‘The Giver’ and ‘Expendables 3′: This Week’s Blockbusters Are Flops

Source: The Weinstein Company

Source: The Weinstein Company

This weekend looks like it will be another slow one at the movies, as the big films opening have flopped with critics and failed to gain much excitement in advance of their debuts. Moviegoers may decide to just see the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Guardians of the Galaxy rather than the poorly reviewed blockbusters opening this weekend.

The star-studded adaptation of Lois Lowry’s acclaimed children’s book The Giver is finally coming to the big screen after star Jeff Bridges spent 20 years trying to get the film made. Unfortunately, for all the work he went through, critics have not been pleased with the movie, giving it a rotten 31 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie has been criticized for simply being too much like the wildly popular Hunger Games and Divergent films, which ironically were adapted from young adult novels that are heavily influenced by The Giver.

“Sameness, the conformist plague that afflicts the futuristic citizens of Lois Lowry’s celebrated and scorned YA novel, The Giver, might also be the name given to what ails the movie adaptation,” reads a review from Variety. It seems that fans who complained when color footage (the novel’s world is in black and white) was revealed and Taylor Swift was touted as a guest star were right; this movie is jumping on a young adult dystopia bandwagon rather than truly honoring the beloved book from which it was adapted.

The other big blockbuster debuting this weekend is the third Expendables film, which due to The Giver’s poor reviews is likely to be the box office dominator of the films making their debuts. The Expendables 3 is also doing terribly with critics, with a 33 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie continues the franchise’s aging-action-star riff with Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jet Li co-starring in a movie that according to critics doesn’t give its all-star cast much to do aside from be present.

The Expendables 3 is the movie equivalent of fast-food, McDonald’s at the megaplex. If you’ve seen the first two Expendables, you know exactly what you’ll be getting with the third: a testosterone burger, heavy on the ketchup with a hefty helping of hot lead on the side,” said Seattle Times critic Soren Andersen.

Let’s Be Cops is a comedic offering hitting theaters this weekend, but it too has been slammed by critics. The movie stars New Girl’s Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as two friends who decide to pretend to be cops after dressing up in police uniforms for a costume party and, you guessed it, end up getting into more trouble than they thought. The movie has an 11 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

There is one film opening this weekend that offers some respite, if you’re lucky enough to be near an art house theater that’s showing it. The indie film Frank stars Michael Fassbender as a mentally ill leader of an indie band who copes with reality by wearing a giant paper mache head. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson co-star and the movie has an 89 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have praised Fassbender’s ability to emote while stuck inside the giant mask, as well as director Lenny Abrahamson’s unique and thought-provoking story.

More From Entertainment Cheat Sheet:

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS