1. Independence Day: Resurgence (Fox, 4,068 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 52% Fresh [50 Reviews]): I have to say, I was not a fan of the original Independence Day. After the excitement of having landmarks blow up (which got less exciting after 9/11), I found that all we were left with was schmaltzy sentimentality which yanked at the heart strings, and a goofy final solution that acted in opposition of the earlier action scenes. I could have done without a sequel, but it was monstrously successful and even though it took 20 years, we get one.
The movie stays in real time as the aliens from the first film return. All that time we had to prepare was for naught because they have come back bigger and badder than before. The world needs some last minute heroics or else it will be completely destroyed.
The film is getting so-so reviews, but if you want to know what FBOL head honcho thought of it, click here.
2. The Shallows (Sony/Columbia, 2,962 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 75% Fresh [57 Reviews]): Nancy (Blake Lively) is treating herself to a surfing excursion to get over the death of her mother. Unfortunately, the trip doesn’t go as well. as the is attacked by a great white shark while in the water. Bloody and battered, she finds safe haven on a rock formation 200 yards from the mainland. She becomes trapped at the shark circles, waiting for her to make her move. She has to use all her wits to survive.
It would be easy to write this off as an Open Water with buoys, but the film has received some very good reviews. And with a budget of only $17 million, it will not take a lot for this to make a profit. It might turn out to be the hit of the summer.
3. Free State Of Jones (STX Entertainment, 2,815 Theaters, 139 Minutes, Rated R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing graphic images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 32% Fresh [63 Reviews]): As a history buff, I love discovering hidden stories from the past. And this one seems interesting.
In 1863, a Confederate Army deserter for Mississippi named Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) rallied the people of Jones County against the Confederate government. He made the land free and a safe haven for former slaves, many of who fought by his side.
As interesting as the story is, historical epics seem out of place in the summer box office. And the poor reviews this film is getting might be another reason for people to stay away.