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New in Theaters May 29: San Andreas, Aloha

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By Chris Kavan - 05/28/15 at 06:46 AM CT

After a rather dull and sleepy Memorial Day weekend, hopefully Hollywood is ready to get back on track. With Max Max and Avengers still rampaging across the box office battlefield, is there room for another monster action film? If Dwayne Johnson has anything to say about it, then yes, yes there is room (and I'm not going to argue with a man whose arms look like they could crush skulls with ease). On the other hand, maybe it's time to inject a little romance back into movies. It's been over nearly two months now, so the genre is due for another hit.

SAN ANDREAS Ah, is there any genre that screams "summer blockbuster" more than disaster porn? Usually this is where I would bring up Roland Emmerich, the visionary behind such "classics" as The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. But it's not Emmerich helming the earthquake action in San Andreas, it is Brad Peyton. Peyton has a couple of full-length films under his belt (most noticeably Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - also starring Dwayne Johnson, so it will be interesting to see how he fares with such a big-budget project. Having Johnson on board helps - he has proven himself an action draw, with the Furious franchise a big reason why - but I don't know if his name enough will propel San Andreas to big heights. The story seems pretty straight-forward: a heroic pilot (Johnson) is on call when a major earthquake (hence the title) hits and he flies across the state to rescue his daughter. All the previews I have seen have shown plenty of destruction - so there's that. Otherwise, supporting cast includes Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Kylie Minogue, Will Yun Lee and Paul Giamatti (among others). It remains to be seen whether San Andreas can make waves with Max Max and Avengers still going strong.

ALOHA Now for something on the exact opposite of the spectrum. Cameron Crowe is responsible for one of my most favorite films (Almost Famous), an oft-quoted feel-good film (Jerry Maguire) and some that entirely forgettable (Elizabeth Town, We Bought a Zoo). He steps into familiar territory with Aloha. The cast looks like a slam dunk: Bradley Cooper plays a military contractor (who has apparently fallen from once high heights) who returns to the place where he achieved his greatest triumph: Honolulu, Hawaii. A young, uncompromising Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) is assigned to watch over him while an ex-flame (Rachel McAdams) along with her husband (John Krasinski) also reside. Of course he starts falling for the hard-as-nails commander, softens her heart even as he struggles reconcile with his past. Plus you have Bill Murray, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin on this ride. Does Aloha look like a slam dunk? No. But based on the cast alone, it should draw in a decent audience - especially considering it's really the only romance option out there. Crowe has proven himself in the past - let's hope this is a return to form.

We have a couple of strong contenders this weekend looking to take the box office crown. Given the tepid response to Tomorrowland, it shouldn't be much of a challenge, we'll just have to see if audiences prefer disasters or romance this time around.


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