Four new movies open in wide release and the weekend looks pretty exciting. Mind you, my positive outlook is mostly due to a single film.
The biggest new release is ‘A Quiet Place‘, the new horror movie co-written and directed by John Krasinski. I’ve been actively avoiding any exposure to the film, but the little that I gleaned from the brief Super Bowl spot was that Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt play two parents trying to keep their kids alive in some sort of post-apocalyptic future where blind monsters dominate the food chain. Unable to see, these beasts have heightened senses of sound, requiring survivors to leave behind spoken language and act in complete silence. Produced on a lean $17 million budget and with an accessible PG-13 rating, ‘A Quiet Place’ is expected to be quite a moneymaker for Paramount.
The title of the R-rated comedy ‘Blockers‘ may only be a single word, but since all the advertising features a silhouette graphic of a rooster before the word, we know exactly what the real name of the movie would be if it could get past the MPAA ratings board. Ike Barinholtz, Leslie Mann and John Cena lead the cast as three parents whose daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Wanting to keep their daughters pure, the adults follow their kids and block their every attempt to fulfill their pact. Barinholtz ws funny in the ‘Neighbors’ movies and has one of the few likable (albeit unfitting) roles in ‘Suicide Squad’. Mann usually bugs the hell out of me. I’ve never seen Cena attempt to act, but I have a hard time believing that he’ll be the next bankable wrestler-turned-actor like The Rock. From the writer of all three ‘Pitch Perfect’ movies, I doubt that much good can come from this ensemble.
Balancing out the adult nature of these two biggies is a family-friendly, true sports drama. ‘The Miracle Season‘ tells the story of a girls’ high school volleyball team whose reality collapsed when one of their teammates tragically died. Under the leadership of a great coach (Helen Hunt), they banded together to redirect their grief into the sport. As they began to heal, they played better than they ever had. William Hurt also co-stars in this uplifting PG-rated picture.
Although the Kennedy clan has been in the public eye for more than 50 years, the mystery surrounding Ted Kennedy hasn’t really been a focal point in film until now. ‘Chappaquiddick‘ stars Jason Clarke as the youngest of the Kennedy brothers. His potential-filled future came crashing down in a scandalous blaze when he drove his car off a bridge and his female passenger – an aspiring strategist (Kate Mara) – drowned. Clancy Brown, Olivia Thirlby, Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan and Bruce Dern co-star. Considering the topic and large cast, I’m surprised this isn’t an Oscar hopeful, which leads me to be believe it’s not that great.
A mind-bending sci-fi thriller that I’m very curious about is playing in limited release. Despite pretty much no-name actors and filmmakers, ‘The Endless‘ is quite appealing with its secretive plot and visuals. The story follows two brothers who re-engage with a dangerous cult that they once left. When signs show that the cult leader’s out-there teachings might be accurate after all, they come back. Warning: If you watch the trailer, you’re at risk of being hooked.