The end of May is an odd time for movie releases. The early-Spring blockbusters have already come out. Summer’s offerings won’t come for another month or so. That in-between time creates a vacuum of sorts, kicking the door wide open for new release to take the top spot of the weekend if it can prove itself to be even slightly entertaining. The Mad Max: Fury Road and Avengers has officially died down, making this that weekend for one movie to surprise us at the box office. We think we’ve found just that film.
1. San Andreas
Admit it, you’ve always wanted to see The Rock fight an earthquake. You just didn’t know it until San Andreas surfaced. This weekend’s movie to see features just that, starring Dwayne Johnson as Chief Ray Gaines. A massive earthquake hits the West Coast, as he flies his helicopter around saving people while looking for his impossibly gorgeous daughter played by Alexandra Daddario. Think Taken meets Day After Tomorrow and that seems to be what we have with San Andreas.
Of course you could also just go see Mad Max again this weekend instead, but that would be robbing you of the chance to potentially see Dwayne Johnson punch an earthquake in its stupid face for two straight hours. The age of The Rock as a serious action star is here, and what a wonderful age it is. Early reviews have the movie sitting at a 52% Rotten Tomatoes score, so there are worse ways to spend your $13 this weekend.
2. Heaven Knows What
If action movies aren’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty out there for you instead. Heaven Knows What is pretty much the polar opposite in terms of subject matter, but in many ways matches the intensity of San Andreas. In it, we follow Arielle Holmes, a heroin addict living on the streets willing to cut open her wrists to prove her love to her companion. The movie itself is based on the soon-to-be-released memoirs of Holmes, making it that much more visceral: She lived much of what transpires in this film, wrote it, and now is acting it out for audiences.
It’s the cerebral yin to the mindless action of San Andreas, making it so you can get the full cinematic experience this weekend if you so choose. Currently, Heaven Knows What has an impressive 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating. If you’re looking for quality art that gives you an honest look at the world of addiction, then this is the movie for you. Maybe keep San Andreas on tap for after though, for the eventual decompressing you’ll likely need.
On the surface, Aloha looks like a slam dunk. Cameron Crowe is the director. Bradley Cooper is the star. The cast also includes Alec Baldwin, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Murray. And yet still, critics weren’t impressed, to the tune of a 17% Rotten Tomatoes score. That shouldn’t stop you from seeing it anyway though. With a director as skilled as Crowe and a star-powered cast, that alone should be enough to at least make it fun to watch.
The movie follows the exploits of a disgraced defense worker sent to Hawaii to stop the launch of a satellite. In the process, he reconnects with an old flame played by Rachel McAdams, while making a new connection with Emma Stone. If the trailer tells us anything, it’s that it hits most of the safe beats any romantic comedy does. But with San Andreas and Heaven Knows What filling out the weekend with explosions and rampant heroin use, maybe a mindless romantic comedy is exactly what you’ll need to balance things out.
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