New release this week include the end of one of an anonymous young adult adaptation and a failed Oscar season wannabe entering wide release
1. Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Fox, 3,787 Theaters, 142 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating at press time: 44% Fresh [100 Reviews]): I believe I owe this franchise an apology. I lumped this one in with the Divergent series as Young Adult novel series adaptations that failed in being transferred to the screen. That was wrong.
Because while both franchises have been lambasted by the critics, Maze Runner has done quite a bit better at the box office with much lower budgets. So much so that it is able to close out its arc on the big screen. Divergent’s final installment might never be seen.
Anyway, this film marks the end of the line for these Runners, and will wrap up all the loose plot line from the series. If you’ve been invested in the franchise up to this point, well, you almost have to see it. If you haven’t, you can avoid this.
2. Hostiles (Opening Wide, Entertainment Studios, 2,815 Theaters, 134 Minutes, Rated R for strong violence, and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating at press time: 71% Fresh [147 Reviews]): Every year, there are films that are “Oscar Bait.” You know, films with Oscar caliber directors and Oscar nominees in the cast. Films with big thought provoking stories meant to get the Academy’s attention.
However, not ever Oscar Bait film can get the Academy’s attention. This film is an example of that. It has all the above (if you are willing to grant the fact that Scott Cooper, director of Oscar nominated Black Mass and Crazy Heart is Oscar caliber), was released late last year in time for Academy voting, but got no nominations.
This doesn’t mean that it is a bad film. It’s just kind of sad to see a film try so hard to get attention and not get it.
Next week, our new releases bring us Helen Mirren in a tale of true-life horror. See you then.