1. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Paramount, 3,780 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 38% Fresh [112 Reviews]): This franchise is a good example of the growing importance of the overseas market. The first Jack Reacher was supposed to be the first in a new franchise for Tom Cruise, but its $80.1 million gross domestically against a $60 million budget made it a seem like a one and done.
However, due to Cruise’s popularity internationally, it made another $136.4 million overseas, making it a hit, and making a sequel possible.
This time, Reacher is on the case when an old military friend is accused of treason. He must fight to prove her innocence against unbeatable odds.
2. Ouija: Origin of Evil (Universal, 3,168 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, terror and thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 80% Fresh [55 Reviews]): Being that Halloween is only a week and a half away, its about time that we get some horror films thrown at us. However, since next week is dominated by Tom Hanks finding secret messages in pieces of art, this is probably the best we’re going to get.
This film is an odd one. Usually, horror sequels are cases of diminishing returns. And since Ouija was critically panned, expectations were not high. But reviews for this film have been solid. This toy adaptation might have just risen from the dead creatively.
The film acts a prequel to the last film. Set in the 1960s, it details a family of supernatural hucksters that introduce the Ouija board into their scams. Unfortunately, the board really works and they have to fend of possession by evil spirits.
3. Keeping Up With the Joneses (Fox, 3,022 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 16% Fresh [61 Reviews]): So, in a week with a sequel, a prequel and another entry into the Medea franchise, it’s ironic that the “original” film might be the most derivative.
What we basically have here is an ‘our neighbors are strange” movie mixed with a “untrained normal citizens plunged into espionage world” movie. Adding two time=worn concepts together is what passes for originality these days.
Regardless, I laughed several times at the trailer. But looking at the Tomatometer score and the fact that the film sat on the shelf for four months, it might be a case of the best parts of the movie being in the trailer.
4. Boo! A Madea Halloween (Lionsgate, 2,260 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for drug use and references, suggestive content, language, some horror images and thematic material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 22% Fresh [9 Reviews]):You have to almost admire how Tyler Perry has turned his Medea character into a cottage industry. Whenever he needs an influx of cash, he throws on a dress and wig, types out a quick script, and then he’s on the way to the bank.
And now that he’s branched out into holiday-themed films for the character, the sky’s the limit. I eagerly await Madea vs. Arbor Day, which will certainly feature Madea sassing about some trees.
But first, Madea has to tackle Halloween. She is charged with keeping some teen girls away from a college fraternity party. The task is complicated as haunted houses, deranged killers and zombies seem to be helping the girls make their escape.