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New in Theaters September 12: No Good Deed, Dolphin Tale 2

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By Chris Kavan - 09/11/14 at 06:55 AM CT

Following on the heels of the worst weekend for Hollywood all year (and one of the worst in the past decade for that matter), maybe we can finally get back on track with something resembling a decent performance. While the movies still aren't exactly anything to scream about - a thriller and an inspirational family sequel - it's still looking a lot better than last week's offering. Still, I have a feeling the weekend is going to be on the weaker side, as September stumbles along.

NO GOOD DEED While everything I have seen from No Good Deed doesn't give me much hope this is anything beyond a standard thriller - at least it does have the distinction of having some excellent actors involved. Idris Elba has been excellent on the small screen (The Wire, Luther) as well as the big (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Thor and Prometheus) and if anyone can turn a one-note villain into a compelling role, he's going to be just as good as you could expect. And who is he terrorizing? Well, Taraji P. Henson - who I know, at least, from her excellent turn on Person of Interest. Once again, she should be able to flesh out a role rather well. Supporting cast includes the likes of Leslie Bibb and Henry Simmons. Normally I would give this little chance - but the box office has been so starved lately, that targeting an urban audience might just be the ticket to a decent opening. It's not likely to stick around too long - but with slim pickings, it has a better shot than normal as drawing in a crowd.

DOLPHIN TALE 2 The feel-good Dolphin Tale was a nice little hit back in 2011. On a $37 million budget, it managed a tidy $72.2 million final total. That was good enough to go with a sequel. It's looking like the main cast has all returned, including Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr., Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Austin Stowell and Kris Kristofferson. In order to up the inspirational factor, real-life survivor Bethany Hamilton (the subject of "Soul Surfer") is also on board, This time around, the dolphin with a prosthetic tale has to deal with the loss of her mother - and, with her only pool mate gone, must find another partner or risk being shipped off to another aquarium. Once again, because of the lack of competition at the box office - especially family films - this also has a good chance to open higher than one would expect. I avoid "feel-good" family movies about as much as I do romantic comedies - but this is the perfect pick-me-up for as school starts and the cold moves in.

After last week's total meltdown, Hollywood needs a win. While the offerings still look a bit thin to me, at least it looks a heck of a lot better than last weekend. I don't see fireworks going off in the future, but at least it should be an up week... hopefully.


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