two movies opening over $20 million (which isn’t bad at all) and this weekend will hopefully offer at least one more before we move onto October. Both of the two new widest releases offer something for audiences who haven’t been catered to much by earlier September entries, which should help continue the box office’s somewhat healthy run.

Hotel Transylvania 2The Weekend Warrior on Hotel Transylvania 2, The Intern and Everest

Distributor: Sony Pictures Animation
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, “Star Wars: Clone Wars”)
Writer: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel
Voice Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Mel Brooks, Kevin James, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz, Fran Drescher, Cee-Lo Green
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Rating: PG
What It’s About: In the time since the original Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) has married her human boyfriend Johnny (Andy Samberg) and they have had a son Dennis, but his grandfather Dracula (Sandler) is worried that he may be more human than vampire, so he recruits his buddies to put Dennis through a “monster in training” boot camp. (Okay, I’m not even going to get into the fact that I thought Mavis was a teenager in the first movie or the whole issue with inter-species breeding, because we know how that went from The Twilight Saga.) 

Back in 2012, Adam Sandler had a substantial animated hit when he teamed with Sony Pictures Animation for Hotel Transylvania, released in late September (a similar release as Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), where it opened with $42.5 million, the second-largest opening for an Adam Sandler movie ever (granted, his biggest opening was The Longest Yard remake over the Memorial Day weekend). It went on to gross $148 million domestically and another $210 million overseas, which isn’t quite on par with the numbers made by Pixar, DreamWorks Animation or other animated films from Universal and Disney, but was pretty good for Sony’s animation wing, as it had a worldwide gross second only to The Smurfs

It didn’t take too long for a sequel to be greenly, although we’ve seen a few times now that sequels to animated films don’t necessarily do as well as their predecessor, which was the case with both Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and The Smurfs 2, the latter which grossed half as much domestically as the original movie two years earlier.

There’s no denying that Adam Sandler’s box office power has fizzled in recent years as seen by the disappointing showing for his video game movie Pixels over the summer, which grossed just $221 million worldwide. That was a movie that seemed like it might have potential for being a big hit, but it was trashed mercilessly by critics who generally hate Sandler (and his friends like Kevin James), no matter what they do. The fact that Sandler had to run to Netflix with his tail between his legs is further proof that his career as a major box office star is pretty much over at this point.

Then again, the business for the Hotel Transylvania sequel will be driven as much by the popularity of the horror characters and their comic iterations voiced by Sandler, Samberg and their friends, including the great Mel Brooks, who has been doing more voice work than anything else in recent years. (He voiced Albert Einstein in Mr. Peabody & Sherman and provided a voice for the Weinstein Company’s Underdogs, which seems to be delayed indefinitely.) Of course, a movie like this would probably do even better if it was saved for closer to Halloween, but Sony is hoping that their next family film Goosebumps will pick up any audience that this movie misses.

The biggest thing going for Hotel Transylvania 2 is that there haven’t been many family movies in the past few months, the last one being Shaun the Sheep Movie and that alone could work in the movie’s favor similar to how it’s helped other September animated releases. On the other hand, the marketing for the movie doesn’t seem to be nearly as pervasive as what Disney and Universal did for Inside Out and Minions this past summer, so it’s likely to end up closer to $40 million or less.

Prediction:

The lack of family movies should help balance out the Sandler backlash that’s going on, but it feels like Hotel Transylvania 2 will open more in the mid-to-high $30 million range of Cloudy 2 rather than up there with some of Sandler’s best. It should still be good for a $100 to 120 million total in theaters.


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The Intern

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Writer/Director: Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, It’s Complicated)
Cast:
Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Adam DeVine, Andrew Rannells, Linda Lavin, Christina Scherer, Celia Weston, JoJo Kushner, Zack Pearlman, Jason Orley, Nat Wolff
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: PG-13
What It’s About: When an online fashion site start-up founded by Jules Ostin (Hathaway) sets out to hire some senior interns, 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) decides he’s not ready for retirement and starts working for Jules, eventually becoming a mentor and advisor to the younger woman. 

Six years since her last movie It’s Complicated, filmmaker Nancy Meyers returns with a light comedy starring two generations of Oscar-winning actors in Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, both of them appearing in their most commercial film in some time, a light comedy that should appeal to both their audiences.

It’s been roughly a year since Hathaway co-starred in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, although she’s basically been laying low, only appearing in the little seen indie Song 1. Both movies came off her Oscar win for her role in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, which followed shortly after her portrayal of Catwoman in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The Intern is more in the vein of Hathaway’s popular The Devil Wore Prada, which opened with $27.5 million in the summer of 2006 and grossed $125 million domestic, and it’s probably no coincidence that this similar-looking film was greenlit.

It’s been longer since De Niro has had a substantial hit although his 2013 comedy Last Vegas did okay, appealing to a similar audience as The Intern. Before that, it was David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook that helped bring De Niro attention for the first time since the “Fockers” comedy series fizzled out. It would also get him his first Oscar nomination in over 20 years.

Fortunately, they’re teaming with a filmmaker in Meyers, who has had a number of big hits including 2000’s What Women Want, the aforementioned It’s Complicated, starring Meryl Streep and Steve Martin, and Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson’s rom-com Something’s Gotta Give, all which grossed over $100 million.

The Intern isn’t the type of no-brainer blockbuster that can just be released and do big business based on its stars alone, so Meyers has thrown in a number of actors popular to younger women, including Pitch Perfect’s Adam DeVine and Nat Wolff from The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns (the latter only has one scene, yet he appears in the advertising).

Even more importantly, The Intern will be appealing to a female demographic over 30 that just isn’t being catered to right now, which is why like Hotel Transylvania 2, it’s bound to do better this weekend… that is, as long as the animated sequel doesn’t keep mothers with small children from seeing The Intern (at least this weekend).

Warner Bros. has been doing great with the marketing, focusing on lots of female tastemaker groups to generate buzz and word-of-mouth, and the good thing about The Intern is that it’s actually pretty good (better than The Internship!) and should get decent reviews which can certainly help a smaller movie like this find a bigger audience.

Prediction:

The lack of movies for older women and the popularity of Nancy Meyers’ films in general should be a good pairing with the duo of Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro to bring in a good number of women over 30, which should allow The Intern to open in the $17 to 19 million range this weekend. Strong word-of-mouth should help push it to $50 million or more with small drop-offs each weekend.

Interview with Nancy Meyers

The Intern Review


Everestfile_612103_everest-imax-640x1014 (again)

Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband, The Deep, 2 Guns, 101 Reyjkavik, Jar City)
Writer: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating: PG-13
What It’s About: In 1996, Australian mountain climber Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) was leading a diverse group of climbers up the side of Mount Everest along with a number of other groups also trying to reach the peak. When a sudden storm hit, Hall and others became stranded showing why climbing Everest is considered such a perilous endeavor. 

Last weekend, the latest film from Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur opened in IMAX 3D and other large platform screens to the tune of $7.2 million in 546 theaters, or $13,846 per theater, and on Friday, Universal will expand it nationwide into over 2,800 theaters so that the rest of the country can check it out. This isn’t the first time that Universal has released a movie more limited before expanding wider as it worked well with movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary and Pitch Perfect. Everest is a different movie from those because it’s the type of action-adventure that normally would just get a wide release right off the bat.

Everest is also different from the two American movies Kormakur has done previously with Mark Wahlberg, Contraband and 2 Guns, and more in line with his Icelandic films, but he has a great ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal, who have both proven themselves as box office stars in a number of different roles. As it were, Gyllenhaal takes more of a supporting role in this while Brolin is one of the main characters, but it’s a true ensemble where each character gets their own story. Others in the cast include Oscar nominees John Hawkes and Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Emily Watson and Sam Worthington, also in a rare supporting role.

More importantly than the cast is the fact that the movie has a very easy to sell title, because when you say “Everest” you basically know what to expect, unlike last week’s vaguely-titled Black Mass. That should help its expansion, as should word-of-mouth from its IMAX opening, although that first weekend could also cut into the second weekend business since so many people already went to see it in IMAX.

In September 2013, Universal released Ron Howard’s racing film Rush into just five theaters in New York and L.A. before expanding to 2,297 theaters where it opened with $10 million, and doing the IMAX-only release first is something that worked well for Paramount with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Everest certainly has even more reasons to see it on the biggest screen possible, which may be why it did so well this past weekend, and we can probably presume that word-of-mouth will get more people to see it this weekend.

Prediction: 

I underpredicted how much Everest might make last weekend and I’ll probably do so again this weekend although it should be good for $13 to 15 million based on its strong opening, which should be enough to get it into fourth or even third place, and it will probably end up grossing $60 to 70 million domestically.

Everest Review

Interview with Baltasar Kormakur


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The Green Inferno

Distributor: Blumhouse Tilt (Universal)
Writer/Director: Eli Roth
Cast:
Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating: R
What It’s About: College student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) joins a group of environmental activists traveling down to the South American Amazon to help fight against a company that’s destroying the rainforest and the home of the natives. When their plane crashes, they end up being caught by a tribe of cannibals!

Two years after the movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and over a year since its initial planned release, director Eli Roth is back with his first movie as a director since 2007’s Hostel: Part II (if you don’t include his contributions to Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, in which he also acted). In that time since, Roth has been busy producing other’s movies, including The Last Exorcism and its sequel, as well as establishing a film industry in Chile with films like 2012’s Aftershock.

He’s back with another intense “travelogue horror” film where the film’s protagonists go somewhere and end up being slaughtered by the locals, a movie that’s so violent that Open Road, the original distributor for The Green Inferno, opted out of releasing it as planned last year. After a social media campaign, Jason Blum stepped in to release the movie nationally through his Blumhouse Tilt distribution deal with Universal, so now it’s getting a wide releases about a year after its initially planned release date.

While the movie stars Roth’s wife Lorenza Izzo (who also stars in his upcoming thriller Knock Knock, which will be released in a few weeks) and Ariel Levy who appeared in the Chilean thriller Aftershock with Roth and Izzo, the biggest “name star” is probably former “Spy Kid” Daryl Sabara. And to be honest, most of the kids who loved Spy Kids are now old enough to be into a movie like this.

BH Tilt are giving the movie an ambitious release into 1,500 theaters, but that doesn’t mean that there will be enough interest to fill those theaters since we’ve seen other edgy cult horror films like Kevin Smith’s Tusk fail when given a wide release right away. (But the other option of giving it a limited release and expanding later also doesn’t make sense since most horror fans go see something opening weekend and we’re long past the days of being able to platform horror films ala The Blair Witch Project.)

It’s been so long since The Green Inferno debuted and it’s played so many festivals and opened in so many other countries already, there’s a danger that many of the people who want to see the movie will already have seen it via pirated copies. Other than that, awareness is pretty low, because there isn’t a huge budget for marketing the movie and it is opening in a busy weekend with a lot of other choices in theaters.

Prediction:

Even with a wide release and the marketing muscle of Universal (who are more focused on Everest), The Green Inferno may have a tough time making a mark this weekend. It’s such a horrifyingly violent film that it might actually scare away some of the more casual horror “tourists” other than the die-hard horror fans that pushed for the movie to get a theatrical release in the first place. It seems like an opening weekend in the $2 to 3 million range would be seen as an achievement in itself on its way to $5 or 6 million and a long life on cable and DVD. 

Video Interview with Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo

My Review from Toronto 2013


This Weekend Last Year

Box office superstar Denzel Washington took on the role of The Equalizer (Sony), reteaming him with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, and it won the weekend quite easily with $34 million in 3,236 theaters, or $10,549 per theater. It would go on to gross over $100 million, only Washington’s fourth movie to cross that benchmark, but its success bodes well for a sequel. LAIKA Studios returned with their latest stop-motion animated film The Boxtrolls (Focus Features), but it had to settle for third place behind Fox’s The Maze Runner, which had a 46% drop-off from its opening weekend, which isn’t bad compared to other young adult adaptations. The Top 10 grossed $96 million and this weekend may actually be up if Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern do as well as I’ve predicted.

This Week’s Updated Predictions

Just like last weekend, the two new movies should displace last week’s top two movies although Hotel Transylvania 2 will be the clear winner this weekend with more than twice what The Intern makes in second place. Everest should have a successful expansion into over 2,500 theaters on Friday allowing it to move up the ranks to fourth or even third place.

UPDATE: Not a ton of changes except Everest doing well enough to surpass The Intern and Bleecker Street’s drama Pawn Sacrifice will open nationwide into over 750 theaters but probably will end up outside the Top 10 with $1.6 million.

1. Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony Pictures) – $39.2 million N/A (up .8 million)
2. Everest (Universal) – $17.8 million +100%  (up 3 million and one place)
3. The Intern (Warner Bros.) – $17 million N/A (down .8 million and one place
4. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (20th Century Fox) – $14.5 million -52%
5. Black Mass (Warner Bros.) – $12.5 million -45%
6. The Visit (Universal) – $5.9 million -49%
7. War Room (Sony/Tristar) – $5 million -20% (up .1 million)
8. The Perfect Guy (Sony/Screen Gems) – $4.6 million -52%
9. The Green Inferno (Blumhouse Tilt) – $2.8 million N/A (up .1 million)
10. A Walk in the Woods (Broad Green) – $1.8 million -38%

Next Week:

Ridley Scott returns with his adaptation of the best-selling sci-fi novel The Martian (20th Century Fox), starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor and a cast of thousands, while Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (Lionsgate) will expand nationwide as well.


This Week’s Must-Sees

Mississippi Grind (A24)
Writer/Director: Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Robin Weigert, Alfre Woodard
Genre: Drama
What It’s About: Down on his luck and owing thousands of dollars to debtors, Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) has a gambling problem but when he meets Ryan Reynold’s Curtis at the poker table and learns about a high stakes poker match in New Orleans, he sees an opportunity to make enough money to pay off his debts. The two of them head off in Gerry’s car to hit as many casinos and games along the way to raise the buy-in for the big game. This is one of my favorite movies from Sundance (as well as from Toronto) and though it’s been on DIRECTV for the past few weeks, it’s opening theatrically in New York on Friday and then in L.A. and other cities on October 2.

Interview with Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden

My Thoughts from the Sundance Film Festival 

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (Magnolia)
Director: Doug Tirola
Stars: P.J. O’Rourke, Chevy Chase, Kevin Bacon, Al Jean, Billy Bob Thornton, Ivan Reitman, John Landis, Judd Apatow
Genre: Documentary, Comedy
What It’s About: This doc takes a look at the formation of the National Lampoon, a Harvard-based humor magazine created by Douglas Kenney and Henry Beard, which transitioned into a real publication that was revered among the comedy community with the likes of John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray involved in its radio show and live-stage productions, leading to them producing films such as Animal House, Caddyshack and more. With interviews with those still living that were involved throughout the National Lampoon’s illustrious run, Doug Tirola has created a fun and informative doc that opens in New York at the IFC Center as well as On Demand and on iTunes and then it expands to L.A. on October 2. You can see where else here.

99 Homes (Broad Green)
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Noah Lomax, Tim Guinee, Clancey Brown
Genre: Drama
What It’s About: Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is a construction worker and single father who has been evicted from his childhood home after the economic crash of 2008, forcing him to accept a job with Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), the realtor that had him evicted in the first place, as Dennis is forced into a deal with the devil in order to get back his home. The film that premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival will open in select cities on Friday and it’s slated to go nationwide on October 9.

My Thoughts… 

This was one of my top films from the Toronto International Film Festival last year and it was one I was quite impressed with, because previously I’d been mixed on the films of Ramin Bahrani, who began with more verité-style films with non-actors like Man Push Cart and then started making films with better-known actors like At Any Price (which I also didn’t like). In fact, Goodbye Solo was his only movie that I honestly enjoyed.

99 Homes is quite a coup for the filmmaker as he’s put together an impressive cast that includes Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern, all doing amazing dramatic work, but it still has the naturalistic feel of his other films as it explores the economic crash of 2008 that forced thousands of Florida homeowners into foreclosure when the real estate industry crashed.

Andrew Garfield’s character of Dennis is a departure from anything he’s done previously, playing a very young single father struggling to make ends meet when he’s evicted along with his son and mother (Laura Dern) by the bank. This is his first encounter with Shannon’s callous and unfeeling realtor Rick Carver, who only cares about one thing—getting homes for cheap, flipping them and selling for more money.

Carver sees that Dennis is a talented handyman who can help in his crooked endeavors to bilge the banks and the government out of money, often at the homeowners’ expense, and Dennis, needing money and a job, jumps at the opportunity despite Carver’s involvement in stealing his family’s home. Dennis learns fast and he quickly moves up the ranks to become Carver’s right-hand man, which puts him in a tough situation as he is sent to evict others from their homes.

Bahrani has created a very emotional film, mainly because we see a lot of people who are in a similar situation as Dennis with all the emotions that go along with losing your belongings and life-long memories and being left homeless, which makes the film quite tragic. While there’s certainly a danger of 99 Homes feeling dated, especially after the decision to wait a year before releasing it, these feelings are still surprisingly timely and resonant.

More than anything, Bahrani’s three main actors deliver great performances with Garfield confirming he’s a much better dramatic actor than we’ve been able to see in recent years. Shannon is playing another unforgettable baddie and Carver is given some of the best lines in the top-notch script, but Dern is also bringing as much to this as she did to last year’s Wild. The film’s interesting ambient score also adds a lot to what the film delivers dramatically.

99 Homes may be Bahrani’s best film yet, maybe because he finally found a way to combine what he did so well with his earlier movies with real actors, and his casting of Garfield and Shannon really helps make 99 Homes deliver in ways it might not have with other actors. 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story (Cinedigm)
Director: Sara Hirsh Bordo
Stars: Lizzie Velasquez, Rita Velasquez, Lupe Velasquez, Chris Velasquez, Marina Velasquez
Genre: Documentary
What It’s About: This doc, which premiered at South by Southwest in March, takes a look at the story of 25-year-old Elizabeth Velasquez, who was born with a rare syndrome that keeps her from gaining weight and was bullied as a child in school and then online, which led to her becoming a staunch activist against cyber-bullying and a motivational speaker trying to get a federal anti-bullying bill passed. It will be released into select cities and On Demand Friday.

Other Limited Releases of Note:

(There are a LOT of them–hence the delayed column this week!)

The Keeping Room (Drafthouse Films)
Director: Daniel Barber
Stars: Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru, Sam Worthington
Genre: Western, Thriller, Drama
What It’s About: Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld star as sisters who must fight off drunken renegade Yankee soldiers (including one played by Sam Worthington) along with their female slave (Muna Otaru) as the Civil War is coming to a close and they’re no longer safe from being raped and killed. Based on Julia Hart’s 2012 Black List screenplay and directed by Daniel Barber (Harry Brown), this intense drama opens in select theaters Friday.

Interview with Brit Marling 

Stonewall (Roadside Attractions)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, Joey King, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonny Beauchamp, Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis, Alexandre Nachi
Genre: Drama
What It’s About: Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is a young man from Indiana who comes to New York’s Christopher Street in 1969 where he befriends the local street kids, transvestites and gay hustlers, who take him in while he figures out where to go. Things are changing in the neighborhood with the police constantly raiding the local hangout, the Stonewall Inn, and eventually things are going to crack as tension escalates among the neighborhood’s gay community. 

Interview with Roland Emmerich

Stonewall Review

Ashby (The Film Arcade)
Writer/Director: Tony McNamara
Stars: Nat Wolff, Sarah Silverman, Emma Roberts, Mickey Rourke
Genre: Drama, Comedy
What It’s About: Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) has moved to town with his single mother (Sarah Silverman) and he tries to fit in at his new high school by joining the football team despite his teammates hating him. He soon befriends his mysterious new neighbor Ashby (Mickey Rourke) by driving him around, learning there’s more to the crotchety man than it seems, as well as making friends with his brainy other neighbor Eloise (Emma Roberts). It opens in select cities and On Demand.

Misunderstood (Sundance Selects/IFC Films)
Director: Asia Argento
Stars: Giulia Salerno, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gabriel Garko
Genre: Drama
What It’s About: Asia Argento returns with a drama set in ‘80s Rome about Aria (Giulia Salerno), a nine-year-old watching her parents’ marriage fall apart. Co-starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gabriel Garko, it opens at New York’s IFC Center on Friday.

Finder’s Keepers (The Orchard)
Director: Bryan Carberry, J. Clay Tweel
Stars: John Wood, Shannon Whishant
Genre: Documentary
What It’s About: When John Wood finds his amputated leg up for sale in a North Carolina auction, his lawsuit to recover his stolen property from its buyer Shannon Whisnant leads to a media frenzy that causes John’s drug addiction to return putting him on the streets, taking a strange twist to help him become whole again. It will open in select theaters Friday and on VOD on October 2.

Pay the Ghost (RLJ Entertainment)
Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Wayne Callies
Genre: Thriller
What It’s About: Nicolas Cage plays a father whose son disappeared at a Halloween carnival who has to work with his estranged wife (Sarah Wayne Callies) to try to find his son after being haunted by images and messages that might lead to him.

Mission to Lars
Director: William Spicer, James Moore
Stars: Lars Ulrich, Kate Spicer, William Spicer, Tom Spicer
Genre: Documentary
What It’s About: Tom Spicer is suffering from a form of autism called Fragile X Syndrome, but his lifelong dream is to meet Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, so his sibblings Kate and William take him on a road trip across the West Coast following Metallica on tour as they deal with complications from Tom’s disorder. It opens in select cities and will be available on iTunes Friday.

Wildlike (Amplify)
Writer/Director: Frank Hall Green
Stars: Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Nolan Gerard Funk
Genre: Drama, Adventure
What It’s About: 14-year-old Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) runs away from home after being threatened by her uncle, who she has been sent to live with in Alaska during her mother’s treatment, and as she tries to get back to Seattle, she meets a gruff backpacker (Greenwood) as the two cross the frontier together.

Western
Director: Bill and Turner Ross
Genre: Documentary
What It’s About: The directors of Tchoupitoulas return with another vérité doc that looks at the people of two cities: Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico who are about to celebrate their harmonious relationship, although conflict looms in the form of cartel violence and border patrols.

Lost in Hong Kong (Well GO USA)
Writer/Director: Xu Zheng
Stars: Xu Zheng, Zhao Wei, Du Juan
Genre: Action, Comedy
What It’s About: Filmmaker Xu Zheng delivers a sequel to his 2012 comedy Lost in Thailand, playing a former artist whose dreams were dashed after marrying Zhao Wei’s Cai Bo, who wants to have children, so he tries to reconnect with former girlfriend while on vacation only to get caught up in a murder investigation.

You can post any comments or questions below, or you can get in touch with the Weekend Warrior on Twitter.

Copyright 2015 Edward Douglas