With so many new films in theaters this weekend, it was definitely an exciting time for cinephiles. From superhero flicks to rom-coms and horror, there was a little something for everyone.
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Coming in at #1 on our list is Logan, or the Wolverine film that audiences have been anxiously waiting for. As previously discussed in another article here, on the MoviePass Blog, THE X-MEN CINEMATIC UNIVERSE: PART II, we have been looking forward to seeing the darker side to superhero films: audiences want more of the nitty-gritty depiction of horror and destruction that many of these films ignore. So, Logan’s R-rating makes it all the more enticing, after the popularity of Deadpool. Marvel is continuing to branch out towards darker/more realistic superhero films and we have to admit: we like it.
Not only does the film account for 40.01% of member check-ins, but it also holds an incredibly high Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%. Logan has received tons of positive reviews, including one by Matthew Lickona of The San Diego Reader who states, “[Director] Mangold drags [Wolverine] – much older, if not much wiser – into a Western, and ends up with the best superhero movie in recent memory.” Barry Hertz of Globe and Mail also gives the film high praise stating, “Jackman twists the pain at the centre of the hero’s struggle into remarkably uncomfortable places for a blockbuster.” Will this be a future Oscar win for Hollywood vet, Hugh Jackman? Guess we’ll have to wait a year to find out…
#2: GET OUT
Synopsis: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with her parents, Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
Entering at #2, after claiming last week’s #1 spot, is Get Out. We’ve been discussing some pretty amazing things about Get Out this past week, as even more light is shone on both the director and the film. This past Oscar season, we saw a lot of films on race; between Moonlight winning the Oscar for Best Picture and three of the Best Documentary nominees – and the winner – addressing race relations in this country (O.J.: Made in America, The 13th, and I Am Not Your Negro). However, it seems as though director Jordan Peele has taken the topic and gone where others haven’t gone before: the horror genre. 12.13% of this weekend’s check-ins are claimed by Get Out and it continues to dominate the charts and critics alike, with a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Thelma Adams of The New York Observer even went far enough to say, “Following [the] Oscar’s pomp and self-importance, viewing Jordan Peele’s fiercely entertaining thriller offers the perfect awards hangover cure. Audiences leave the theater shaken and stirred.” Go check out this extremely creative and different film.
#3: BEFORE I FALL
Synopsis: Samantha Kingston is a young woman who has it all: the crush-worthy boyfriend, amazing best friends and drop dead gorgeous looks. February 12 is just another charmed day in Sam’s life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day during one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery surrounding her death and discovers the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
A new entry to our MoviePass Member Top 5, Before I Fall takes a twist on the typical stuck-in-the-same-day horror plot. Although this film seems aimed primarily at teenage girls, it has something for every film lover: horror elements, teenage angst, (re-live your glory days, or your not-so-glory-days), and a shocking thriller element to it. 8.13% of MoviePass check-ins were used for Before I Fall this weekend and the film scored a respectful 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Susan Wloszcyna of RogerEbert.com writes, “A story aimed primarily at teen and tween girls, one that doesn’t pander or preach and avoids over-villainizing its characters, even if a cliché or two sneaks in.” Kent Turner of School Library Journal also states, “The filmmakers don’t stint on the darker layers of the source material.” Unfortunately, not all reviews were as positive with A.A. Dowd of AV Club stating, “It’s not déjà vu. You have seen this movie before.” With a few mixed reviews, we ask members to go see the film with an open mind and tell us what you think.
#4 TABLE 19
Synopsis: Ex-maid of honor Eloise – having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text – decides to hold her head high and attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the random table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets. As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19.
Termed “The Breakfast Club of wedding films,” Table 19 is a different movie from what we’ve already seen this year. It celebrates and embraces the Anna Kendrick-style of quirky chick-flick. The film did not do as well on Rotten Tomatoes as the other films on our list, scoring only 20%, but it does look like a lot of fun. After all, it claims 6.3% of check-ins.
Even though not all reviews were great, including that of Nathalie Atkinson of Globe and Mail who humorously writes, “RSVP: Decline with regret,” the film managed to pull some good reviews, especially in regards to the acting/characters. Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com writes, “It’s worth seeing for its performances, though-in particular Merchant’s. His ostrich walk and deadpan line deliveries are a continual source of delight.” David Fear of Rolling Stone also comments on this stating, “Mostly, however, what you get is six characters in search of a cringe-comedy that can cohere around them.” Even though this film may not have gotten top-knotch reviews, you should still go and enjoy the light-hearted comedy.
#5: THE SHACK
Synopsis: The Shack takes us on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.
Finally, rounding out our list is The Shack, coming in at 6.17% percent of member check-ins. The film, based on a New York Times Best Seller unfortunately, did not seem to do as well with critics as the novel, scoring a disappointing 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. People seem to be confused as to what to make of the movie’s categorization, though it seems to fit into the Christian film genre – sort of. It does have a strong cast, however, with Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress, Octavia Spencer, as leads.
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly states, “It’s one of those movies where you’ll either decide to give in right away and sob for two hours straight or opt to fight it while your resentment slowly simmers to a rolling boil.” John Semley of Globe and Mail also writes, “Based on the sleeper bestseller by Canadian author William P. Young, The Shack offers an enlightening – if dispiriting – vantage on contemporary, non-denominational Christianity.” On the other side of the spectrum, Luke Y. Thompson of Forbes said of the film, “Regardless of which path you come at it by, it’s a cleverly told lesson of love and forgiveness, and the most appealing movie sermon I’ve seen in years.” Be sure to let us know whether or not this film strikes an emotional cord with you – positive or negative!
IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
Now, for our favorite question of the day: what are we seeing this week? KONG: SKULL ISLAND. We had to write it in all caps! Then, we’ll be sure to follow up with the Kristen Stewart-headlined foreign gem, Personal Shopper. And to round it all out, we’ll see the indie horror, Raw.
KONG SKULL ISLAND
Synopsis: This film fully immerses audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.
Synopsis: A young American in Paris works as a personal shopper for a celebrity. She seems to have the ability to communicate with spirits, like her recently deceased twin brother. Soon, she starts to receive ambiguous messages from an unknown source.
Synopsis: Stringent vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) encounters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world during her first week at veterinary school. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her principles and eats raw meat for the first time. The young woman soon experiences terrible and unexpected consequences as her true self begins to emerge.