New Releases: March 23, 2018

Wow, there’s a lot of films opening this weekend. Let’s get started.

1. Pacific Rim: Uprising (Universal, 3,708 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 45% Fresh [106 Reviews]): I really liked Pacific Rim. It was a goofy “giant robots versus giant monsters” film that was campy enough to have a character named Stacker Pentecost yet well made enough that it delivered fun action and emotion.

However, that film had Guillermo del Toro on board as writer and director (he’s only a producer for this one), and Idris Elba as Pentecost who only appears in this one, presumably, in pictures. Both will be missed.

This time around, the Kaiju are back and it’s looks like its an inside job. The only person who can get to the bottom of it is Pentecost’s son, Nate (John Boyega).

2. Sherlock Gnomes (Paramount, 3,662 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: N/A [No Reviews at press time]): Another sequel this week. And another that changes studios (Gnomeo and Juliet was released by Disney’s Touchstone arm).

Of course, the first one was based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and now this one draws on Sherlock Holmes in the titular hero , Makes me wonder what other public domain characters will make their appearance in the franchise. Allan Quartergnome in King Solognome’s Mines? Frankengnome? The Wizgnome of Oz?

No Tomatometer for the film, which means that the film most likely wasn’t submitted for a review or an embargo was placed on the review. Considering the trailer has a fart joke early on and relates a forced scene where a character gets to say “No ship, Sherlock!” I imagine that there was a very good reason for that.

3. Midnight Sun (Open Road Films, 2,173 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some teen partying and sensuality, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: N/A [Only two negative reviews at press time]): Wow, two films with no Tomatometer scores. I thought the film dumping period was over.

This one is so maudlin that it could be a Nicholas Sparks film, but actually was based on a Japanese film. Katie (Bella Thorne) has a rare but very real skin condition that could make any exposure to sunlight fatal. She lives in seclusion during the day and comes out only at night. A chance encounter with the neighbor boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger, yes HIS son) gives her the hope of love. But the disease she is keeping secret from him can ruin it all.

Hey, if bargain basement The Notebook is your thing, this might be for you.

4. Unsane (Bleeker Street, 2,023 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated R for disturbing behavior, violence, language, and sex references, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 79% Fresh [97 Reviews]): Films where the audience is left to guess whether the main character is insane or not is rather common place. What makes this one different is who directed it and what he used to film it.

This film is directed by the masterful Steven Soderbergh and he directed it by shooting all scenes on an iPhone 7 Plus. On the one hand, it seems like a bored director play with new technology to keep things interesting for himself. On the other hand, he is one of the best directors ever, so he’s totally allowed to do that.

He has his typical great cast and the film looks definitely disturbing. This should be your best bet of the week.

5. Paul, Apostle of Christ (Affirm/Sony, 1,473 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 25% Fresh [20 Reviews]): Jim Caviezel takes a demotion in this one, moving from playing Jesus to playing Saint Luke in this one.

I think this is the effect Trump’s America has had on America–that the religious market is one with a lot of money and easily swayed if you pay them lip service. This is the second Christian film in as many weeks (last week brought I Can Only Imagine, which opened at #3 and made more than twice its budget in one week) and there will be another one coming next week.

This one tells the story of Luke visiting Saint Peter (James Faulkner) in his cell in order to write his gospel.

Next week’s New Releases feature, wow, a lot of films that will probably do very well yet have a lot of people complaining.

About William Gatevackes 1899 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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