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.

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.

Weekend Box Office: Friday, March 3, 2017

Get Out was last weekend’s big box office winner with $4.12 million. It damn well should. Get Out is a horror film about race issues and rated R. Hollywood, now’s a good time to recognize audiences beyond young, white men.

Donald Cried is a comedy about a man who encounters his childhood best friend and finds himself on an adventure after one good turn.

Catfight stars Anne Heche and Sandra Oh as two former friends who let themselves fall into an all-out brawl when they cross paths at a glitzy party and find their fortunes swapped as a result. Also available VOD.

Headshot is an action film about a man who washes ashore with no memory and a head injury. He eventually remembers and continues his path of violent revenge.

Before I Fall is a drama based on the popular teen book. A stuck up teen is forced to relive the last day of her life, Groundhog Day style, to figure up where everything went wrong.

Wolves is a drama about a teenager struggling to cope with the stresses of life. While he is being recruited by Cornell his father (Michael Shannon) gambles away his college fund and his family’s money. Also available on VOD.

The Freedom to Marry is a documentary about the fight for marriage equality.

My Scientology Movie is a comedy written by and starring Louis Theroux. When Scientology would let him make a documentary, he hires actors to reenact key moments of the religion’s history. He is aided by Mark Rathburn.

Lavender stars Abbie Cornish as a photographer whose work reveals that she may have murdered family members she didn’t even know she had!

The Women’s Balcony is a comedy about “a group of women struggle to reunite their community and preserve their traditions in the face of a charismatic rabbi who enters their lives and captivate the men.”

Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai is about a “Bollywood with universal issues.”

Commando 2 is an Indian action film. It is the sequel to 2013’s Commando.

Junction 48 is a drama about a man who finds purpose when he arises toward fame as the “first” Arabic rapper.

Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter is a documentary about the burlesque new wave.

Love & Taxes is a pro-tax comedy about a monologist’s success in life after he does his taxes.

Logan is the latest installment in the Wolverine movies. Hugh Jackman stars.

The Shack is a drama starring Octavia Spencer, for reasons I simply can not fathom. Maybe because it’s hard to get roles as a person of color even after you win a damn Oscar.

A year after its initial release, Table 19 is again hitting theaters.

Weekend Box office: February 24, 2017

The LEGO Batman Movie was last weekend’s winner, with $42.5 million. Matt Damon’s The Great Wall tanked.

Drifter is a horror film about two men who drift into a town inhabited by psychotic cannibals.

Rock Dog is an animated film about a dog who wants to be a rock star. Featuring the voices of J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, and Kenan Thompson.

Bitter Harvest stars Max Irons and Samantha Banks as a couple in love during Holodomor, Stalin’s deliberate starvation of his own people. This movie looks boring, despite the fact that Holodomor is fascinating (my ancestors came to America to escape war and starvation), rarely told (Stalin killed so many people!), and how handsome the son of Jeremy Irons is.

Get Out is a horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. A man meets his girlfriend’s parents and finds himself in a horrible, Stepford-like neighborhood. Daniel Kaluuya stars; his girlfriend is played by Allison Williams and her parents are played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener.

The Girl With All The Gifts is a zombie film starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, and Sennia Nanua. A bacterial outbreak has turned people into zombies, and the government has infected children with the disease but maintained their education. It all goes to hell (it always does!), and the adults need a girl to help them.

Collide is a German-action film starring Felicity Jones and Nicholas Hoult. Hoult returns to a life of crime, under a kingpin played by Ben Kinglsey, so he can buy a kidney for the woman he loves.

Dying Laughing is a documentary about stand-up comedy. Navani’s gonna love this.

Tulip Fever is a drama starring Alicia Viklander as a woman who invests in the tulip craze in hopes of running off with a painter (Dane DeHaan, oh no!) to escape her husband (Christoph Waltz). Was this movie not good if it’s released in February? I’ve been waiting to see it! The film is based on the novel by Deborah Moggach.

My Life As A Zucchini is an Oscar-nominated, French-Swiss stop-motion film for children about a little boy who goes to an orphanage. It is the second adaptation of Autobiographie d’une Courgette by Gilles Paris.

Kiki is a documentary about New York’s Kiki scene, a “society within a society” created and governed by LGBTQ youth. The youths are free to celebrate and express themselves as they are.

Punching Henry is about a satirical songwriter, named and played by Henry Philips, who is lured to Los Angeles by a mean TV prodcuer. Tig Notaro, J.K. Simmons, and Sarah Silverman also star.

Weekend Box Office: February 17, 2017

The Great Wall is a an action film starring white people in a story about China. Chinese soldiers battle monsters, who attack the wall built to protect China. Matt Damon is a mercenary who helps.

Fanny’s Journey tells the story of a young girl who leads a group of French, Jewish children to safety in Switzerland.

Ghost of New Orleans stars Lake Bell, Josh Lucas, and Terrence Howard. There’s a serial killer, and it seems like the NOLA natives don’t understand their own culture?

XX is an anthology horror film. The four chapters are from directors Roxanne Benjamin, Sofia Carrillo, Karyn Kusama, Annie Clark, and Jovanka Vuckovic.

Running Shaadi is an Indiana romantic comedy about young people running a website with the goal of helping people elope.

From Nowhere is a drama about three undocumented teenagers in the Bronx on the brink of graduation and in pursuit of their papers. Julianne Nicholson is the nice white lady who wants to help.

Irada is an Indian eco-thriller. The bombing of a factory results in the pursuit of revenge and justice.

A Cure for Wellness is a thriller starring Dane DeHaan, so you know things are going to end badly. DeHaan is a young pharma rep who finds himself at a wellness spa in the Alps and before long is forced to stay.

Lovesong stars Riley Keough and Jena Malone as two BFFs who take an “impromptu road trip” and discover more about themselves and each other. One is a young, married mother and the other is, well, not.

Everybody Loves Somebody is a romantic comedy about a successful woman, an OB-GYN!, who reconsiders her life after she runs into her ex. But of course her family is obsessed with the fact that she’s not married!

American Fable is a thriller. Set in the 1980s, a young girl finds that the developer buying out failing farms is being kept hostage in a grain silo. The film is written and directed by Anne Hamilton and contains elements of magical realism.

Fist Fight is a comedy starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day. Day is a mild-mannered teacher who is challenged to a schoolyard fight by a recently fired teacher, played by Ice Cube.

Weekend Box Office: February 10, 2017

Split was last weekend’s big movie, with $1.1 million. BUT WHY? (Because it has a big release, and everyone has already seen Hidden Figures, last weekend’s second place movie.)

This weekend’s big releases are John Wick 2 and Fifty Shades Darker. Don’t let me down, America. These films have no business being made, no matter how much money they are sure to make here and overseas.

Running Wild is about a widow who saves her ranch by hiring ex-cons. Sharon Stone stars. There’s gotta be some kind of Jesus bullshit hiding in there somewhere.

Keep Quiet is a documentary about the founder of an anti-Semitic group who finds out he has Jewish relatives. He spends three years researching his heritage and hopefully ceases his bigoted activity.

Don’t Hang Up is a British horror movie about three smug teenage boys who love to prank call people and post their exploits online. (Because the youth, you know, are starved for fame and attention.) Soon though, an old, Palpatine-like man turns the tables and pranks them (and kills everyone they love).

The LEGO Batman Movie is…the LEGO Batman movie.

Jolly LLB 2: “Set in Lucknow, Jolly LLB 2 is the story of the blunt, abrasive and yet oddly compassionate Jagdishwar Mishra, aka Jolly, a small-time, struggling lawyer who has moved from Kanpur to the city of Nawabs to pursue his dream of becoming a big-time lawyer. A hustler by nature, Jolly survives by fighting petty cases and using every tactic under the sun to make a quick buck and earn a decent living.” Like The Lincoln Lawyer?

Sex Doll is an erotic thriller.

Havenhurst is a horror movie about a disturbed woman who “takes” (she doesn’t, like, pay rent?) in a Gothic apartment in the city and has to confront evil. (I’m looking for a new apartment. I’ll take a beautiful, free apartment regardless of its ghostly residents.)

John Wick: Chapter 2 finds “legendary hitman” John Wick (Keanu Reeves) forced out of retirement and into the slush-filled cesspool of winter releases.

A United Kingdom is a bio drama about Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the first president of Botswana, and his marriage to Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white office worker in London. They meet, fall in love, and marry in 1948, so of course their families and respective governments oppose the marriage. The film is directed by Amma Asante (Belle).

KEDi is a documentary about the wild cats of Istanbul! If you see one film this weekend, this is a choice I could endorse.

Fifty Shades Darker gets its release, even though its stars are deeply embarrassed and the whole thing stinks of violent misogyny. Nothing says love like an abusive relationship. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Duckweed is a Chinese drama from director Han Han. A son is able to experience his father’s youth, bringing the two closer together, and allowing the son to realize his father is not as distant as he may seem.