Stealth sequels, reboots, and true stories mark the new releases this week.
1. The Predator (Fox, 4,034 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, and crude sexual references, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 34% Fresh [149 reviews]): I wonder if Disney, when it takes over Fox in total, will keep trying to reboot and revamp the Aliens and Predator franchises? Thematically, they don’t seem all that compatible with the rest of Disney’s output, but they are too valuable an IP to throw away.
This is the latest attempt to restart the Predator franchise, Shane Black, who had a role in the original and did script polishes from on set, writes and directs this tale of the alien hunter landing in suburbia.
That Tomatometer is all that great, which isn’t surprising due to the amount of times its release date was bounced around. But the film has an excellent cast and the film should be good for some fun scares.
2. A Simple Favor (Lionsgate, 3,102 Theaters, 117 Minutes, Rated R for sexual content and language throughout, some graphic nude images, drug use and violence, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 84% Fresh [73 reviews]): Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Emily (Blake Lively), the mother of a classmate of her son. Emily is everything that Stephanie is not–cultured, elegant, and mysterious. Perhaps a bit too mysterious.
When Emily goes missing, Stephanie is determined to find her. What she does find out is that the enigmatic Emily is not who she appeared to be, and the mystery is darker than Stephanie could have possibly imagined.
This film is directed by Paul Feig, the director known for Bridesmaids and The Heat. This might seem like a stretch for him, but his television directing work covered dramas like Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, so this is more a return to that genre than anything else.
3. White Boy Rick (Studio 8, 2,504 Theaters, 110 Theaters, Rated R for language throughout, drug content, violence, some sexual references, and brief nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 62% Fresh [68 reviews]): It seems like Hollywood has taken to finding the hardest to believe true stories to make into films nowadays. This one is one of them.
Ricky Wershe, Jr. became embroiled in the crime infested streets of his Detroit home at the age of 14. Once he gained the trust of the criminal element, he became an FBI informant. After the FBI had no more use for him, he became a drug kingpin in the burgeoning crack epidemic. All of this was done before he hit 16.
It’s a fascinating story and the film has a great cast. It might be worth a look.
4. Unbroken: Path to Redemption (Pure Flix, 1,620 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for thematic content and related disturbing images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 15% Fresh [13 reviews]): This is our second, religious themed film in as many weeks, and the second one directed by God Is NOT Dead director Harold Cronk. It doesn’t appear that Cronk has a film out next week, so we narrowly missed a trifecta of religions fare from him (But only a week reprieve from the religious film. Check back here for the 28th’s releases).
But this film is different from your typical Holy Roller film. Do you remember Unbroken, the Oscar bait film from 2014 directed by Angelina Jolie that detailed the true story of Olympian and WW II vet Louie Zamperini? This film is a sequel to that film, albeit with absolutely no carry over between films.
This film details Zamperini’s struggles after he returned home from the war, as demons from the conflict still haunt them. Those demons were only wrestled down with the help of God in the personage of Rev. Billy Graham (played in the film by his grandson).
Next week’s new releases feature a film from the man behind This is Us, Jack Black as a wizard in kid-friendly fare, and Michael Moore raising the temperature on the Trump Administration. Join us then.