Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Opening This Weekend - September 18

After a somewhat smaller set of films last weekend, get ready for a jam packed weekend ahead. Here's the films hitting theaters this weekend:


Everest


Based on a true story, this thriller looks like a visually spectacular theater going experience. It has a great cast and a director capable of delivering on a big box office hit. If it weren't an IMAX only release, and the teens wouldn't go out in bunches to see the next "Maze Runner," "Everest" may have had a chance to win the box office this weekend.


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Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


It's the sequel to the movie that left you wanting (and not in a good way). It feels like every other teen dystopian future series, even if I think the first one was a bit better than a few of the others (I'm looking at you "Divergent" and "The Giver"). Yet I can't help wondering how many times they'll work in yet another shot where Thomas runs and slips through a closing door just in time. This one feels like an amalgamation of other things we've seen and heard before. Very little of it offers anything actually fresh. Can a series survive solely on the novelty of the question, "have you seen all these familiar elements combined quite like this?" Only time will tell.


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Black Mass



This one is based on the true story of the notorious criminal leader of the Winter Hill Gang James 'Whitey' Bulger. You can read my preview here. I have hopes for the future for director Scott Cooper, and I'm looking forward to a serious role from Johnny Depp. I'm pretty optimistic for this one.

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Sicario



Sicario carries with it a fair amount of buzz considering its director Denis Villeneuve has been gaining a strong reputation ever since his Oscar Nominated 2010 film "Incendies." He's known for taking on good scripts, and this cast is looking very strong. It also feels like a timely release given that it's story is set around the US/Mexico border. It can be hard to tell from a short trailer, but Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro look particularly good. Given their track record of solid performances, it's hard not to be interested in seeing this one.


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Captive



"Captive" is yet another in a string of films based on true stories opening this weekend. This time around it's Ashley Smith's real life story taken from her best selling book An Unlikely Angel. It stars Kate Mara as Smith and David Oyelowo as her captor Brian Nichols. Both of these leads are fantastic actors, and this story of redemption is being called inspirational. It might fly under the radar, but it seems worth checking out.

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Pawn Sacrifice



...And the next film based on a true story is "Pawn Sacrifice." There's a lot of talent behind this one about American chess champion Bobby Fischer's legendary match-up against Russian Boris Spassky. Edward Zwick is a good filmmaker, and I'll be interested to see how intense he can make a chess match playing out on the screen. The script was provided by talented writer Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), and it features talented actors Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber. I'm always up for a good character study, and the talent here certainly has me intrigued.


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About Ray



Speaking of character studies, "About Ray" is one about a young girl transitioning into a boy and dealing with a family having trouble accepting the change. It seems like obvious Oscar bait for Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon. 


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Katti Batti



"Katti Batti" is a Bollywood romantic comedy featuring two of India's biggest stars. The film looks like the Bollywood version of "500 Days of Summer." I loved that film, and I appreciate a good Bollywood film now and then too. Bollywood films are becoming more and more common in American cinemas. Time to get to know these stars and appreciate Bollywood's unique artistry if you haven't already.



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