American Made

Weekend Movies: Flyin’ High

September continues its ascent at Cruising speeds thanks to one heavily marketed true story drama. Three other wide releases aren’t likely to draw any more than last week’s holdover ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’, but this should be yet another better-than-average September weekend.

If you’ve been online or watched any television over the past three weeks, you’re already very well aware of this weekend’s biggest release, ‘American Made‘. Tom Cruise and Doug Liman reteam for the R-rated historical drama. Cruise stars as Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who was headhunted by the CIA in the late 1970s for a task so illegal that, if he got caught, he was on his own. For those unaware of Seal’s story, it led us into the middle of the Nicaraguan revolution in the ’80s, the Medellín drug cartel (including Pablo Escobar) and the birth of the Iran Contra scandal. The events that occurred as so wild that it’s pretty surprising this is the first big feature film to bring them to life. (Vinnie Chase’s indie flop in ‘Entourage’ doesn’t count, being fictional and all.) Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons and Caleb Landry Jones (whom I’m liking more and more with each performance) co-star. Unsurprisingly, Liman and Cruise work very well together.

Niels Arden Oplev has shown the strength of his directing capabilities in the past (if you still haven’t seen ‘Dead Man Down‘, I highly recommend giving it a shot), but I’m baffled as to why he would sign on to remake ‘Flatliners‘. The original movie wasn’t even good when it came out, so this makes it useless remake #438 of the decade. The story follows five incompetent medical students who toy with suicide and resuscitation just to see what lies in the not-so-Great Beyond. Supposedly not screened for press in any market, one can only assume that it’s just as bad as the original movie, which is why Sony isn’t sinking any more money into it. I’ll rely on one of you yahoos to see it and let me know how it is. The ensemble cast includes B- and C-listers Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev. Kiefer Sutherland didn’t know where he was going to get his next meal, so he apparently signed on to play a professor. I’m a little surprised that fellow original cast member William Baldwin didn’t have to do the same.

From no-name distributor Novus comes the thriller ‘Til Death Do Us Part‘, which resembles something that would have been released in the ’90s. Stephen Bishop and Annie Ilonzeh play a couple whose once-great marriage falls apart. Fearing for her life, the wife goes into hiding from the possessive and unstable husband. After settling in far, far away, she ultimately falls for Taye Diggs. As you’d expect with any thriller, the husband finds her and causes a ruckus.

Pure Flix has another faith-based PG drama in theaters this weekend. ‘A Question of Faith‘ tells the story of three families – all strangers – whose lives are interconnected by a pair of tragedies that include accidents and illnesses involving children. Not only do the three families come together to heal, [Spoiler Alert!] they find faith through their Christianity in the process.

The new rockumentary ‘Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two‘ begins its rolling roadshow release in select cities. Highlighting the band’s 2016 two-night tour stop at historic Wrigley Field and featuring what’s basically a best-of set list, this limited engagement concert film is one big-screen experience that fans won’t want to miss.

In addition to the week’s new releases, ‘Stronger‘ and ‘Battle of the Sexes‘ are also expanding wide.

3 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    Honestly, I spend a good amount of time online, and watch about 2 hours of TV a day (a mix of morning/evening news, shows, etc). I never heard about this new Tom Cruise movie until the last post on this blog about it.

    • Saw many meters-high ads for the movie in London almost two months ago in subways and on the street ahead of the release, so it was marketed (in a better way) abroad.

  2. “The ensemble cast includes B- and C-listers Ellen Page, Diego Luna”
    Poor Ellen Page 🙁 Oscar-nominated just ten years ago. Is Diego Luna really a B-lister after last year’s high profile ‘Rogue One’?

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