New in Theaters: 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,' 'Rush,' 'Don Jon,' 'Baggage Claim'

Don Jon

We’ve quite a busy weekend ahead of us this time around, as there are four films coming out that span pretty well the whole range of audiences one could imagine. There’s family fun, comedy, action, romance, raunchy romance, and everything in between.

One of today’s releases is the sequel to the popular animated adaptation of the book sharing its name: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Set directly after the first film, the sequel returns to inventor Flint Lockwood (again voiced by Bill Hader), who is finally gaining recognition from his idol, Charles V (voiced by another former SNL cast member, Will Forte), when he finds out that his invention from the previous film has begun to produce food that has evolved into “foodimals,” and he is sent on a mission to save the world from his creation once more.

The folks at Rotten Tomatoes weren’t terribly impressed with the film, as it earned an almost-fresh 58%. The film rides out the popularity of its predecessor without reproducing the creativity that made the first film popular in the first place; however, it’s still a fun watch, and the kids will still doubtless be entertained. Box Office Guru predicts a generous helping of revenues at $44 million.

Also coming out today is the latest collaboration between director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan is Rush, the film based on a true story set in the glory days of Formula 1 racing. The story recreates the rivalry between famous racers James Hunt (Liam Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

At 87% on the Tomatometer, Rush is the best-rated film of this batch of releases. The film has all of the action sequences the subject material recommends, but balances it with excellent portrayals of the characters from the cast; all in all, it’s a fine example of your profound, driving (ha) drama, though this one’s definitely not for the kids. The film can expect around $13 million over the weekend.

Now, to change gears (ha, ha) to another decidedly adult film, this weekend also brings us the directing debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon. Gordon-Levitt plays “Don” Jon Martello, an old-fashioned ladies’ man with a digital age habit—internet pornography. When he meets and starts dating a similarly old-fashioned woman, Barbara Sugarman (Scarlet Johansson), he must reconcile his longtime habit with his newfound attraction to Barbara.

This may not sound like your typical high-rating comedy, but the critics of Rotten Tomatoes were fairly impressed, rating it at 82%. The film is unexpectedly convincing and insightful—uncommon traits in a rom-com, for sure. It is predicted to earn $12 million over the weekend.

This weekend also heralds the arrival of a more trite romantic comedy, Baggage Claim, which deals with the struggle of Montana Moore (Paula Patton) to find a prefect husband before her younger sister gets married in a month. Fuelled by familial jealousy, she uses her job as a flight attendant to stage encounters with ex-boyfriends, and find Mr. Right.

If this sounds formulaic and even dull to you, you’re in good company—the good people at Rotten Tomatoes think so too, and accordingly gave the film only 14%. The film is so shallow and vapid it’s misogynistic in its portrayal of romance—only the most devoted of rom-com fans will find any value in this film, which can only expect around $7 million this weekend.

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