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New in Theaters August 24: Hit and Run, Premium Rush and The Apparition

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By Chris Kavan - 08/23/12 at 05:25 PM CT

It's been two weeks of good returns for Hollywood, even if the movies themselves have been somewhat underwhelming. After last weeks veritable onslaught of new movies, this week we have another three vying for your attention: one is horror film (the first of many that will pop up in the coming weeks), one is a road-trip comedy and one is an action-packed thriller about a... bike messenger. Will any be able to last week's champ, The Expendables 2 and will Hollywood have reason to celebrate for the third week in a row?

While The Campaign went from straight-up slapstick and raunch, Hit and Run is looking to add in a bit of action and romance to the comedy mix this week. Starring Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rosenbaum and Beau Bridges the film centers around a former getaway driver who leaves the safety of witness protection to drive his girlfriend to L.A. and, inevitably, his former crew (along with the FBI) give chase. While I'm not a huge fan of Shepard, this is the kind of movie that has broad appeal - men and women, teens and adults - should it bring in enough of each group, it has a good chance of making a decent dent in the box office.

Despite having one of the hottest lead actors around right now, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I have to admit I have heard little about Premium Rush. All I know is that it looks like there are a lot of bicycle stunts as the story follows a bike messenger who picks up a package that a lot of people are after. Thus we get treated to (what I'm guessing) a lot of chase scenes, some other action and a deadly secret about what's in said package. I really don't like to prejudge movies, but come on, this sounds like a hundred other movies out there - just because you add in a bike doesn't mean it's going to suddenly look fresh and amazing. I have a lot of respect for Gordon-Levitt, but I just don't see this topping, oh, Inception or The Dark Knight Rises on his resume.

Finally we come to the week's dark horse, The Apparition. Headed by Twilight actress Ashley Greene and the ex-Draco Malfoy, Tom Felton, the movie does have an interesting premise: a college experiment that makes your fears manifest themselves... but only if you believe in them. Sounds like a mind-bender, but with such a young cast it's safe to say that the premise sounds better than it's likely to end up on screen. Still, the one thing this movie has going for it is that it has been a long time since a genuine horror film has been in theaters. It just might bring in an audience for that reason alone - and it should be happy it's first, because these next few weeks are awash in horror. These films tend to have smaller budgets, so even if it only finds minimal success, chances are it will still come out on top financially.

This week has quite the mix, but compared to the last two weeks, I don't see a clear victor - Expendables 2, despite a less-than-stellar start, could repeat. However, Hit and Run could draw in the date-night crowd while The Apparition could slake the thirst of horror fans. Stay tuned until Sunday with the final results.


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