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New in Theaters Oct. 11: Captain Phillips, Machete Kills

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By Chris Kavan - 10/10/13 at 10:52 AM CT

Last weekend Gravity pulled in a record October opening - helped in large part by a monster 3D/IMAX showing. I have a feeling that we're going to see a repeat of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney making the best of a bad situation up in space as the two newcomers aren't likely to attract nearly as much attention. While one is serious and has a major star, the other is the complete opposite, an over-the-top violent spree with some off-the-wall casting choices. Neither are likely to be able to knock Gravity from its lofty perch atop the box office.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Tom Hanks stars at the titular character in this based-on-a-true story tale of the MV Maersk Alabama and its crew - who become victims of the first hijacking of an American ship in two hundred years. It sounds like the real draw to this story is the way Hanks' character interacts with his Somali hijackers - especially their leader, Muse (first-time actor Barkhad Abdi). Paul Greengrass is known for being able to add equal parts drama, action and thrills (United 93 and the two Bourne movies being prime examples) but hopefully he leaves the shaky cam at home. I have a feeling that despite the premise and big names involved, this film will still be eclipsed by the heavily-praised Gravity. Both are targeting adult audiences and I just don't think it has enough juice to take the top spot away from Alfonso Cuarón and Co.

MACHETE KILLS I admit, even though the first Machete was all about violence, nudity and completely over-the-top characters, I kind of liked it. The ending credits promised us not one, but two more Machete films. And what do you know, Robert Rodriguez is being true to his word. Danny Trejo is back as the federale with a grudge, attitude and a lot of weapons. The film features everyone from Charlie Sheen (playing the president no less) to a grown up Alexa Vega (no longer a spy kid, that's for sure) and also turns from Sofia Vergara (with a machine gun rack), Mel Gibson (as the main villain), Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Demian Bichir and returning favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Savini and (in an uncredited role) Jessica Alba. Whew - that's a lot of faces and I'm sure every one of them is going to be just as crazy as Rodriguez can push it. This is not a movie you go to for a deep story and depth of character - this is all about having fun (possibly after prepping first). That is why this won't probably make a lot of money, but will have a great second chance on the home market where people can really sit back, relax and take it all in. I'm still interested in seeing just where they're going to go with it - just not necessarily in the theater.

It should be a showdown between to adult-oriented films this weekend. My money is on Gravity reclaiming the top spot but I'll be back on Sunday with the final results.


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