Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Opening This Week - June 24

Wide Releases:


Independence Day: Resurgence

Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Runtime: 2hrs
Action, Sci-Fi

It was a computer virus that beat the aliens 20 years ago, what's it going to be this time? Will Smith's Captain Steve Hiller did not return, but surprisingly Brent Spiner's Dr. Brakish Okun did along with most of the rest of the cast. It'll be interesting to see where the characters from the last film are now (I'm always up for a film with Jeff Goldblum) and how they interact with a younger generation of alien fighters. Earth's technology has been upgraded from what was learned through alien technology last time around, but chances are the aliens return with greater numbers and improved anti-virus. Let's just hope this film can find a balance between callbacks to the previous film and doing new and interesting things.


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Free State of Jones

Directed by: Gary Ross
Runtime: 2hrs, 19mins
Action, History, Drama, War

Based on a true story, "Free State of Jones" shows us a lesser known piece of history. Matthew McConaughey plays Mississippi native Newton Knight, a soldier who left the confederate army to fight alongside farmers and slaves to make Jones County an independent state. So far it's received poor reviews stating the film's tendency to try to extend beyond its reach. It never becomes the character study it promises and doesn't have the budget to be the war film it wishes it were.


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The Shallows

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Runtime: 1hr, 27mins
Thriller, Horror

The director of two of Liam Neeson's latest action films takes on a thriller that looks like it would fit easily into the Jaws franchise. However, this is not a Jaws sequel. Despite what looks to be some inconsistent CGI, this thriller certainly has potential. At just under an hour and a half, this tense film may also have some brevity.


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The Neon Demon

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Runtime: 1hr, 57mins
Drama, Thriller, Horror

The director of Bronson, Drive, and Only God Forgives takes on the horror genre in visually stunning fashion. The initial reviews mostly seem to have reached a consensus about how stunning it is to look at despite its lack of substance.


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Limited Releases:


Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Directed by: Taika Waititi
Runtime: 1hr, 41mins
Comedy, Drama

New Zealand writer/director/actor Taika Waititi's hilarious comedy What We Do In The Shadows was one of my favorite films from last year. It made me look up more of his films, and his 2010 film Boy became one of my favorite discoveries last year as well. His rising stardom has led his latest film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, to open to great success in New Zealand and Australia. He has a knack for good-natured storytelling that finds a proper mix of hilarious comedy and touching drama featuring charming, well developed characters. He's also a director with a keen eye for visual gags. Perhaps even more interesting, is that Waititi has been signed to direct Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok. Even as someone not overly interested in the character of Thor, I can't wait to see what he does with his first entry in the Marvel cinematic universe.


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Weiner-Dog

Directed by: Todd Solondz
Runtime: 1hr, 30mins
Comedy

This quirky indie comedy features a solid cast and oddball story about a collection of people living their dysfunctional lives that are interconnected by one weiner-dog.


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The Duel

Directed by: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Runtime: 1hr, 50mins
Western


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