At the start of the year, we did a Roundtable dedicated to the movies we were looking forward to this year. As I put together my picks, I looked at this weekend’s releases and glazed right over them for a reason: nothing looked good. Now that it’s here, I’m hearing nothing but good things about two of the movies.
Just as ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ turned out to be the reboot I didn’t know I needed, word has it that ‘Tomb Raider‘ follows suit. Angelina Jolie and the previous filmmakers are out; Alicia Vikander and new little-known filmmakers are in. The legendary video game character Lara Croft is back. In this iteration, she follows new clues that might lead to the location of her missing father. Walton Goggins (who deserves to appear in a whole lot more television and movie series) plays the villain. With Dominic West, Kristin Scott Thomas and Nick Frost in supporting roles, the big budget action-adventure is said to be quite the crowd-pleaser.
Also promising is ‘Love, Simon‘. The romantic teen drama is the first of its kind (that I’m aware of). Out of fear from how his peers will react, high schooler Simon has yet to come out as gay, but one person knows: an anonymous online pen-pal that Simon has fallen for. As Simon tries to uncover the identity of his mysterious classmate, he discovers himself and the courage to come out. Although the plot synopsis sounds like it could take a turn for the cheesy and predictable, I’m told that the movie is along the lines of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, which is a pretty big praise in my opinion.
The weekend’s other two wide releases could go either way.
Roadside Attractions takes a crack at the faith-based market with ‘I Can Only Imagine‘. The family-friendly drama tells the true story that inspired the Christian rock band MercyMe to write a popular song that has encouraged hope and peace. The lead actors aren’t recognizable, but Dennis Quaid co-stars. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ is debuting on 1,620 screens.
Focus Features has a new historical thriller in 800 theaters. From the small-screen director of ‘Narcos’ comes ‘7 Days in Entebbe‘, the big-screen telling of the 1976 Air France flight that was hijacked and diverted to Uganda. Hundreds of Jewish passengers were held hostage with the only demand being the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons. Israel decided to send a special batch of soldiers to Uganda to foil the terrorists’ plan. Daniel Bruhl, Rosamund Pike and Eddie Marsan star.