Movie Trailers: Opening This Weekend.

Last week we had one film released and it was the lowest point in the box office all year. Critics have said that it was the worst weekend for movies in a long, long time. So its nice to see Hollywood attempt to redeem itself by showing off some stuff that might actually be worth paying money to see. Or at least I hope.

Here are the four films that are opening today at a theater near you. Clicking on the poster will take you to the film's official website.

Burn After Reading (R)
At the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Arlington, Va., analyst Osborne Cox arrives for a top-secret meeting. Unfortunately for Cox, the secret is soon out: he is being ousted. Cox does not take the news particularly well and returns to his Georgetown home to work on his memoirs and his drinking, not necessarily in that order. His wife Katie is dismayed, though not particularly surprised; she is already well into an illicit affair with Harry Pfarrer, a married federal marshal, and sets about making plans to leave Cox for Harry.

Elsewhere in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, and seemingly worlds apart, Hardbodies Fitness Centers employee Linda Litzke can barely concentrate on her work. She is consumed with her life plan for extensive cosmetic surgery, and confides her mission to can-do colleague Chad Feldheimer. Linda is all but oblivious to the fact that the gym’s manager Ted Treffon pines for her even as she arranges dates via the Internet with other men.

When a computer disc containing material for the CIA analyst’s memoirs accidentally falls into the hands of Linda and Chad, the duo are intent on exploiting their find. As Ted frets, “No good can come of this,” events spiral out of everyone’s and anyone’s control, in a cascading series of darkly hilarious encounters.

Judge's Decision: I've been a fan of the Coen's work since I first saw "Raising Arizona." Their darker stuff like "No Country for Old Men" is fantastic, but it's their comedy that really sets them apart and from what I can tell, this one is pure genius. Add to that the fact that Brad Pitt is great at playing goofy, off-the-wall characters (12 Monkey's anyone?) and a large but phenomenal ensemble cast and you have the makings for cinematic gold. Hands down, this one is the winner for the weekend and should make somewhere around $35 million.

Caution: Red-Banned trailer below. Beware of naughty words.

Righteous Kill (R)

After 30 years as partners in the pressure cooker environment of the NYPD, highly decorated Detectives David Fisk and Thomas Cowan should be ready for retirement, but aren t. Before they can hang up their badges, they are called in to investigate the murder of a notorious pimp, which appears to have ties to a case they solved years before. Like the original murder, the victim is a suspected criminal whose body is found accompanied by a four line poem justifying the killing. When additional crimes take place, it becomes clear the detectives are looking for a serial killer, one who targets criminals that have fallen through the cracks of the judicial system. His mission is to do what the cops can t do on their own--take the culprits off the streets for good. The similarities between the recent killings and their earlier case raise a nagging question: Did they put the wrong man behind bars?

Judge's Decision: We've mentioned previously that according to early reports the film was not that good. Perhaps its the hype of seeing DeNiro and Pacino together again that will inspire people to see it. Personally, I am left feeling that unless they've done some serious re-working from what was shown to test audiences, the film will be horribly off-base. And DeNiro's monotone, phone-it-in delivery of the monologue in the trailer doesnt help matters. Can these two former heavy hitters still bring in the numbers? My guess is no. "Righteous Kill" will come in second in the box office race and bring in somewhere under $25 mil if its lucky.

And I just noticed something about the film's poster: the lines of words used in the background of the poster to suggest a hand-written note are nothing more than "Lorem ipsum" dummy text used by graphic artists. (big-ass version of the poster here) Did the marketing department think that no one would notice? Couldn't they at least write something original for this? That's just sloppy work, fellas.

The Family the Preys (PG-13)
Wealthy socialite Charlotte Cartwright and her dear friend Alice Pratt, a working class woman of high ideals, have enjoyed a lasting friendship throughout many years. Suddenly, their lives become mired in turmoil as their adult children's extramarital affairs, unethical business practices and a dark paternity suit threaten to derail family fortunes and unravel the lives of all involved. Alice's self-centered newlywed daughter Andrea is betraying her trusting husband Chris by engaging in a torrid affair with her boss and mother's best friend's son William. While cheating on his wife Jillian with a string of ongoing dalliances with his mistress Andrea, William's true focus is to replace the COO of his mother's lucrative construction corporation.

Meanwhile, Alice's other daughter Pam, a kind but no nonsense woman married to a hard working construction worker, tries to steer the family in a more positive direction. While paternity seets, marital infidelity, greed and unsavory business dealings threaten to derail both families, Charlotte and Alice decide to take a breather from it all by making a oss-country road trip in which they rediscover themselves and possibly find a way to save their families from ruin.

Judge's Decision: It looks like Cathy Bates is trying to find work anywhere she can find it. This looks like your typical family comedy that Tyler Perry seems to make his bread and butter about. In other words, its formula, predictable and probably a great film to take Grandma to without having to explain too much to her. However, if you are looking for a quality motion picture, this aint it.

The Women (PG-13)
Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) is a clothing designer who seems to have it all -- a beautiful country home, a rich financier husband, an adorable 11-year-old daughter and a part-time career creating designs for her father's venerable clothing company. Her best friend, Sylvie Fowler (Annette Bening), leads another enviable life -- a happily single editor of a prominent fashion magazine, a possessor of a huge closet of designer clothes and a revered arbiter of taste and style poised on New York's cutting edge. But when Mary's husband enters into an affair with Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes), a sultry 'spritzer girl' lurking behind the Saks Fifth Avenue perfume counter, all hell breaks loose. Mary and Sylvie's relationship is tested to the breaking point while their tight-knit circle of friends, including mega-mommy Edie Cohen (Debra Messing) and author Alex Fisher (Jada Pinkett-Smith), all start to question their own friendships and romantic relationships as well.

Judge's Decision: A remake of George Cukor's 1939 film of the same title, you can tell just by watching the trailer what demographic the film is aiming for. Personally, I am a little tired of the four strong professional women, dealing with the pitfalls of life and becoming better, stronger women in the process stereotype. Not that I have anything against women, but as a man, this girl power shit is a little tiresome. So if you are a soon to be an ex-30-something female and live for this kind of obvious discriminatory pandering, you'll probably love it. Meanwhile the rest of the population will be in the theater a couple doors down watching "Burn After Reading."

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