1. X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox, 4,148 Theaters, 144 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 47% Fresh [192 Reviews]): I think Fox is getting a bit more savvy. The released the embargo on reviews for this film three weeks ago, and critics such as our own Rich Drees greeted it with lukewarm reviews. But now, those reviews are so long ago that they are almost forgotten.
The film makes light of the “Rule of Three” when it comes to films, that the third film of any trilogy is always the worst. I’d like to add a corollary to that. If it is a comic book film and it adds a villain who was popular in the 1990s, then it will also be disappointing at best. Bane in Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises. Venom in Spider-Man 3. Apocalypse here. See a trend?
In this film, the ancient Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) awakens and attempts to destroy all of humanity. It is up to the X-Men, new and old, to try and stop him.
2. Alice: Through the Looking Glass (Disney, 3,763 Theaters, 113 Minutes, Rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 28% Fresh [112 Reviews]): This is the major proof that Disney’s live-action reboots of their animated fare is successful, the line gets its first sequel.
This time, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland to save the Mad Hatter’s (Johnny Depp) family. The rescue involves Alice traveling through time and dealing once again with the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).
Practically everyone from the first film has return except the most important one–director Tim Burton. James Bobin takes over the reins this time around. Will he be as perfect a fit for the subject matter as Burton was?