It looks like the revolving door at the box office will keep turning this weekend, as the transparent thriller “Hollow Man” gives way to yet another new No. 1 flick.
The question is: Which lukewarm newcomer will it be?
Three major films will make their nationwide debut, while a fourth flick, the interesting yet small “Cecil B. DeMented,” gets an expanded limited release.
So the candidates for top honors at the multiplexes are “Bless the Child,” “The Replacements” and “Autumn in New York,” none of which is setting the world on fire in the advance buzz department.
Here’s a rundown of this weekend’s new films:
“Bless the Child” BLESS THE CHILD (See the trailer) The Skinny: A child psychologist (Kim Basinger) adopts an unwanted child who grows up and displays paranormal powers like waking the dead. The Upside: The producers of this film want us to believe it’s another “The Sixth Sense.” The Downside: It’s not “The Sixth Sense” but a pale imitation of “End of Days,” if you get our drift. That, and it’s a Kim Basinger movie. ‘Nuff said.
“Autumn in New York” AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (See the trailer) The Skinny: Winona Ryder plays a late-20-something woman who’s dying of some disease. Richard Gere plays a 50-something guy who falls in love with her. They go ice skating and stuff. The Upside: We like Winona. We like Richard. We like movies. The Downside: But we hate sappy crap. And when the studio doesn’t hold any advance screenings for reviewers, that ain’t a good sign.
“The Replacements” THE REPLACEMENTS (See the trailer) The Skinny: Dude, Keanu Reeves plays a scab football player. Gene Hackman is the coach. It’s a feel-good movie about a bunch of broken-down jocks who get a second chance. Aw shucks. The Upside: No matter how much we want to believe that Keanu can’t act, he’s got the chops. Check that — he’s got something, we just haven’t figured out exactly what it is. The Downside: We kept looking around for Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Ann Moss, but they never showed up.
“Cecil B. DeMented” CECIL B. DEMENTED (See the trailer) The Skinny: A nutball indie filmmaker (Stephen Dorff) kidnaps a Hollywood starlet (Melanie Griffith) and forces her to act in a low-budget, lowbrow flick. The Upside: This is John Waters’ best effort in years, and Dorff’s and Griffith’s best work in years, too. The Downside: That’s not saying much.
Elsewhere, look for “Hollow Man” to start its disappearing act, “Coyote Ugly” to keep looking good (at least for another week), “Space Cowboys” to stay in orbit and “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” to keep it phat.