Weekend Movies: What’s in the Box?!

With two promising new movies, the last weekend of September might shape up to be a good one.

It’s been a good long while since a new family flick has hit the big screen (presumably because school has started and weekday theater attendance has dropped), so Laika Entertainment’s latest stop-motion picture ‘The BoxTrolls‘ has a good shot at success. From the makers of ‘Coraline‘ and ‘ParaNorman‘, the odd story follows a little orphan boy who finds a large group of box-wearing trolls living beneath the city. When an exterminator sets out to get rid of the underground inhabitants, the boy must find a way to save them all. ‘The BoxTrolls’ features the voice cast of Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost, Elle Fanning, Tracy Morgan and Toni Collette.

The second wide release couldn’t be on a more opposite end of the spectrum. Denzel Washington reteams with director Antoine Fuqua in ‘The Equalizer‘, which features the duo doing what they do best – making a badass and purely entertaining movie. Washington plays a mysterious man with a mysterious past. We don’t know exactly what he did, but we’re about to see just what he’s capable of – extreme violence for a greater good. After a Russian pimp hospitalizes an abused teenage sex slave (Chloe Grace Moretz), “The Equalizer” comes out of retirement to exact swift vengeance. It doesn’t take long for him to learn that the pimp also doubles as one of the key figures in a world-spanning crime operation, at which point he can’t simply slip back into retirement; he has to see it through. The Russians have awoken a moral monster. Washington returns to greatness and Fuqua delivers his best-made film since ‘Training Day‘. If you can stomach a violent and intense R-rated thriller, check out ‘The Equalizer’.

On the indie front, this weekend offers the promising ‘The Two Faces of January‘. Adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith (‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’), Viggo Mortensen plays a con man who is forced to grab his wife (Kirsten Dunst) and flee Athens after they become entangled in the murder of a private dick. Oscar Isaac steps in as a stranger who tags along with them and creeps things up. The only disappointing aspect with this prospect is that it looks very gritty, yet carries a light PG-13 rating.

The Oscar-winning writer of ‘12 Years A Slave‘ is back on the big screen with ‘Jimi: All Is by My Side‘. The dramatic bio-pic stars André Benjamin as legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The odd angle to this movie is that it’s free of Hendrix’s music, so it’s hard to picture how exactly the story will pan out. Hayley Atwell and Imogen Poots co-star.

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