New in Theaters August 10 - The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign and Hope Springs
By Chris Kavan - 08/08/12 at 02:41 PM CT
After a couple of weeks of disappointing returns from the new films Hollywood has to offer, a trio of films targeting completely different audiences looks to finally give a rebound to the box office. In fact, if early predictions turn out to be true, The Dark Knight Rises could drop a whole two spots as both The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign are both proving to be better than expected, at least so far.
I'm giving the edge to The Campaign simply because I was lucky enough to be party to a sneak preview on Monday. Now, I admit I have yet to see an R-rated comedy this year, including the somehow incredibly popular Ted, but The Campaign managed to hit all the right notes and reminded me that Will Ferrell is still damn funny and Zach Galifianakis still has a lock on oddball comedy characters.Critics will probably not be nice to this film - it's crude, juvenile and, at times, incredibly stupid. But, unlike Anchorman and Old School - I actually liked this film right off the bat without having the film "grow" on me. I laughed plenty and my biggest gripe is that the movie is short - I'm sure the DVD will come loaded with extras. However, as sheer comedy, it worked for me and I think it will play well - and it certainly earns its R rating.
Will The Bourne Legacy be able to step out of Matt Damon's shadow and continue the franchise with Jeremy Renner at the helm? That is the big question, though from what I've seen in previews, I don't know if there is much here beyond a typical action film. Still, at least they're trying to tie it in: Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn and David Strathairn all reprise their roles from earlier Bourne films. This film is going to determine whether the franchise can survive with an original story, and without Damon. With The Dark Knight Rises still drawing most of the action crowd, it will be interesting to see how Legacy fares.
Finally we come to Hope Springs, which is looking to draw both an older audience and females and, as near as I can tell, is looking to capture the same success that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel drew earlier this year. It helps that walking Academy Award magnet Meryl Streep is heading the film, along with gruff every-man Tommy Lee Jones - who play a couple of 30 years looking to work on their relationship by attending a week-long, intense counseling session hosted by none other than Steve Carell. This films success or failure depends on whether the target audience shows up for it - the great cast is going to help, but I can't imagine this threatening the top spot for the weekend.
So, what will people be in the mood for? Action? Raunchy comedy? Dramedy? I just hope that things pick up, because there is only so much Batman can do for the box office, and fall isn't known as a time for great films, though there are always exceptions.