Dark ops, rich Asians and friendly wolves are all part of the new releases this week.
1. Crazy Rich Asians (Opened Wednesday,Warner Brothers, 3,384 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 92% Fresh [132 Reviews]: This film, adapted from the novel by Kevin Kwan, is getting a lot of attention because of its primarily Asian cast. The fact that it is doing well at the box office might be a sign strike a blow for diversity in Hollywood.
The story revolves around Rachel (Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick (Henry Goulding) to attend a family wedding. While there, she finds out that Nick is the scion of one of the richest families in the country. Nick’s family doesn’t like him dating such a common American, so Rachel has to decide whether to fight for the relationship and alienate Nick from his parents or let Nick go.
Not exactly the most original plotline, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. The reviews are very good and the film and the film is on pace to make its production budget back in the first weekend. With two more novels in the series, this could lead to repeat visits to the concept.
2. Mile 22 (STX Entertainment, 3,520 Theaters,95 Minutes, Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 23% Fresh [71 Reviews]: Mark Wahlberg is dabbling in action again. He has carved out quite a diverse career for himself, moving from comedy to drama to summer blockbusters, but his action forays always seem like he’s slumming for some reason.
In this film, his fourth film with director Peter Berg, he plays a CIA operative who is responsible for keeping an asset safe as they are moving him from one location to another. Needless to say, things do not go smoothly.
The film has crappy reviews, but action films can survive that. We’ll see if it can survive the Crazy Rich Asians.
3. Alpha (Columbia/Studio 8, 2,719 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some intense peril, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 84% Fresh [51 Reviews]: Then there’s this film, which has a few unique things about it.
First, this was directed by Albert Hughes, who co-directed Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. If you asked film scholars back then if Albert would be directing a prehistoric film about a boy and his dog, they’d laugh at you. But kudos to him for not being typecast and being able to succeed in various genres.
Second, this film is marketed as the origin story of how dogs became our pets. However, it looks more like a survival thriller set in the stone age. That kind of bait and switch is dangerous, because if you being kids in to see your film and they become bored, it’s a mess for everyone involved.
Finally, this film was bounced around the schedule a number of times (It was originally scheduled to be released in September of last year), which doesn’t lead to as good reviews as this film received. Maybe that will help it gain a foothold in a very competitive weekend.
Next week’s new releases feature two very different moves, one for kids and one definitely not. Join us then.