By Chris Kavan - 09/23/11 at 01:03 PM CT
It looks like it's going to be a crowded weekend. With five relatively decent releases to choose from, will The Lion King roar again or can one of the new entries claim the top spot?
1) With the names involved, Moneyball looks to be the best choice for discerning movie watchers. Brad Pitt teams up with Jonah Hill for the true story of the Oakland A's manager who harnesses the power of technology to help draft his team. It looks like a winning combination to me - I don't know how much it will take in, but I'm hoping it tops the weekend.
2) The tween crowd can be drawn in by not-playing-a-werewolf-this-time Tayler Lautner and his female interest Lily Collins. Also, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver and Michael Nyqvist are along for the ride, but they're not young and pretty, so the target audience really won't care. From what I've seen from the trailers, this looks to be a by-the-books thriller for the younger crowds. I don't get the appeal of Lautner, who, judging from just this trailer, has the emotional range of a rock. Apparently a very attractive rock, but a rock none-the-less.
3-4) If you would rather have a little more action in your life, you have not one, but two movies the trip your trigger: Gerard Butler lays down the law to stand up for Sudanese children in Machine Gun Preacher while Jason Statham is more than happy to continue his type-cast career choice in Killer Elite. With both having limited appeal, I expect limited numbers to join them. Both would make fine rentals for me, but that's about all the excitement I can muster.
5) Finally, in the inspirational-bordering-on-preachy you have Dolphin Tale. This looks overly sweet for my tastes, despite the presence of Morgan Freeman. I'm sure the trailers can't tell the whole story, but from what I've seen thus far, it looks like a veer too far into the sappy side of things. We'll see how this family offering fares in relation to Lion King.
So, a lot to offer this week. I think the Lion King will be dethroned, but by who and by how much will have to wait until Sunday.