I probably could have saved a bunch of money and not bothered with getting new glasses. Because Hollywood’s not giving me much reason to see things at a distance this week. Honestly, I’m tempted to just put both releases in one paragraph, because I’m not sure I could speak intelligently or compellingly about either one for a paragraph of their own. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a shrug, folks.
Robert DeNiro has been poking fun at his tough guy image for so long now, the refreshing twist would be him just playing it straight. I’m not really sure what more there is for him to mine from parodying his gangster roles, but here he is again with The Family, which strikes me as a somewhat grittier update of Steve Martin’s wise-guy-in-hiding film My Blue Heaven. Only with less Martin and Rick Moranis. Whether that’s good or bad I leave up to you. The glimmer of hope here is this was written and directed by Luc Besson, who at least knows how to nail the “action” part of “action comedy.” Whether he can bring the funny will go a long way towards determining if this is Analyze This or Analyze That.
And now, broken record time: Hey look, it’s a low-budget horror film that’s likely going to open at #1 and turn a profit its first weekend in release! There was a time stuff like Insidious: Chapter 2 would have gone straight to DVD, but when you can double or triple your investment with a theatrical release and then get to slap “The #1 Horror Hit” on all those DVD cases, you’d be crazy not to go wide. Director James Wan already pulled off this trick with the original Insidious ($54 million off of a $1.5 million budget) and The Conjuring just this past July ($135 million from a $20 million budget), and all signs are pointing to at least a $30 million opening weekend for this film. Only three live-action films have ever opened to that kind of number in September, so it would be quite the feat if this could pull that off. Unfortunately, it would be an even bigger feat to get me to go see it. ‘Cause I’ve seen the Poltergeist movies already.
But who knows? I’ve already been proven wrong by getting a paragraph out of each of these, so I might just end up in a theater by accident.