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Trailer Talk: This Week in Movies - 'The Lucky One,' 'Think Like A Man' & More

April 17th, 2012 1:00pm EDT

Trailer Talk: This Week in Movies If you missed my interview with Fran Kranz and Kristen Connolly from “The Cabin in the Woods,” definitely be sure to give it a read. They both had some amusing stories to share about their experience working with Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon on the movie. Also last week, I had the opportunity to visit Washington DC for an exciting espionage adventure in honor of the blu-ray release for “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” which I chronicled here.

Arriving in theaters this week are the Zac Efron romantic drama “The Lucky One,” the African American comedy “Think Life a Man,” the primate documentary “Chimpanzee,” the polar bear documentary “To the Arctic 3D,” the Diane Keaton martial drama “Darling Companion,” the teen horror flick “The Moth Diaries,” the Bob Marley music doc “Marley,” and the coming-of-age dramedy “Jesus Henry Christ.”

MY PICK FOR THE WEEK: The Cabin in the Woods

I’m keeping my pick from last week since nothing this week looks nearly as exciting. If you still haven’t seen it yet, seek it out! It’s my favorite film of 2012 so far.

THE LUCKY ONE

A Marine (Zac Efron) journeys to North Carolina after serving in Iraq, to search for the woman (Taylor Schilling) he thinks was his good luck charm during the war.

Director: Scott Hicks (“The Boys Are Back,” “No Reservations”)

Writer: Will Fetters (“Remember Me”)

Based On: A novel by Nicholas Sparks, who wrote The Notebook and Dear John

ORIGINALITY RATING: Low. Based on the content, “The Lucky One” almost seems like it should have been released around Valentine’s Day instead of in April. The trailer makes it looks like your average sappy romance penned by Nicholas Sparks. You have an unlikely relationship where the guy starts to grow on the girl slowly, with plenty of obstacles in their way- a kid, an angry ex, and a picture that will make him seem creepy. You have requisite awkward flirting, clips of ridiculously saucy intimate time, and plenty of corny lines from Efron’s character. Chances are you’ll probably only want to see this movie if you can tolerate cookie-cutter romance.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Viewers who think Zac Efron is a good looking, talented actor. If you appreciate movies based on Nicholas Sparks books like “Dear John” and “The Notebook,” then you should see “The Lucky One.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait a week so you don’t have to fight the crowds.

THINK LIKE A MAN

Four men vow to turn the tables, after realizing that their ladies have been using comedian Steve Harvey’s relationship advice against them.

Director: Tim Story (“Hurricane Season,” “Barbershop”)

Co-Writers: Keith Merryman and David A. Newman (“Friends with Benefits”)

Based On: Comedian Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

Notable Actors: Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Terrance J, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Hart, Romany Malco, Meghan Good, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union.

ORIGINALITY RATING: Medium. The concept for “Think Like a Man” is actually pretty entertaining in a meta sort of way. Take Steve Harvey’s real life book, and have women who are frustrated by their relationships within the movie using it to their advantage. The execution of this great idea seems to be lacking though mostly in how the male characters come off. The men in the trailer are one-dimensional selfish stereotypes who no doubt will learn important things about relationships during this comedy. Their shenanigans and banter in the trailer never really rise above mildly amusing either, so I’m not terribly excited to see it.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Fans of Steve Harvey’s book on relationship advice should be first in line. If you enjoy African American ensemble comedies like Tim Story’s previous film “Barbershop,” then you should watch “Think Like a Man.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for DVD.

CHIMPANZEE

This documentary follows a 3-year-old chimpanzee named Oscar that is separated from his troop and adopted by a full grown male.

Co-Directors: Alastair Fothergill (“Planet Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“Earth”)

Narrator: Tim Allen (“Last Man Standing,” “Toy Story 3”)

ORIGINALITY RATING: Low. The trailer for “Chimpanzee” starts out strong, using upbeat music and title cards to tell Oscar’s story before switching gears to a shocking moment with standard voiceover. As you watch it though, you can’t help but notice themes we’ve seen before. First there’s adoption like in “Project Nim,” only this one takes place in the wild by another chimpanzee instead of by humans. Second, there is very close observation of nature using sophisticated cameras like Disney’s “Earth” or the BBC television shows “Planet Earth” and “Frozen Planet.” Aside from the more personal look into chimpanzees, there’s not much here we haven’t seen before.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Parents looking for something visually stimulating and family-friendly this weekend. If love Disney’s environmental doc “Earth” and its television series “Planet Earth,” then you should seek out “Chimpanzee.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait a week so you don’t have to fight the crowds.

TO THE ARCTIC 3D

“To the Arctic 3D” focuses on the lives of a mother polar bear and her two seven-month-old cubs, as they traverse the changing Arctic wilderness.

Director: Greg MacGillivray (“Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk,” “Hurricane on the Bayou”)

Writer: Frequent MacGillivray collaborator Stephen Judson (“Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk”)

Narrator: Meryl Streep

ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Low. You can pretty much repeat what I said about “Chimpanzee,” here. The nature documentary angle looks like something we’ve seen numerous times. The only things that really separate this trailer from the one for “Chimpanzee” though are the actual use of its narrator in the voiceover, more variety of wildlife, and more panoramic style shots. In terms of the actual theatergoing experience though the 3D and IMAX will probably add a lot more to the experience for the viewer, especially if “Chimpanzee” isn’t slated to play anywhere in IMAX or 3D.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Nature lovers with a preference for documentaries about cold climates. If chimpanzees aren’t your thing, and you like the idea of 3D nature films, then you should find “To the Arctic 3D” this weekend in theaters.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait a week, so you don’t have to fight the crowds.

DARLING COMPANION

Beth (Diane Keaton) loves her dog more than her own husband (Kevin Kline). But what happens when he loses the dog? That’s the question “Darling Companion” seeks to answer.

Director/Writer: Lawrence Kasdan (“The Big Chill,” “Body Heat”)

Co-Writer: His wife Meg Kasdan

Notable Supporting Actors: Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass, Sam Shepard

ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Low. The idea of a lost dog being the catalyst for repairing Beth and Joseph’s marriage is actually a decent one, but this movie seems more like a low-rent indie than something Lawrence Kasdan should be behind. Kevin Kline is playing the well-traveled role of an uptight, arrogant guy we’ve seen him do countless times before. Plus the trailer indicates there’s a wacky road trip bonding element which we’ve seen tons of times before. Since I can’t quite tell how much of this movie is supposed to be really dramatic and how much is supposed to actually be funny, I’m not feeling terribly inclined to see it.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Followers of Lawrence Kasdan who are happy to see him working again after a long hiatus. If enjoy Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, as well as the strong supporting cast, then you should give “Darling Companion” a shot.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for DVD.

THE MOTH DIARIES

Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) is suspicious of Ernessa (Lily Cole), the new girl at her boarding school. But is she just being paranoid, or does Ernessa really have a dark secret that she’s hiding?

Director: Mary Harron (“American Pyscho”)

Writer: Newcomer Rachel Klein (“Killing Me Softly”)

ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Medium. The trailer wants to you to get this story is a gothic horror tale so badly it has to spell it out for you. Having it set in boarding school should be enough, but the teacher in the various class sequences makes a point to talk about vampires and gothic horror in literature. Based on this discussion you get that this is a vampire flick, and while in one way it’s kind of cool they let exposition reveal that instead of shocking visuals, it also ruins the twist. The trailer seems to be pitching some sort of cerebral element with Ernessa’s character where she slowly assumes control of Rebecca’s friend Lucy, however it’s not hooking me.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Independent film aficionados who like vampire tales. If have been looking forward to Mary Harron making another feature film, then you should catch “The Moth Diaries.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for DVD.

MARLEY

This biographical documentary follows the life, music, and legacy of reggae artist Bob Marley.

Director: Kevin Macdonald (“Life in a Day,” “State of Play”)

ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Medium. Personally I love Bob Marley and his music. I think he was a very important historical figure because his work was both entertaining and politically charged. There are plenty of interviews with those close to him and with Marley himself in the trailer in addition to his music, but there’s nothing compelling enough to get me to see this documentary in theaters. I could easily just wait for it and watch it at home.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Music buffs that celebrate Bob Marley as an influential figure. If you’ve always wanted to know more about the late, great legend, then you should find out by watching “Marley.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for DVD.

JESUS HENRY CHRIST

At the age of 10, Henry James Hermin (Jason Spevack), a boy conceived in a petri-dish and raised by a single mother, follows a trail of Post-It notes hoping to find his biological father.

Director/Writer: Dennis Lee (“Fireflies in the Garden”)

Notable Supporting Actors: Toni Collette, Michael Sheen

ORIGINALITY FACTOR: Medium. Of the films coming out this week, I think this one looks the best, even though I’m still not super excited by the trailer. That’s because this movie seems like a combination of other indies I’ve seen before. With its precocious protagonist it reminds me slightly of Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore.” Henry’s search for his biological dad is reminiscent of “The Kids are All Right,” and the wacky family moments are similar to ones we’ve already seen Toni Collette tackle in “Little Miss Sunshine.” That being said, Collette and Sheen seem like a pleasant combination of actors, so it definitely has potential to be entertaining.

WHO SHOULD SEE IT: Audiences that enjoy quirky dramedies in the vein of “Little Miss Sunshine.” If you dig Toni Collette and Michael Sheen, and you’re excited to see them work together than you should catch “Jesus Henry Christ.”

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait a week, so you don’t have to fight the crowds.

Related: Chimpanzee, Darling Companion, Diane Keaton, Jesus Henry Christ, Kevin Kline, Lawrence Kasdan, Marley, Mary Harron, Meryl Streep, Michael Sheen, Steve Harvey, The Lucky One, The Moth Diaries, Think Like a Man, Tim Allen, To the Arctic 3D, Toni Collette, Zac Efron, Starpulse Exclusives, Movies, Movie Trailers, Columns, Weekend Movie Preview

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Photo Credits: © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved,© Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved, © Sony Pictures Classics. All rights reserved, © The Independent Film Channel LLC. All rights reserved

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