It's no surprise that Suicide Squad dominated the box office this weekend. Despite facing preliminary negative reviews from critics, the DC fans were out in force, bringing in over $130M. It remains to be seen whether or not the film will suffer the diminishing returns similar to Batman v Superman. It's definitely getting mixed reviews, even among the fans.
The highlighted selections are movies coming out over the next two weeks. No real blockbusters, so Suicide Squad should fare well. However, The Mechanic sequel may draw in some die hard fans of the series and adrenaline junkies.
There isn't a whole lot of buzz around this remake of Ben-Hur. Sadly, I haven't seen the 1959 iteration starring Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes, Touch of Evil). It's a classic that clocks in at three and a half hours long, which sound impressive for an older movie. This new rendition stars Jack Huston (The Longest Ride, American Hustle), Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four, Warcraft), Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, Driving Miss Daisy), and runs about two hours. I'm only familiar with Freeman, so there isn't a lot of draw in terms of actors for me. People also seem to believe that it's going to be a striped, watered down, mindless action remake, which isn't a strong mark for the film.
I really like the director, Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Wanted), but mostly his foreign films Night Watch and Day Watch. I haven't yet seen any of his American movies, though I make reference to Wanted and its curving bullets a lot... Either way, this version of Ben-Hur may not be terrible, but I'm not overly excited about it. I'll be waiting for Netflix/Redbox.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (8/19/2016):
I love the Final Fantasy series, but have fallen off from playing most of the standalone games. I think the last I played was the franchise's first online MMO, Final Fantasy XI. Some of the settings and/or storylines of the recent games just haven't appealed to me. Granted, I know they would be beautifully woven and engaging, accompanied by amazing CGI cut scenes — Square Enix rarely disappoints in those areas. This movie looks to be no exception to that rule. The storyline looks deep and compelling and the CGI looks seamless. It doesn't hurt having the voice acting of Aaron Paul (The Path, Eye in the Sky), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, The Purge), and Sean Bean (The Martian, GoldenEye) either!
This isn't the first Final Fantasy movie to be released. In 2001, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was released and I still recall seeing it in theaters. It was much more futuristic/sci-fi than I was hoping for with the first movie of the franchise, but I was still drawn into it nonetheless. A lot of that had to do with some similarities to some of my own writing. Unfortunately, the film didn't seem to do very well overall, so I'm fairly surprised to find Kingsglaive was made.
This movie comes out a month before the actual game, Final Fantasy XV, releases and tells a story that is happening parallel to the one players are acting out in the video game. I may not play the game, but I'm definitely interested in this movie. Who knows, maybe it will sway me back into the series.
Blood Father (8/26/2016):
So Mel Gibson (The Beaver, Signs) hasn't been around much since his fall from grace years ago. Just a blip here and there, but it seems like he is slowly working up a come back. Even directing a film I hope to feature the trailer of soon. This film may not have a lot of traction, but I think it looks fairly decent. The full trailer may show a bit much, but it's paced really well. Hopefully the cutting of it is sporadic and we don't actually see someone prominent dying. If you missed it, keep moving along!
Gibson seems to do great in angry, vengeance roles (not sure that's a good thing, but so do Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington, among others). I'm also unsure if his behavior over the years has improved and he's gotten help, or if it's just been out of the spotlight, I've not really been following along with his career.
Blood Father also stars Erin Moriarty (Captain Fantastic, The Watch) and William H. Macy (Shameless, Fargo).
Mechanic: Resurrection (8/26/2016):
I was unaware that The Mechanic was a remake of a Charles Bronson film of the same name. I was also confusing this movie with Statham's other franchise, The Transporter, which I'm not very fond of. Hmm... nor am I very fond of Crank. Don't get me wrong, I really like Jason Statham (Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), but a lot of his roles are over-the-top, high-octane. Some of it works for me, some doesn't. Kicking a rocket/missile and changing its trajectory doesn't. Just saying.
So I don't believe I ever saw the first remake, though wanting to. After this trailer, however, I'm not so sure. Many of the action sequences just seem to be of a caliber making it difficult to actually suspend my disbelief and actually enjoy the film (I can see this sounding hypocritical coming from someone who absolutely loves John Wick and The Fast and the Furious movies — mind you, the last was getting way too unbelievable for me). I can sometimes shut the brain off and watch mindless action, but I don't think I'd be able to with Mechanic: Resurrection. Not even with the additions of Jessica Alba (Valentine's Day, Sin City) and Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black, The Fugitive), both of whom I like and haven't seen around lately.
Maybe I'm mistaken and this will turn out to be a really good movie. I'll wait to hear what reviews my friends give it, as I'm sure I know a few who will be seeing this on the big screen.
The Hollars (8/26/2016):
I just happened across this trailer and wanted to include it today. It's a movie both directed by and starring John Krasinski (13 Hours, Away We Go). I haven't seen any of Krasinski's other projects beyond The Office, despite wanting to. Many of them look good. The Hollars is no different and marks his directing debut! Maybe I'm too entranced by his role as Jim Halpert, but I can't help but imagine that in real life he isn't that much different than that character. Maybe it's wishful thinking. Maybe I should Google and see if he is actually an insufferable prick. One sec...
Okay, just kidding (I'll do it later...), I'm sure he's really cool in person! Anyways, this movie looks very heartwarming, with a healthy blend of drama and subtle/dry comedy, which I love. If that opening scene from the trailer is any indication (as if the rest isn't), it's a movie that will be right up my alley.
There are a lot of talented actors attached to the film as well, probably too many to name, but most are involved in that opening trailer sequence. Margo Martindale (August: Osage County, Orphan), Richard Jenkins (The Cabin in the Woods, Step Brothers), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat, The Interview), Charlie Day (The LEGO Movie, Horrible Bosses), and no surprise here — as she seems to be in about 75% of the movies released this year alone — Anna Kendrick (The Accountant, Trolls). Uh, apparently she is only in five movies this year, so I'm not sure why I feel I see her everywhere.
But moving on! The one I'm most excited to see in this movie is Sharlto Copley. I absolutely loved District 9, but since then he hasn't gotten a fair shake. Or rather, the movies he's been involved in afterwards have been met with lukewarm reviews. I don't want to talk about Elysium, it's a sore spot for me, I have yet to see Chappie, and I'm not sure I could stomach Hardcore Henry, so I am hoping this is a great role for him. I'm glad it's more of a comedic part, much more subdued.
I hope The Hollars proves to be a success and we see more work from Krasinski! Unless he's an asshole... then...
Be right back...
Did any of the featured movies interest you? Have you seen any of the older versions of Ben-Hur? Do you think this new remake will be a worthy successor? Are you a fan of Final Fantasy? Do you plan on checking out Final Fantasy XV? What's your favorite Mel Gibson movie? Are you a fan of the films he directs? Have you seen the original, classic The Mechanic? What about the remake and are you excited for this sequel? Have you watched any movies starring John Krasinski? How does The Hollars look as his directing debut?