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Weekend Picks: ‘The Bourne Legacy,’ ‘Hope Springs’ & ‘The Campaign’

Adam Pockross
Movie Talk
August 9, 2012

This weekend's box office battle is shaping up to be a doozie, with three new wide releases and a stingy incumbent in no hurry to give up the title.

If any film has a chance of dethroning "The Dark Knight Rises," it's probably "The Bourne Legacy," considering the last three Bourne films have earned over half a billion big ones. But with Jeremy Renner replacing Matt Damon as lead tough guy, it's by no means a lock.

"The Campaign," featuring frontrunners Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, has a chance to stuff the ballot-box, especially with the recent appeal of R-rated comedies -- one of which, "Ted," beat down Batman last weekend to take the UK box office crown.

And even though it's opening in fewer theaters, "Hope Springs" might even be a dark horse candidate to dethrone the Dark Knight. Because after a long summer of cartoons and comic books, the adults might just be jonesing to get to the theater, especially if Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep are there to greet them.

Regardless of the winner, you'll know just what you're in for with our Weekend Picks blog, your weekly movie preview! And for those of you lucky enough to be in the right zip code, we also include the films debuting in limited release. Happy viewing!

[Get Local Showtimes and Tickets]

The Bourne Legacy

PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences.

What's the Story?

While plenty of diehards are clamoring that a Bourne flick without Damon isn't really a Bourne flick at all, it turns out, "There was never just one," as the trailer says. It's not Bourne, per se, but Renner playing Aaron Cross, a fellow super-soldier from Jason Bourne's elite black ops program who also becomes the target of his former employers. Cross must rely on his training, his cunning, and a gorgeous scientist (Rachel Weisz) to avoid execution and expose the bad guys.

Who Will Dig It?

If you're a fan of James Bond types, action, and espionage, "Legacy" should be every bit as exciting as the first three Bournes. Plus, the ever growing number of fans of the two-time Oscar nominated Renner should be plenty pleased.

Fun Fact:

Director Tony Gilroy wrote all three of the previous "Bourne" movies and directed 2007's underrated "Michael Clayton," starring George Clooney.

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'The Bourne Legacy']

Hope Springs

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving sexuality.

What's the Story?

Speaking of Oscars, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones share scenes for the very first time in "Hope Springs." They play Kay and Arnold Soames, a veteran married couple who have lost the spark somewhere along the way. In the hopes of giving their relationship a much-needed jump, they travel to Great Hope Springs to undergo couple's therapy from famed marriage counselor Dr. Bernie Fields (Steve Carell). But Arnold's not exactly a therapy kind of fella.

Who Will Dig It?

Finally, one for the grown-ups! Or for anyone who loves top notch acting and romantic comedies, particularly married folks, or anyone trying to communicate with others.

Fun Fact:

While Jones and Streep were both in Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006), this is the first time in their four-decade friendship that they've ever shared a scene.

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'Hope Springs']

The Campaign

Rated R for crude sexual content, language, and brief nudity.

What's the Story?

Will Ferrell plays Congressman Cam Brady, an out-of-touch and mostly corrupt incumbent unexpectedly challenged for reelection by Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), a portly and pious patsy who runs a surprisingly crafty campaign. Cam and Marty go way beyond baby kissing, handshaking, and mudslinging in hopes of claiming the prized seat.

Who Will Dig It?

In a landslide, R-rated comedy fans win, as two of the most talented comics around play off each other brilliantly. And while Ferrell may get too sophomoric for some, even the hi-brow types will like this political satire directed by Jay Roach, the man behind the "Austin Powers" trilogy as well as HBO political dramas "Recount" and "Game Change".

Fun Fact:

Zach Galifianakis's uncle, Nick Galifianakis, actually served three terms in North Carolina's House of Representatives.

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'The Campaign']

And if none of those picks float your movie-going boat, there are also five films opening in limited release this weekend: Julie Delpy and Chris Rock play an artsy NYC couple suffering a comedic case of culture clash in "2 Days in New York"; the modern family gets a moral compass in "Goats," starring Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, and David Duchovny as the sagacious Goat Man;  X-Games favorite Travis Pastrana and his crew of daredevils perform a litany of three-dimensional death-defying stunts in "Nitro Circus The Movie 3D"; a spoiled young boy from Atlanta spends the summer with his grandfather, a devoutly religious bishop, in Spike Lee's new joint "Red Hook Summer"; and high-risk international investing jeopardizes the entire financial system, as well as the life of a loose-cannon hedge fund trader in "$Upercapitalist".

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