October brings us one of the most anticipated sequels of all time, along with three other wide release movies that are merely opening in its shadow without much fanfare or flare. It’s no surprise which will dominate the box office this weekend.
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love ‘Blade Runner‘, but the sci-fi classic is not made for everyone. The noir manhunt movie is slow and its symbolism may be a tad too deep for most. Because of that, I’m a little surprised that ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ is getting an ambitious release on 4,058 screens. Perhaps Warner Bros. and Sony are hoping that Ryan Gosling’s female fan base will show up to the 163-minute film.
Set 30 years after Ridley Scott’s original, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ takes place in a future that’s just as unpleasant as the first. Gosling plays the leading role as Officer K, an LAPD Blade Runner tasked with hunting and retiring (killing) older model Replicants. While the first movie’s plot was simple – Harrison Ford’s character Rick Deckard had to hunt four rogue Replicants – the plot to ‘2049’ is a little more complex. The case that Officer K is assigned runs deep, ultimately bringing him to Deckard. Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Ana de Armas play secondary characters in this stellar long-awaited sequel. Like ‘Dunkirk’, ‘2049’ has been specially formatted for IMAX, giving it an opened-up aspect ratio.
The second biggest release of the weekend is ‘The Mountain Between Us‘, which Fox is releasing on 3,088 screens. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet star in this PG-13 dramatic thriller about a pair of strangers who survive a plane crash in remote mountains. Together, the two must work together to forge their way back to civilization. With mixed reviews, the end product could go either way. I highly doubt that it can be as good as Liam Neeson’s plane crash survival film ‘The Grey‘.
Lionsgate is bringing the revived ‘My Little Pony‘ TV series to the big screen. Playing on 2,528 screens, in the feature-length movie, the loud and obnoxious ponies have to save the pony kingdom from its biggest threat yet. Clocking in at 99 minutes, it contains approximately 96 more minutes of sensory assaulting than I can handle. The voice cast includes Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Taye Diggs and Liev Schreiber.
Playing at 639 locations is the family film ‘The Stray‘. The faith-based picture tells a supposedly true story about a struggling family that’s rescued by a stray dog. Somewhere in there, the father takes his son and two of his son’s friends camping in the Colorado wilderness, where they’re all struck by lightning. Which part of the story do you think is actually true – the lightning or the stray dog?
Also out in limited release is A24’s Oscar hopeful ‘The Florida Project‘. From the director of ‘Tangerine’, the drama features a cast that mostly consists of non-actors, all of whom are being praised. The story follows the summertime adventures of a six-year-old girl in Florida. Willem Dafoe and Caleb Landry Jones are the only two recognizable actors found in it.