Author: Katherine M. Hill

Katherine grew up on old movies, Nicktoons, "Magnum P.I.," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which explains why her favorite films are "Hackers" and "The Rules of Game." She will follow Paula ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend") to the edge of the desert and intern for Alicia Florick. You can find Katherine's art and articles on her website.

Box Office Weekend: November 10, 2017

Welcome back to your weekly trailer revue! Last week’s winner-takes-all was Thor. This week has a bunch of stuff, which frankly, seems pretty boring. If I could ask you to think twice about your money, it would be Daddy’s Home 2. I have agreed already to see Lady Bird.


Thumper is a thriller about teens who sell drugs and drink beer in junkyards.


Hello Again is a film adaptation of the lauded musical.


Bitch is a dark comedy written and directed by Marianna Palka. Palka plays a woman who, stressed by her dumb husband (Jason Ritter) and many children, begins to act like a dog.


Daddy’s Home 2, the sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home, finds the Dads, good-natured Will Ferrell and hypermasculine Mark Wahlberg visted by their dads, who are more extreme versions of themselves, noted wife beater and racist Mel Gibson and John Lithgow. In an echo of the first film, Wahlberg’s Dusty must face his wife’s first husband, played by John Cena.


Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction is a documentary about the Armenian genocide.


No Stone Unturned is a documentary about 1994 Irish cold case wherein gunmen stormed a pub and opened fire on a pack crowd watching the World Cup.

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie’s novel, finds a 2017 adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also plays Poirot. Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, wife beater Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Dame Judi Dench also star.


Qarib Qarib Singlle is a Hindi romance starring Parvathy and Irrfan Khan. Two polar opposites meet online and eventually fall in love.


I Remember You is an Icelandic horror film, connecting strange deaths of the elderly, missing children, and miscelleanous supernatural occurences.


No Greater Love is a documentary shot by an active duty soldier in Afghanistan. Comes with a side of Christianity. Happy Veterans Day!

Mayhem stars Steven Yeun as a fired finance bro trapped in a building under siege by a rage virus.


Lady Bird is a coming of age drama, set in Sacramento in 2003. It stars Saoirse Ronan and is written and directed by Greta Gerwig.


LBJ stars Woody Harrelson as America’s president.


Thelma is a Norwegian thriller (and the country’s submission for a Foreign Film Oscar) about a girl who triggers supernatural powers when she falls in love with another co-ed.

Box Office Weekend: November 3, 2017

Welcome back to a better-late-than-never box office weekend post! I write to you from the trenches of Thanksgiving Hallmark movies, which is to say, there are practically none, and I am up to my eyeballs in disappointment.

Last weekend’s big draw was Jigsaw, even though I advised against it. This weekend I recommend seeing Wait For Your Laugh.


1945 is a Hungarian drama about a father and son who, upon returning to their town, are viewed with suspicion by the town’s residents, who fear that the Jewish men intend to collect “their inheritance.” You know, the property their neighbors stole during the Holocaust.


Frank Serpico is a documentary about the man who inspired the 1973 film Serpico—a NYPD detective known for his 1960s whistleblowing and cause for justice.


A Bad Moms Christmas is the sequel to last year’s Bad Moms. Returning stars are Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell. They are joined by Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski, and Susan Sarandon, who play the Moms’ moms


Defining Hope is a documentary about end-of-life care.


Last Flag Flying is a comedy about three veterans who reunite when the son of one dies.


Blade of the Immortal is an action film from Takashi Miike. I like his work, but the screengrab was too much for me to watch this trailer for you. The film is based on the popular manga of the same name, and is about a samurai who avenges the deaths of a young woman’s family.


Dream Boat is a documentary about a seven-day gay yacht cruise. All of the men in the trailer seem so happy to be on the boat! How can anyone say no to this film?!


Wait for Your Laugh is a documentary about Rose Marie, who holds the longest career in show business, and has a lot to say (in the film and on Twitter too!)


My Friend Dahmer is a drama based on the graphic novel of the same name by Derf Backderf and is about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer through the teenage eyes of one of his peers; Dahmer is played by former Disney star Ross Lynch; Derf is played by Alex Wolff.


No Dress Code Required is about two men trying to marry in Mexico. When they show up to get their license, they are denied.


It Happened In L.A. is a romantic comedy starring writer/director (!) Michelle Morgan and seemingly ageless Jorma Taccone.


Princess Cyd is a coming-of-age drama about a young woman who visits her aunt, falls in love with a young woman, and begins to find herself.


Thor: Ragnarok is this week’s Marvel release. It is said to be more fun than most Marvel movies, but just thinking about it has me feeling bored.


Battlecreek stars Bill Skarsgard as a nocturnal young man with a rare skin disease whose life changes, despite the watchful eye of his mother, when he rescues a woman from a car wreck.


Ittefaq is a Hindi action film. It is a remake of the 1969 film about an escaped murderer, a cop, and a murdered wife.


Most Beautiful Island is a thriller about an undocumented woman’s struggle to make it in New York.


11/8/16 is a documentary…about the election. Hey, I hear there’s a group scream that day in Washington Square Park


A Gray State is a documentary about a military veteran’s mad, wild attempt to make a film.


Singularity is a science fiction film about artificial intelligence. It stars John Cusack, who refuses to make good movies.

Box Office Weekend: Friday, October 27

As expected, Madea squashed the box office last weekened. Can she outwit the competition? Probably. No one liked The Snowman. This week my pick is Suburbicon; I would recommend Brimstone & Glory to the general public, while cautioning against Amityville: The Awakening and Jigsaw. (All I See Is You is apparently not as bad as expected.)


Amityville: The Awakening is a direct sequel to 1979’s The Amityville Horror and the 10th installment in the Amityville series. A teenager moves into the haunted house on Long Island in the 1970s. The film, made in 2014, and delayed until now, stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne. A reminder that Ronald DeFeo, Jr. committed familicide (of real people! SIX PEOPLE!) in 1974. The house on Ocean Avenue was knocked down long before long-faced Bella Thorne could have moved in. And every goth teenager in America saw the 2005-remake AND KNOWS THE STORY. (I can’t believe I’m this bothered, either!)


Jigsaw is a movie all about the bad guy from Saw. Earlier this week I was chatting with a peer about Hostel, and I just can’t fathom that Eli Roth paved the way for this crap.


All I See is You stars Blake Lively as a blind woman who regains her sight and begins to realize that all is not what it seems! Maybe her husband is controlling and bad! Maybe he’s just not as handsome as she thought.


Novitiate stars Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Morgan Saylor, and Dianna Agron. A young woman, raised in 1960s Texas by an agnostic, single mother, joins the convent at what she claims is the urging of God. But following Vatican II, and the actions of the head nun, she begins to question her devotion.


Thank You For Your Service stars Miles Teller in this military drama. That this has overlap with Lone Survivor and Sniper should be enough to tell you to look the other way. And how is it that America keeps producing and releasing these war movies but we haven’t taken to the streets to demand the end of the wars? Somehow you just know this film is going to glorify the violence, strife, and killing, without the empathy of actual sacrifice, despite the alleged empathy of the trailer.


Suburbicon is directed by complicit man George Clooney and stars complicit man Matt Damon, which is a damn shame because the script was written by Clooney, Teddy Schwarzman, and Joel and Ethan Cohen. It’s another Cohen return to The Wrong Man trope, and that’s totally man jam!


The Square is a dark comedy from Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) and stars Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and Terry Notary. An art curator, who seems like a real dick, finds his world in total chaos after his phone is stolen.


Brimstone & Glory is a documentary about the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico.


The Divine Order is a Swiss drama about a woman fighting for women’s equality in 1971.

https://www.fandango.com/videos/player/1044101187725?genre=Drama&rt=0&plc=0
Félicité is a Senegalese drama film directed by Alain Gomis. It follows a strong-willed woman, a singer and bar entertainer, who must raise funds for her son’s health care. The film received six awards at the African Academy Awards, a record, and has been submitted to the Academy Awards; it is Senegal’s first submission.


Crash Pad stars Domnhall Gleason as a “hopeless romantic” (a real Nice Guy) who falls in love with an older woman and is crushed to learn that he is an “instrument of revenge.” Sigh.


Let There Be Light is this week’s Christian film, but there’s no doubt, like, since it stars Kevin Sorbo.


Mansfield 66/67 is a documentary about the last years of Jayne Mansfield’s life. Unfortunately the documentary “asks” if her “life spiraled out of control” because of her alleged relationship with the Church of Satan, and that just seems…unfair.


Maya Dardel stars Lena Olin as an aging poet who announces, on NPR, that she will bequeath her entire estate to a young, male, poet. Things spiral before she disappears.


Acts Of Vengeance stars Antonio Banderas as a lawyer who vows to avenge the murder of his wife and daughter.


The Truth About Lies is a truly original romantic comedy about a total loser who tells a string of lies so he can get a job and sleep with a beautiful woman.


Flesh and Blood is a film directed by, and starring, Marc Webber. It is loosely inspired by his own family.

Weekend Box Office: October 20, 2017

Happy Death Day is killing it at the box office, but this weekend Madea is poised to squash the competition.


Aida’s Secrets is about the difficult reunion of two brothers when one reconnects with his biological family.

A Silent Voice: The Movie
A Silent Voice: The Movie is an animated Japanese film about bulying.


BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a french drama about the France arm of ACT Up. The film is set in the 1990s.


Dealt is a documentary about Richard Turner, a card magician.


Golmaal Again stars Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn.


Heal is a documentary about self-healing bodies.


Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth installment of the insufferable Insidious franchise.


Jane is a documentary about Jane Goodall.


Jungle stars Daniel Radcliffe as an obnoxious tourist who gets lost in the Amazon. Based on Yossi Ghinsberg’s true story of survival.


Killing Gunther is a comedy from Taran Killam; Arnold Schwarzeneger is the world’s best hitman, who is marked but indestructable.


Kills On Wheels is a Hungarian dark comedy about two teenage boys who break out of their humdrum existence when they become hitmen.


Leatherface is a horror film about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Assailant when he was a teenager.


Never Here is a psychological horror film about a photographer who follows strangers (for art) and soon realizes she is being followed. Starring Mireille Enos and Sam Shepard.


Only The Brave is a drama about the Granite Mountain Hot Shots. 19 members of the group died in 2013 battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.


RV: Resurrected Victims is a South Korean thriller about murder victims who rise from the dead to avenge their deaths!


Tempestad is a Mexican film about women on a journey following loss, pain, and government corruption.


The Bachelors stars stars J. K. Simmons, Julie Delpy, Josh Wiggins, and Odeya Rush.


The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a psychological horror film from Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster). It stars Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, and shit will probably get weird.


The Snowman is based on the hit thriller by Jo Nesbø and stars Michael Fassbender as a detective looking for a serial killer who incases his victims (WOMEN, ALWAYS WOMEN) in snow.


The Strange Ones stars Alex Pettyfer. Two strangers discover dark secrets on vacation.

The War With Grandpa stars Robert DeNiro as an old man who takes a kid’s bedroom. Based on a youth novel. Trailer unavailable at press time.


Tragedy Girls is a Weinstein Media release about two unpopular girls who go on a killing spree to build their blog and social media presence.


Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween stars Tyler Perry as Madea, and she’s not taking your horror movie shit, that’s for sure.


Where’s The Money stars Andrew Bachelor, Kat Graham, Logan Paul, Terry Crews, Mike Epps, Method Man, and Josh Brener. A man rushes a fraternity to obtain the money hidden in its walls. There’s always money in the frat house!


Wonderstruck stars Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore, and is based on the 2011 illustrated by Brian Selznick. Selznick wrote the screenplay for the film, which is directed by Todd Haynes (Carol). The film follows two runaways in New York, one in 1977 and one ins 1927. My heart is broken already.

Weekend Box Office: October 13, 2017

breathOh my. I returned and then promptly dropped the ball. Here are this week’s releases plus trailers for the movies that were missed.

THIS WEEK


6 Below: Miracle On The Mountain stars Josh Hartnett as a professional hockey player who goes snowboarding to Find Himself and ends up stranded in an avalanche. One assumes this film is served with a side of Jesus and “based on a true story.” DVD release for November 14!


78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene is a documentary about how The Shower Scene in Psycho impacted the film industry.


American Satan is a drama? film about an English-American band who makes a deal with the devil for their survival on the Sunset Strip. Denise Richards, Booboo Stewart, and Malcolm McDowell star. I like how they made Andy Biersack look like a young Billy Martin.


Bad Blood: The Movie is a horror movie about a woman who is mutated by a frog and destroys her…town? when she becomes one as well?


Deliver Us is a documentary about the possessed!


For Ahkeem is a documentary about a teenage girl, Daje Shelton, and her life in north St. Louis, one year before the death of Michael Brown.


Gnome Alone is an animated film about a girl who moves into a house occupied by gnomes. With voices from Becky G, Josh Peck, Olivia Holt, George Lopez, Patrick Stump, and David Koechner.


Happy Death Day is this week’s big horror release. A teenage girl wakes up on her birthday and is murdered. Like Groundhog Day, the horror resets each day.


How To Break Up With Your Douchebag is a Spanish comedy about a therapist who specializes in helping women break up with their partners…only to fall in love with a jerk.


Marshall is a biopic about Thurgood Marshall. Starring Chadwick Boseman, the film looks at Marshall’s early cases (defending a young, Black boy—whose parents are played by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin’s parents), before he became the country’s first Black Supreme Court Justice.


Professor Marston & The Wonder Women is the dramatic re-telling of the invention and influences of the Wonder Woman comics. Starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, and Connie Britton.


Swing Away stars Shannon Elizabeth as a professional golfer who escapes to Greece following a break down and subsequently mentors a young girl.


The Foreigner stars Jackie Chan as a humble businessman who hunts down the men who killed his daughter (because he couldn’t get justice!) He is pursued by The Man, played by Pierce Brosnan. It looks like a less infuriating Taken.


The Secret Scripture stars Rooney Mara and Vanessa Redgrave as a woman who has been indefinitiely hospitalized. Directed by Jim Sheridan and based on the novel of the same name.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as a woman who pays for billboard on the edge of her small town to condemn an ineffective police following the death of her daughter.


Tom of Finland is a biopic about Touko Valio Laaksonen, an artist whose homoerotic illustrations garnered international fame.

ALL THE OTHER WEEKS:


American Made


Flatliners


Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House


Super Dark Times


Take Every Wave: the Life of Laird Hamilton


Lucky


‘Til Death Do Us Part


A Question Of Faith


Don’t Sleep


The Pathological Optimist — NO.


The Sound


Judwaa 2


Literally, Right Before Aaron


Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two


Youth


Chasing The Dragon


Never Say Die


Realive


Te Ata


The LEGO Ninjago Movie


Kingsman: The Golden Circle


Friend Request

Victoria & Abdul


Stronger

Woodshock

Battle of the Sexes

Bobbi Jene


Ribbons


Loving Vincent


Big Bear


Unrest


The Tiger Hunter


The Last Rampage


The King’s Choice


Welcome to Willits


Happy Hunting


The Houses October Built 2


Zoology


Tag Along 2

Weekend Box Office September 15, 2017

Welcome back to Screen Scholars’ trailer-round up, yee-haw! Last week’s big winner was It, which…I don’t know, is that really so surprising? Luckily for those of us less inclined to face our fears, there’s plenty to see this weekend, too.


American Assassin stars MTV’s Teen Wolf‘s Dylan O’Brien as a cute guy with a gun and a shaggy haircut. Oh, and Taylor Kitsch, Michael Keaton, and Sanaa Lathan are in this action film too. O’Brien is a young man who has “lost everything” and self-trains to defeat terrorism worldwide. Uh, sure, dude.


mother! is Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, starring Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris. Aronofsky doesn’t want you to know what it’s about (how hard it is to be an artist), but it looks a lot like a cheap Rosemary’s Baby, right?


Brad’s Status is yet another drama where Ben Stiller is an insufferable moron because of his lingering feelings of inadequacy. You don’t have to keep making these movies, man.


Rat is purportedly a documentary about “Baltimore’s social history,” but how can you even tell from this pretentious trailer? I mean, yes, that’s Baltimore in the b-roll. And yes, the maritime city has rats, but I could go for less of them in my truth-telling cinema.


Because Of Grácia is this week’s poorly-made, ham-fisted, Christian film. It has a subplot with a pregnant teen thinking about abortion! She definitely won’t get one.


Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards is a documentary about Manolo Blahnik.


Carpinteros is a film about inmates in the Dominican Republic. Julián inadvertently falls in love with Yanelly, who he is supposed to be sending messages to, via a form of sign language, for her violent boyfriend. This is the Dominican Republic’s entry for the Oscars.


In Search Of Fellini is the story of a young, sheltered woman who travels to Italy as a result of her love for Fellini. (Can’t hate that.) Then things get a little…French as she falls in love.


Simran stars Kangana Ranaut as a housekeeper who gets sucked into the world of crime.


The Wilde Wedding is a romantic comedy starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Patrick Stewart, and Minnie Driver. Chaos ensues when an actress invites her ex-husband to her wedding.


The Force is a documentary about the Oakland Police Department.


Lucknow Central is an Indian jail musical!


Vengeance: A Love Story stars Nicholas Cage in an adaptation of a Joyce Carol Oates story (this will not be Smooth Talk). Cage vows vengeance when a single mother is brutally assaulted in front of her young daughter.


Red Trees is a documentary about a man’s survival in the Holocaust.


Wetlands is a New Jersey crime thriller starring tarring Heather Graham, Jennifer Ehle, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Your Weekend Box Office, September 8, 2017

Welcome back to Screen Scholars! We never forgot about you, we’ve just been really busy. One of us spent the last several months wondering if she’d have to live in a box on the side of the road in Kings County. (Me. I wondered that.) And while we remain tremendously busy, just tremendously tied up with the obligations of the world that exists outside the television and film.

Welcome to fall. Here are your weekend films.

Home Again stars Reese Witherspoon in a film she’s too good for as a recently divorced mother of two who takes in three boarders in her childhood home. Glad now that Liz Lemon didn’t marry Michael Sheen.

IT stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in this completely unnecessary remake (fine, the last one was a miniseries) of Stephen King’s novel. It’s getting good reviews!

9/11 is a drama starring a bunch of assholes in an elevtor in a film that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. Fuck this.

Napping Princess is an animated film about a girl who uses her dreams to solve a family mystery.

Poster Boys is a comedy about three men who face wacky hijinks when their faces are used to advertise sterilization.

Rebel in the Rye stars Nicholas Hoult (and Kevin Spacey, great) as a man who pensively walks around in the woods because he’s written Catcher In the Rye and teen boys LOVE it.

School Life is a documentary about two teachers at a boarding school in Ireland.

Trophy is a documentary about hunting. It’s supposed to be really good! It will be a bummer, and I’m sure Leonardo DiCaprio will be tied to its success.

Twenty Two is a documentary about the last surviving Chinese “comfort women,” women who were abducted into imprisonment for the pleasure of Japanese soldiers.

Year by the Sea, based on a memoir of the same name, is about a pretty wealthy woman who Finds Herself in Cape Cod when she separates from her dumb husband.