Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opening This Week - June 23, 2017

Wide Releases:



Transformers: The Last Night (June 21)

Directed by: Michael Bay
Runtime: 2hrs, 28mins
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins




The only wide release this week is yet another Michael Bay Transformers film - yet another over-the-top assault on the senses. This time around Optimus Prime is cast as the bad guy leading an assault on Earth in order to save his own home world.


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Opening This Week - June 16, 2017

Wide Releases:



47 Meters Down

Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Runtime: 1hr, 29mins
Horror, Thriller
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine




Last year it was The Shallows, this year it's 47 Meters Down. If shark attack movies are your thing, this will be the one to see this year.


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All Eyez on Me

Directed by: Benny Boon  
Runtime: 2hrs, 20mins  
Biography, Drama, Music
R
Trailer

Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham




Despite being delayed for years due to litigation, All Eyez on Me - titled after his 1996 album of the same name - finally arrives to tell the biographical story Tupac Shakur.


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Cars 3

Directed by: Brian Fee  
Runtime: 1hr, 49mins  
Animation, Adventure, Comedy
G
Trailer

Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer, Tony Shalhoub, Kerry Washington



If I'm being completely honest, the Cars series is maybe the only series from Pixar that I haven't seen and continue to have no interest in seeing. It's not that the series hasn't done well enough commercially to warrant another film, but Cars 2 is generally accepted as Pixar's worst film. Cars 3 takes on a tonal shift and the choice has earned them higher review scores and I'm sure it'll be one of the better family friendly outings this summer, but I think I'll still sit this one out.


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Rough Night

Directed by: Lucia Aniello  
Runtime: 1hr, 41mins  
Comedy
R
Trailer

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Demi Moore




I suspect both of the big, summer, R-rated, girls-night-out comedies - Rough Night and Girls Trip - will do pretty well at the box office. Both have likable casts and who doesn't like the occasional over-the-top party comedy?


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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Runtime: 2hr, 21mins
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
PG-13

By now you’ve likely heard, or seen for yourself, that Wonder Woman is the best, most well reviewed, DC superhero film since The Dark Knight. On the one hand, that shouldn’t be hard to believe considering how poor the first few films in this new DC cinematic universe have been. But on the other hand, the fact that this film is good enough to stand alongside what is generally accepted as one of the best superhero films ever made speaks volumes. Nevertheless, you might be wondering, can Wonder Woman really be that good?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Opening This Week - June 9, 2017


Wide Releases:


Megan Leavey

Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Runtime: 1hr, 56mins
Biography, Drama, War
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Kate Mara, Bradley Whitford, Geraldine James, Tom Felton, Common




This film is based on a the true story of a young Marine who, along with her combat dog, saved many lives during her deployment in Iraq. The early buzz is mostly positive despite the fact that critics agree it's a clunky mess of a film. Yet sometimes a film can tug at the heartstrings well enough to overcome its shortcomings.


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It Comes at Night

Directed by: Trey Edward Shults  
Runtime:  
Horror, Mystery
R
Trailer

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo




Trey Edward Shults's 2015 indie film Krisha earned a lot of good word of mouth from critics even if no one outside of critic circles saw the film. His follow up, It Comes at Night, is getting a wide release and is due to put him on the map. My guess is this film will be the critic favorite horror film we keep hearing about by the end of the year - a la The Witch, The Babadook, It Follows, and Under the Skin.


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The Mummy

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman  
Runtime: 1hr, 50mins  
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson




Everyone is doing their own version of the shared cinematic universe these days. With The Mummy, Universal is commencing the reboot of its own "Dark Universe" with new takes on classic monster movies. If it weren't evident enough, you'll have to put the Brendan Frasier films out of mind for the Tom Cruise led reboot. In the years to come expect remakes of Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Invisible Man with star power like Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Sofia Boutella as well as writers and directors like Alex Kurtzman and Bill Condon attached to play essential roles in the future of this cinematic universe. 


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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Into the Badlands Season 2 - The Follow Up

Created by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
TV-14
Google Play, Amazon

Last month I wrote up some thoughts on Into the Badlands season two up to episode four of this ten episode season. I wrote briefly about why I was watching the show to begin with, and what was bothering me about it. Now, with the season having come to an end, it’s time to check back in and see if they made up for mistakes made earlier in the season of if it has continued its downward spiral.

Spoilers for seasons one and two to follow:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Opening This Week - June 2

Wide Releases:


Wonder Woman

Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Runtime: 2hrs, 21mins
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Gal Gadot, David Thewlis, Robin Wright, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen




This might be the DC movie to turn the franchise around. With a positive early consensus, Wonder Woman appears to have an optimism lacking in past DC hero films, and a charismatic performance from Gal Gadot - also something lacking in past DC films. There's still time to right the ship in DC's cinematic universe.  Let's hope this is a sign of what's to come.


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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Directed by: David Soren  
Runtime: 1hr, 24mins  
Animation, Action, Comedy
PG
Trailer

Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele




Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants is a series of novels I missed the boat on as a kid, so I'm not nearly as interested as some other people I know. However, there's an excellent cast powering what looks to be a fun animated film for the whole family.


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Monday, May 29, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Directed by: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Runtime: 2hrs, 9mins
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
PG-13

The latest swashbuckling adventure starring everyone’s favorite drunken goofball pirate with a seemingly never ending well of good luck has, if anything, proven the franchise’s diminishing returns in terms of box office. Despite being panned by critics and western audiences, On Stranger Tides turned in a tidy profit primarily through its international box office numbers, and the same is expected here, but the numbers are down. Part of that is, no doubt, due to franchise fatigue despite a 6 year gap between films. Who would’ve thought we’d have a 5th Pirates film - with a rumored 6th in the works - nearly 15 years after the release of the original? Let’s remember this is a franchise based on an amusement park ride. If 3 films hadn’t dried up the well in terms of available source material, why not try 3 more?