The summer has been dominated by animated family films, magnificent horror movies, and sequels both good and bad. This weekend, all of the aforementioned are present.
Although nobody asked for it, ‘Ice Age’ is back. And some executive’s head is going to roll for scheduling it to open while two other highly successful animated kids’ flicks are still burning up the box office. When you have the chance to see the adorable ‘Finding Dory’ or the very funny ‘Secret Life of Pets’, are you really going to opt for Ray Romano’s monotone voiceover?
Opening on the most screens this weekend is ‘Ice Age: Collision Course‘. The principal franchise characters – who really ought to be extinct by now – have now made it through the end of the Ice Age (in ‘The Meltdown’), through the ‘Dawn of the Dinosaurs’, and even witnessed the break-up of Pangea. How old are these damned things? When that annoying sabre-toothed squirrel finds a UFO and accidentally ends up in space (I’m not shitting you), he triggers a series of asteroids to aim directly for Earth. How in the hell these boring characters are going to save the day is beyond me, and I’m fully content never finding out. I beg you to please stop fueling these movies.
Fortunately, there’s a much more enticing sequel opening this weekend on IMAX, 3D and 2D screens. J.J. Abrams may have left the ‘Star Trek’ universe for ‘Star Wars’, but the series boldly goes forward without him. ‘Fast and Furious’ director Justin Lin takes the helm with ‘Star Trek Beyond‘. Now actually exploring the galaxy as described in the original TV series’ opening voiceover, Captain Kirk and crew discover a new villain (Idris Elba) who’s out to destroy them and the Federation. Said to feature a great blend of character, story and lots of action, ‘Beyond’ brings back the ensemble cast of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho and the recently-deceased Anton Yelchin – which makes my anticipation of this latest installment feel awfully bittersweet.
Hitting nearly 2,900 screens is the latest James Wan-produced horror flick, ‘Lights Out‘. Starring Teresa Palmer, the movie follows a family that are occasionally tormented by a paranormal being that causes them to question their sanity. Although Wan is on a roll with his ‘Insidious’ and ‘Conjuring’ franchises and the afraid-of-the-dark gimmick seems super freaky, ‘Lights Out’ is reportedly a PG-13 bore. Maria Bello and Billy Burke co-star.
I’m completely unaware of the old British TV comedy ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, but this weekend sees its characters reunite in ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie‘. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprise their roles as two alcohol-fueled socialites. After publicly causing trouble, the duo head to France to hide away. The dark comedy features a slew of celebrity cameos, including John Hamm, Rebel Wilson, Kate Moss, Graham Norton and tons of others who are likely only known in the UK.