1. Ice Age: Collision Course (Fox, 3,992 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG for mild rude humor and some action/peril, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 11% Fresh [73 Reviews]): To be honest with you, I have lost track of how many Ice Age films there are. They all seem to blend together and the become the same after a while.
Surprisingly, this film is the fifth (FIFTH!) film in the franchise. You could have won big money off of me if you expected me to know that.
This time around, the gang’s safety is placed in jeopardy by an extinction-level cosmic event. The friends have to travel to find a safe haven from the destruction, introducing new members into the already huge cast along the way.
2. Star Trek: Beyond (Paramount, 3,928 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 89% Fresh [117 Reviews]): It might be just me, but this feels like the film where the Star Trek reboot either gets its legs of fails completely. Well, maybe not fail because the film is getting a sequel no matter how well it does, but this is the one where we see if the franchise has legs.
This installment sees the crew scattered on an alien planet after an alien destroys the Enterprise. Now, it’s a race against time as Kirk and company try to keep a powerful weapon out of the bad guys’ hands.
This film has received some pretty good reviews (including one from our own Rich Drees) so maybe this reboot will be around for a while after all.
3. Lights Out (Warner Brothers/New Line, 2,818 Theaters, 81 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for terror throughout, violence including disturbing images, some thematic material and brief drug content, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 81% Fresh [69 Reviews]): One of my rules of thumb is that if a horror film is rated PG-13, then it already has one strike against it. However, this film might be an exception to that rule.
The film centers on a young woman (Theresa Palmer) who is tormented by a demonic shadow creature that only appears when the lights go out. The spirit seems to target her little brother (Gabriel Bateman) and the young woman must fight the spirit for her brother’s survival. When she goes to her mother (Maria Bello) for help, she is shocked to find that not only will she not help, but also that her mother wants the spirit to stay.
That’s an interesting twist on the demonic spirit trope. And, as the Tomatometer above indicates, it’s a twist critics are taking to.
4. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (Opening in Wide Release, Quality Fix, 1,216 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some violence, thematic elements and smoking , Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 5% Fresh [20 Reviews]): Dinesh D’Souza, the master of right-wing propaganda is back, free from the jail Obama put him in in order to shut him up (as per D’Souza. Lucky for Obama, his plot to silence the director came right at the same time D’Souza was convicted of illegal campaign contributions. Crafty, that Obama, waiting until he D’Souza committed a crime before he struck. But I digress).
This time, D’Souza takes aim at Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and how evil both of them are. Apparently, based on the trailer, he relies heavily on the treatment of blacks by the party from the antebellum South to the civil rights protests of the 1960s. This comes of less as an example of his historical examination of the subject than a ploy to get blacks to reject Hillary and the Democrats.
Good luck with that. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that people have already made up their minds about her. I’m sure D’Souza thinks this film’s timely release will change people’s minds about the upcoming election, but, in reality, he’s just going to preach to the home team, if you will.