The summer of sequels continues over the Fourth of July. One new movie release entices a female audience, while the other targets males. It’s the perfect holiday weekend for couples to split and let the girls and guys have separate nights out.
The bigger of the two releases is the fifth installment in the ‘Terminator’ franchise. Now with new owners and a new studio backing it, ‘Terminator Genisys‘ breathes a much-needed new life into the previously stagnant series. ‘Genisys’ starts in the post-Judgment Day world. We see Kyle Reese (a not-so-rigid Jai Courtney) and iconic rebel leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) make great military advances into a Terminator base where they carry out the task that kicked off the movie series – sending Reese back to 1984 to protect John’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke… wait a sec, how many Clarkes are in this movie?) from a T-800 series Terminator that’s out to kill her before she and Kyle can conceive John.
In the process of sending him back, something happens to trigger events that alter the past. The 1984 in which Kyle arrives is no longer in the same timeline as James Cameron’s original ‘Terminator‘. Using the same sort of “alternate timeline” gimmick as J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ reboot, ‘Genisys’ is free to do whatever it wants. With the help of an “old, not obsolete” T-800 unit (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Kyle and Sarah must stop another version of Skynet from executing Judgment Day. Ignoring the silly third and overly serious fourth installments to the franchise, ‘Genisys’ is a not-as-good yet still worthy follow-up to ‘Terminator 2‘ that longtime fans ought to have fun with.
Our second sequel of the week surprisingly comes from Steven Soderbergh (yet isn’t an ‘Ocean’s’ entry). ‘Magic Mike XXL‘, on which Soderbergh only serves as Executive Producer, reunites the male stripper gang for one (supposedly) last hoorah. Let’s just hope that this one leaves out the ridiculously dumb final-act drug plot from the first ‘Magic Mike‘. Aside from Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum and the rest of the original crew return for this outing.
Said to be opening with wide distribution is ‘Faith of Our Fathers‘, a Christian faith-based movie about two men who meet as strangers at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. after each is brought there by letters written by their fathers while serving in the war.
The very strongly reviewed Amy Winehouse documentary ‘Amy‘ will hit an unknown number of screens this Friday thanks to acquiring distributor A24. From the director of the amazing documentary ‘Senna‘, it’s almost a sure thing that ‘Amy’ will be as good as its buzz claims.
Editor’s Note: The blog will be closed on Friday for the holiday long weekend. That means no Roundtable post this week. However, we’ve extended the deadline on our Blu-ray giveaway contest through the weekend to give you some extra time to come up with good entries. Good luck, and have a great Fourth of July, everybody! We’ll see you back here on Monday. -JZ