Davis: Take a breather to see a Brad Pitt thriller

Last weekend was quiet with the lone release of Brad Pitt’s Killing Them Softly, which excited critics but not so much audiences.

After the movie frenzy that was November, with Wreck-it Ralph, Skyfall, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2, Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln, last weekend was quiet with the lone release of Brad Pitt’s Killing Them Softly, which excited critics but not so much audiences.

The darkly comic gangster-thriller, which fans of both Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) should enjoy, Killing Them Softly’s quirkiness and violence might turn off mainstream audiences.

There are three new releases this weekend taking advantage of the light competition at the box office before the holiday season kicks into high gear.

Gerard Butler staring in Playing For Keeps, a romantic comedy in which he plays a charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star who returns home to put his life back together.

Burnt out on his playboy lifestyle and bankrupted by a string of bad investments, he moves back to Virginia to reconnect with his estranged ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and neglected son (Noah Lomax).

Making up for lost time, George starts to coach the boys’ soccer team. But can he keep his eyes on the goal when the bleachers are stacked with sexy soccer moms and desperate housewives (like Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Judy Greer)?

While it also stars Dennis Quaid and is from the director of The Pursuit of Happyness, it will likely be the top choice for “date night” couples, but will likely not beat some of the November holdovers at the box office.

In Deadfall, Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde star as siblings on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in a near whiteout blizzard.

While he heads cross-country, creating mayhem in his wake, she is picked up by an ex-con, en-route for a Thanksgiving homecoming with his parents. However, the ex-con’s father is a retired sheriff and it’s there the siblings are reunited in a terse and thrilling showdown that pushes the bonds of family to the limit.

Even the presence of Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek will not likely draw audiences, but what looks like a run-of-the-mill thriller could excite viewers with some strong performances and some enthralling action sequences including snowmobile chases.

Winner of the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, The Sessions is based on the autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien who was paralyzed from the neck down due to polio. The Sessions tells the story of his efforts—at age 38—to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.

Although its subject matter is challenging and sexual, it is being described as accessible, enjoyable and light-hearted with strong performances from Helen Hunt, William H. Macy and John Hawkes as O’Brien.

Yet another unique film presented exclusively at the Paramount Theatre.

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