Last weekend’s box office winner was The Angry Birds Movie, with $135 million. One assumes everyone had already seen Captain America. The holiday weekend has two big releases, the latest in the X-Men franchise, and a sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland.
The Biggest Battle Yet finds mutants fighting an ancient mutant out to destory humanity, or something. A lot of famous people, some with Oscars, some nominated for Oscars, come together, and we’ll wonder why that sort of quality is lacking in this film where stuff gets blown up. Speaking of Oscars, the big bad is played by Oscar Isaac, and while you at least can’t tell that one of the only People of Color in a film, adapted from a comics series that was allegorical to the issue of Civil Rights, is a non-white human being. Oh, but he’s supported by Olivia Munn, so.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
James Bobbin directed the sequel to 2010’s Tim-Burton-directed film. But the cast is back. Alice goes back to Wonderland, following years of adventuring the high seas (be still, my heart), to help the Mad Hatter recover his Muchness. Sacha Baron Cohen is the film’s villain, Time (sigh).
Can we have a moment of silence for the dearly departed Once Upon A Time In Wonderland? That Alice had the moxie of her cinema partner.
This film can take my money and my Kleenex. (It would probably pair well with Sing Street or One Chance.) It follows the story of a young man who aspires to win Arab Idol, despite insurmountable odds.
As I Am: The Life and Times of DJ AM
DJ AM, who died in 2009, in this documentary, which appears to examine the traumatic plane crash that almost killed him, and his involvement in the reality-intervention series from MTV, Gone Too Far.
Penelope Cruz plays a woman diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant.
Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang
This documentary follows the life of internationally-acclaimed director Jia Zhangke.
This Korean thriller finds a small town at the mercy of a mysterious, Japanese stranger, who causes illnesses, disappearances, and death. As a result a local police officer is forced to team up with a shaman to save the town.
The Ones Below
A perfectly nice couple are terrorized by their new downstair neighbors after the birth of their son. The difference between The Ones Below and your average Lifetime movie are the levels of quality in acting, tension, writing, and direction.
Last Man Club
A WWII veteran, forced into a nursing home (and probably suffering dementia) maybe goes on a cross-country road trip with a woman in a bad wig who will definitely steal his wallet. Destined for Pax and the UP networks!
Six men on a yacht on the Agean sea “play a game” (we all know this can’t end well, right?) to see which man among them is the Best. Everything about this screams, “Nominate me for Best Foreign Picture!”
Paul Allen, a filmmaker who jointed a the cult Buddhafield in 1985. Members eventually felt abused and disillusioned by the charismatic and predatory leader, Michel.
Presenting Princess Shaw
This documentary tells the story of an aspiring songwriter in New Orleans (stage name: Princess Shaw) who is discovered online by the producer Kutiman through her YouTube videos. Kutiman mixed her vocals with other work, causing Princess Shaw to gain viral popularity online.