It’s a salute to originality this week as we get a sequel, a book adaptation, and an adaptation of a cartoon that was based on a toy line.
1. Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Brothers, 4,058 Theaters, 163 Minutes, Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 88% Fresh [202 reviews]): I can’t say that I was high on this sequel. The original Blade Runner, was a classic, with a nice, ambiguous ending that didn’t need to be followed up on. And I’ve seen sequels where Harrison Ford revisited his famous past works and that’s not as big of a draw that he thinks it is.
But then the reviews started coming in, and they were strongly positive. Some also said that it was even better than the original. That’s not what you’d expect from what appeared to be a cash-grab sequel. Now, my interest is piqued.
If you want to know what FBOL Head Honcho thought of the movie, or just want to be entertained by the way he works around the restrictions on what he could write in the review, you can read his take HERE.
2. The Mountain Between Us (Fox, 3,088 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 49% Fresh [89 reviews]): I’m a big fan of Idris Elba and Kate Winslet and believe that they could make 100 minutes of them reading stereo instructions on screen entertainment. That theorem might be tested in this film.
Based on the novel by Charles Martin, Elba and Winslet play strangers who charter a plane after their main flight is cancelled due to inclement weather. Naturally, they find out why the original flight was cancelled as their charter crashes in the mountains. Together, the strangers need to work together in order to survive and reach civilization.
Reviews on the film have not been very good, although Elba and Winslet have received kudos for their work. And while the actors would have been the first choice for many people, both were the third choice for the roles they are playing.
3. My Little Pony: The Movie (Lionsgate, 2,528 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated PG for mild action, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 64% Fresh [25 reviews]): As any parent will tell you, most entertainment aimed at children fall into two categories–either gratingly annoying or mind-numbingly stupid. You mileage may vary, but I believe the My Little Pony franchise is a cut above the typical kiddie fare.
Having watched enough episodes with my daughter, I appreciate the wit and humor of the concept. The world-building is complex–not dense enough to be all that hard to follow but smart enough that it doesn’t insult the kids’ IQs. And, personally, it passes my “Weird Al” test–if Weird Al Yankovic has ever voiced a character in your cartoon, then it can’t be all bad.
That being said, we have to ask what makes this story so grand that it needed a feature film instead of episodes of the currently running TV series? Other than they can get more money out of parents that way?
Next week, Jackie Chans seeks to avenge his daughter’s death in one of FBOL’s most anticipated films of the season.