Weekend Movies: [Insert Sacrilegious Quip Here]

Some of this weekend’s new movie releases have decent appeal, but wouldn’t you rather finally catch up with a nominated film before Sunday’s Oscar party?

The widest release of the weekend is the action thriller ‘Non-Stop‘. In what appears to be ‘Taken’ on a plane, Liam Neeson plays an alcoholic air marshal who’s being taunted by a mysterious killer over the Atlantic. With whiskey in his blood, he must find out who’s killing passengers before they touch down in Europe. While Neeson is fun to watch in badass roles (like when he punched a pack of wolves in ‘The Grey‘), that’s unfortunately not what you’re getting here. ‘Non-Stop’ hits turbulence early, the displeasure of which may leave some moviegoers nauseous. Some will enjoy it, but mainly those who liked the director’s last team-up with Neeson, 2011’s ‘Unknown‘.

Meanwhile, Fox is doing to ‘The Bible’ what Disney did to ‘Planet Earth‘. The studio has taken a selected portion of last year’s many-hours-long TV miniseries [Ed.: That’s the painstakingly historically accurate adaptation of the text, which includes ninjas, a white Jesus, and a Satan who looks exactly like President Obama. -JZ], edited it down to feature length and added some new footage to create ‘Son of God‘. I fell for Disneynature’s trick with ‘Earth‘, but ain’t doing it again for Fox’s ‘Son of God’.

On more than 1,500 screens, Paramount is re-releasing ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’, but this version is R-rated, 20-something minutes longer and claims to have 763 new jokes. I laughed my ass off at the theatrical cut, but do I dare give this alternate version a shot? I remember watching the deleted ‘Wake Up, Ron Burgandy’ subplot from the first ‘Anchorman’ and that was definitely not worth my time.

Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises‘ will expand to nearly 500 screens this weekend, giving a lot more people the chance to experience the wondrous masterpiece prior to the Academy Awards ceremony. If it’s playing near you, don’t miss it.

On 300 screens is Russia’s IMAX 3D World War II epic ‘Stalingrad‘. Much like the climax of ‘Saving Private Ryan’, the film follows a group of soldiers who defend a stronghold from the incoming German army. From what I’ve read, a good chunk of time is dedicated to each soldier fawning over a beautiful young local girl.

Will you catch one of these new or expanding flicks this weekend, or will you cram in some more Oscar contenders at the last minute?


  1. Drew

    This is going to be a busy weekend for me, movie-wise. I’m going to ‘Non-Stop’ tonight. I’ll be going to both ‘The Wind Rises’, and ‘Stalingrad’ – IMAX 3D, tomorrow.

    I’m most excited for ‘The Wind Rises’.

  2. njscorpio

    I do enjoy a good real time movie, so ‘Non-Stop’ looks appealing. I’ll be excitingly waiting for it to hit Redbox.

    I would love to see a breakdown of the attendance numbers for ‘Son of God’. Such as, are the highest numbers on Sunday evenings? Is it drawing mostly families, religious groups, or those out on “date night”? Are those attending it going because they want an entertaining movie, their beliefs reaffirmed, or are curious about a belief that isn’t their own? Could any conflicts arise between movie patrons?

  3. William Henley

    I had no clue that Son Of God was a reedit of the Bible Miniseries. I spent the first 20 minutes of the movie thinking “I know I have seen this before, but I can’t think of where”.

    The reedit, though, is MUCH better than the miniseries was. Highly recommend it. Although the CG ware REALLY bad – you really don’t want to see SD stuff blown up on a screen that big.

    Theaters here did not have enough showings of the movie. I can’t remember the last time I saw people hocking tickets to a movie. Shows were selling out days in advance. If Noah does any bit as well as Son of God must have done this weekend, I would expect Biblical epics to come back to the big screen.

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