Not that I think ‘Avengers’ won’t take the top spot at the box office for the third consecutive week, but it’s certainly nice to have some worthwhile new movies hit the big screen this weekend.
It’s been a long time coming, but the new entry to the ‘Mad Max’ series is finally here. After 30 years, creator George Miller returns to the franchise with ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘. Tom Hardy takes over the title role that landed Mel Gibson on the map. In an attempt to escape being held captive by a merciless community of savages within a dusty post-apocalyptic world, Max finds himself with a group of escaped sex- and baby-making slaves (and Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult) with hordes of baddies hot on their trail in what turns out to be, essentially, a two-hour, eye-popping car chase. With raving critics’ reviews and explosive crowd-pleasing word-of-mouth, there’s absolutely no reason to not catch it opening weekend. The bigger the screen, the louder the theater and the more dimensions, the better.
Opening against ‘Mad Max’ is the comedy sequel ‘Pitch Perfect 2‘. Anna Kendrick, Fat Amy and their singing band of misfits are back at it. This round follows the model of modern dance flicks by raising the stakes and placing the characters in a competitive international sing-off. Elizabeth Banks takes on the directing duties with this installment and Hailee Steinfeld joins the cast.
In limited release, Ethan Hawke re-teams with ‘Gattaca’ writer/director Andrew Niccol in ‘Good Kill‘. Hawke stars as a drone pilot who’s worn down by the things his job requires him to do. The moral conflict affects his home life and triggers a needed change. Niccol hasn’t had the best track record (while ‘Gattaca’ and ‘The Truman Show’ were both home runs, ‘In Time’ and ‘Lord of War’ both missed the mark), but following a modern warfare theme and coming out hot on the success of ‘American Sniper’, the potentially controversial tale might find an audience.
Roadside Attractions is giving a small no-name, faith-based flick a 276-screen debut. ‘Where Hope Grows‘ is a sports drama about a former baseball pro whose career was brought down by his vices. When he makes friends with a local boy who has Down’s Syndrome, he finds a new start.