1. Terminator: Genisys (Paramount, 3,600 Theaters,125 Minutes, Rated PG – 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26% Fresh [89 Reviews]): The first trailer for this movie got me. Having Reese come back in time not to the victim Sarah of the first movie but the badass from the second? Cool. A T-1000 sent back to 1984 to kill her instead of the out dated T-800? Cool. Finding a way to make Arnold’s advanced age play into the story? Cool.
Then the film had to release a trailer showing John Connor as the bad guy. That wasn’t cool. As a matter of fact, it was stupid. It makes the entire franchise pointless. Think about it for a second (and that will really be all you need), if Skynet can turn humans into robots, why would they ever need to send the T-series’ back in time? If anything, send the robot-making T-5000 back in time maybe five years, have them turn the resistance into robots, and there you go: resistance crushed.
Hey, we have to suspend disbelief in order to make this franchise work. But this film takes advantage of that. Maybe instead of going for “cool” moments, it should have spent some time on making it a good story.
2. Magic Mike XXL (Warner Brothers, 3,350+ Theaters, 115 Minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57% Fresh [88 Reviews]): Magic Mike was a unparallelled success, making over $167 million at the box office with only a $7 million budget. It helped make Channing Tatum more of a star, and ended up on a lot of critic’s top ten lists. So, even though the film ended with Tatum’s character giving up on stripping, you knew there had to be a sequel.
Gone are Steven Soderburgh (from the director’s chair, that is. He’s still on board as cinematographer and editor), Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey. The film takes place three years after the first one, as Mike is called out of retirement to join his former co-workers for one final show.
The critics aren’t as kind to this one as they were the last one, but even with its budget doubled (to $14.5 million), it will be very hard for this one not to be a hit.
3. Faith of Our Fathers (Pure Flix, Wide release, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A [Only two reviews are listed at press time, one positive, one negative]): When the Supreme Court ruling that Gay Marriage was legal, certain members of the religious right start claiming that there was a war on religion in this country. Well, the only war we have here at FilmBuffOnline is against bad movies. And this one looks like a stinker.
This is the latest in the recent spate of religious themed films, but from the side that favors a heavy hand in its religious propaganda over subtly sneaking it in ‘girl’s night out” or “fish out of water” films. It focuses on a forty-something named John Paul George (his father was a Beatles fan) who is going through an existential crisis on the eve of his wedding because he misses his dad, who died in Vietnam. On a trip of discovery, he meets Wayne, the son of his father’s best friend in ‘Nam, who also died in the war, and learns more about dear ol’ dad from letters that Wayne has. Apparently, the letters deal with conversations John’s dad had with Wayne’s over the value God has in your everyday life. As similar conversation occurs between the devout John and the heathen Wayne as the men travel to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. D.C. I bet the heathen comes around in the end.
There’s nothing one with having a message in you movie, but it has to be a movie first. Any film that has a Beatles fan name his son John Paul George (What? No Ringo in the bible?) and have the two main characters in a film with a war element named John and Wayne will not be the most subtle of films. The God-heavy trailer seems to bear this out. You get the impression that films like these want to act like John and convert heathens back into the fold. But you can’t do that if the vehicle you use to do this is so poorly made.