Box offices stumbles, Bob Richards reviews new flicks
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For the fifth weekend in a row, attendance was down at movie theaters, although that is expected Oscar weekend. The lukewarm box office brought Identity Thief back to the top with 14 million and a take so far of almost 94 million. That makes it the biggest hit so far this year. Dwayne Johnson's Snitch continued the trend toward action movies performing poorly. It took in 13 million for second place. Escape From Planet Earth was third and Safe Haven was fourth. Last week's champ, A Good Day to Die Hard fell all the way to fifth, and the other new wide release this week, Dark Skies was sixth with 8.9 million.
Snitch - Summit Entertainment - Rated PG-13
Dwayne Johnson tries really, really hard to expand his acting ability beyond delivering a beatdown or an explosion. None of the acting in Snitch is especially good, even Susan Sarandon is a touch over the top. But I must give Johnson props for trying - and succeeding in stretching his still limited range. The ridiculous, silly story supposedly based on true events took me out of it, though. Ditch Snitch. At least until it becomes a rental. 3 Stars out of 5
Dark Skies - Dimension Films - Rated PG-13
Dark Skies borrows heavily from Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but washes out the thrills any of those movies gave us. This isn't frightening - it's more mildly disquieting. I got one chill, and that might have been from a blast of cold air that so often seems to happen in theaters. Keri Russell is quite good and her wardrobe provides distraction during the long stretches where nothing much happens.
Josh Hamilton, playing her husband seems committed to his role. The two kids are credible enough, and J.K. Simmons is convincing while delivering lines any other actor would turn to pure cheese. Then, there is the hack ending. The one that screams, "I have no idea how to end this!" And I don't either, so how about a weather forecast…I don't see dark skies in this film, but maybe partly cloudy with a chance of an alien invasion…or not. 2 Stars out of 5
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