OPENING FRIDAY: WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS
Take the erotic suspense of Fatal Attraction, mix in a helping of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, then dilute the formula with two decades of Lifetime movies cribbing those ideas.
Voila! You have When the Bough Breaks (PG-13), starring Morris Chestnut in the role Michael Douglas made cliche: a happily married man led astray by a beautiful, mentally unbalanced woman. Hide the boiling pots and the bunnies.
Chestnut and Regina Hall play John and Laura Taylor, a professional couple whose attempts to get pregnant have failed. They hire a surrogate named Anna (newcomer Jaz Sinclair), who moves into their luxurious home and begins liking the lifestyle a bit too much. Anna becomes fixated on John, pledging her love and plotting ways to get Laura out of the picture. You know that somehow the baby's safety will come into play.
THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM
The Disappointments Room (R) is a ghost yarn that brings up another sort of cautionary flag in its trailer: the old "from the director of (fill in the blank with a movie this one likely won't match)" routine.
In this case, it's director D.J. Caruso, and his touted measure of competence is the so-so Shia LaBeouf thriller Disturbia, released nearly a decade ago. What has Caruso done since then? The forgettable sci-fi romance I Am Number Four and Eagle Eye, which began LaBeouf's slide into Transformers and performance art purgatory.
Like so many creepshows, The Disappointments Room once again focuses upon a married couple with a supernaturally malleable child, who could really use a smarter real estate agent. Kate Beckinsale, left, is Mom, whose history of mental illness makes her intuition of danger easy to dismiss.
Caruso works from a screenplay by Wentworth Miller (TV's Prison Break), who also penned Stoker, a 2013 release that was a different sort of unsettling. That's a more enticing credit than Caruso's.
THE WILD LIFE
Then there's the off-brand animated comedy The Wild Life (PG), and its trailer revealing plenty by saying nothing about its vocal cast. No celebrity names here, unless you're a big fan of Matthias Schweighofer, Kaya Yanar and Dieter Hallervorden. Also, notice the trailer doesn't inform viewers that The Wild Life comes from the makers of the housefly astronaut flop Fly Me to the Moon. Smart move.
The Wild Life is Robinson Crusoe's survival story, told from the perspective of talking animals. Crusoe's man Friday doesn't appear in the trailer, but pirates do. That's an angle author Daniel Defoe didn't consider or quickly tossed away.
When the Bough Breaks, The Disappointments Room and The Wild Life weren't screened in time for Weekend.
SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE: GONE WITH THE WIND
Tampa Theatre continues its Summer Classics series Sunday with the sprawling Civil War epic Gone With the Wind, starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American winner of an Academy Award.
It's the only screening in Tampa Theatre's series that won't include an after-show discussion, since the version being shown has a running time of 3 hours, 48 minutes and things must be prepped for the evening's screening.
Gone With the Wind remains one of the venue's most popular annual attractions, surpassed only by Casablanca, that not so coincidentally will be featured next weekend as part of the theater's WineFest.
Tickets for Gone With the Wind are $10, available at the box office and tampatheatre.org.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Hell or High Water: Gritty, modern-day western starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine.
2 Southside With You: Barack and Michelle Obama's first date might even charm Republicans.
3 War Dogs: Miles Teller and Jonah Hill as stoned arms dealers.
4 Don't Breathe: A home invasion goes horribly wrong for the invaders.
5 Equity: Anna Gunn breaks bad as a Wall Street banker on the edge.
(Dates subject to change)
Sept. 16: Bridget Jones's Baby; Snowden; Blair Witch
Sept. 23: The Magnificent Seven; Queen of Katwe; Storks; The Dressmaker; The Hollars
Sept. 30: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children; Deepwater Horizon; Masterminds
Oct. 7: The Birth of a Nation; The Girl on the Train
Oct. 14: The Accountant; Denial
Oct. 21: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Keeping Up with the Joneses; Tyler Perry's Boo!: A Madea Halloween
Oct. 28: Inferno