Although five new movies open in wide release this weekend, it’s hard to get excited for any of them. One is an unnecessary sequel to a bad kids’ movie. Another is an awful-looking sequel to an awfully fun blockbuster. There’s a Nicholas Sparks-y teen drama and a big-screen telling of a Bible story. The only one with much potential is small thriller from Steven Soderbergh, but even that one seems gimmicky.
When the first trailer dropped for Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’, I couldn’t have been less interested in movie. However, when I screened it, I had an absolute blast with the film. The widest release of this weekend is the del Toro-less sequel, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising‘. Just like the first movie, the trailers have been wretched. The only difference this time is that ‘Uprising’ is said to be just as a bad as it looks. Charlie Hunnam has been replaced by John Boyega, who plays the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first picture. When the rift beneath the Pacific Ocean opens again, they must expand the cast with cardboard cut-out Scott Eastwood and a few other no-names in order to save the world again.
Several years ago I screened a kids’ movie that I described as one of the worst of all time. Now it has a sequel that looks just as miserable. The lawn decoration characters Gnomeo and Juliet are back in a new adventure that re-imagines another literary classic. ‘Sherlock Gnomes‘ mashes up the Shakespearean world of the first movie with the classic detective Sherlock Holmes. The crossover event of the year comes together when decorations from the yard go missing and Sherlock is the only one who can crack the case.
Last year’s teen movie ‘Everything, Everything’ told the story of a girl without an immune system who broke out of her bubble and risked death for a cute neighbor boy. This weekend, grown-up Disney starlet Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger star in a carbon copy, called ‘Midnight Sun‘. Thorne’s character is allergic to the sun, but when she falls in love with Schwarzenegger’s character, she risks everything to get out, see the world and spend time with him. The trailers look extremely predictable, but with Rob Riggle playing Thorne’s overbearing and serious father, it might be fun to watch for him alone, assuming he has much screen time.
Steven Soderbergh is one of those directors who pumps out a movie or television series for every whim that he has. As you’d assume, they can’t all be winners. His latest, the thriller ‘Unsane‘, was shot entirely on an iPhone and follows a young woman (Claire Foy) who falls into the same plot as ‘The Cure For Wellness’. While in a mental hospital, things start to get crazy and she can’t tell if what she’s experiencing is real or if it’s a plot to make her think she’s bananas.
Until today, I had no idea that the Biblical adaptation ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’‘ existed. The title character was originally known as Saul and was a persecutor of Christ, his teachings and his disciples. The film tells the story of his conversion and how he became Paul, one of the most well-known people from the New Testament. James Faulkner plays Paul and Jim Caviezel co-stars as Luke.
Finally, Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion kids’ movie, ‘Isle of Dogs‘, debuts at 27 locations this weekend. We’ll talk more about it when it expands wide on Friday, April 6th.