New in Theaters: ‘The Wolverine,’ ‘The To-Do List,’ ‘Fruitvale Station’

The To Do List

This weekend could offer a chance at redemption for a somewhat fallen franchise—after the disappointment of The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine, the X-Men films need a film to redeem them. This weekend’s sequel to Wolverine’s solo film might offer just that, and for those who aren’t very invested in the fate of this Marvel icon, there’s a quirky, risqué comedy and a coming out as well.

Yesterday, The Wolverine entered theaters. This film is a follow-up to the Origins storyline, based on a comic book miniseries released in the 80s. This installment in the story arc tells of Hugh Jackman’s troubled protagonist’s trip to Japan, and his encounter with a dark figure from his past.

The film received the barely-fresh rating of 67% from Rotten Tomatoes. Some argue that its admirable effort to stay true to the comic series and its fun action make it a worthy film, while others argue that its potentially interesting premise is hampered by an unwillingness to take risks, making it less than memorable. Still, the omniscient Box Office Guru estimates its weekend gross at $70 million.

Coming out today is The To-Do List, starring Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza, who is joined by such comedy talent as Bill Hader and Andy Samberg. Plaza portrays your stereotypical high school valedictorian, straight-A student, but with a twist—before college, she wants to experience all of the crazy, sometimes raunchy “extra-curricular” activities she missed out on in high school.

The critics of Rotten Tomatoes were less kind to this film, giving it a 56%. Said critics thought that, while Plaza does an admirable job with the lead role, such a risqué, provocative concept could’ve made for an interesting film, but a play-it-safe script kept the film from achieving the heights it was capable of. It is set to earn only $3 million over the weekend (a curiously small number for a wide-release film.

Finally, an indie film makes it to the big screen in wide release: Fruitvale Station, which has won dramatic feature awards both at the Grand Jury Prize and the Sundance Film Festival. Based on a true story ,the film tells the story of Oscar Grant, who wakes up on December 31st with the goal of being a better son, boyfriend, and father to his loved ones. However, tragedy soon interrupts these goals, with consequences for the entire nation.

The Tomatometer was very kind to this film, giving it a whopping 93%. The film is gripping, powerful, and memorable—everything one could want from a drama. There are no wide-release estimates yet, as it was first an indie release, but hopefully its revenues will reflect the quality of the film.

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