This week’s MoviePass Member Top 5 offers no surprises, with the much desired Beauty and the Beast claiming the top spot. Our list also features the latest Blumhouse release, The Belko Experiment, along with some other now recognized fan-favorites that have been dominating the box office. These include Kong: Skull Island, Get Out, and Logan. Let’s get started!
#1: Beauty and the Beast
Synopsis: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.
Coming in at the #1 spot, to nobody’s surprise, is Disney’s new live-action film, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. The reimagining of this family classic claimed 33.49% of this weekend’s member check-ins. The film also earned a perfectly acceptable score of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is not to say that it was not a huge hit with Disney fans alike; although it only scored a 70% with critics, 86% of fans enjoyed the movie; many showing up to midnight screenings in costume.
What is disappointing for the feature and the film community is the uproar over the openly gay character, LeFou. A few theaters even chose to forgo showing the movie, which is very unfortunate in our ever changing, and hopefully, accepting times. Nevertheless, we’re happy to say that there were plenty of people who kept an open-mind. Anthony Lane of the New Yorker writes, “The sheer dexterity is overwhelming, and only the sternest viewer will be able to resist the onslaught of such thoroughly marketed magic.” What seems to disappoint the majority of critics is the fact that the film does not necessarily live up to its animated counterpart. This can be seen in David Sims of The Atlantic‘s review stating, “Disney has ripped a jewel out of its casing and set it in something far more elaborate; the effect is garish rather than nostalgic, frustrating rather than memorable.” Whatever the critics think of the film, make sure to go catch a piece of this Disney magic.
#2: The Belko Experiment
Synopsis: An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona) at the Belko Corp. in Bogotá, Colombia, learn that they are pawns in a deadly game. Trapped inside their building, a voice over an intercom tells the frightened staffers that two workers must be killed within 30 minutes. When another ultimatum follows, friends become enemies and new alliances take shape, as only the strongest will remain alive at the end.
Filling the #2 spot on our list, with 16% of all member check-ins, is Blumhouse’s much anticipated The Belko Experiment starring Tony Goldwyn, John Gallagher Jr., Sean Gunn, Adria Arjona, and John C. McGinley. This thriller scored a 47% percent on Rotten Tomatoes, emphasizing the film’s divisive nature. Blumhouse seemed to make the most of the modern day fear; with so many public shootings amongst other violent crimes in the modern era, this film has the ability to really hit home with viewers.
Some critics absolutely love the film, including John DeFore of the Hollywood Reporter, who writes that the film has, “Vicious, mostly satisfying action.” Other critics state that the film has too much violence; including Kyle Smith of the New York Post who writes, “For all its promise to be a wry commentary on the savagery of office politics, ‘The Belko Experiment’ is more like an experiment in how many cracked-open skulls can be crammed into one movie.” Definitely prepare yourself for gore before heading to the theater for this one.
#3: Kong: Skull Island
Synopsis: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Landing the third spot in this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5, after gracing the top of last week’s list, is Kong: Skull Island. The film still holds a strong presence on our list, claiming 10.94% of this weekend’s member check-ins. It also has a score of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, showing more favor among critics than the previous 2 films on our list. The movie has an A-list cast including: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly. Its soundtrack is also incredible; Amy Nicholson of MTV states, “Creedence Clearwater Revival thrums on the soundtrack – has any ’70s movie managed to avoid it? – but when the giant spiders start stomping, Vogt-Roberts earns the right to blast ‘Run Through the Jungle.'”
#4: 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 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.
Get Out has grabbed the #4 spot on this week’s list with 6.88% of all member check-ins. Since the feature first appeared on our MoviePass Member Top 5 three weeks ago, it continues to exercise strength. Hell, it’s even more popular than Logan. Henry Fitzherbert of Daily Express (UK) writes that Get Out is, “Proof that you don’t need stars or special effects to lure an audience. Just a fresh idea and a twisted imagination.”We’ll second that opinion. Though, it doesn’t hurt to have the comedic mind of Jordan Peele behind the film.
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
Another film that has managed to stay on our list for some time now is Logan, the X-Men film that absolutely everyone is talking about. This past weekend, it scored 6.41% of all member check-ins. Not only are people loving Jackman’s absolutely brilliant performance, but people are loving the nitty-grittiness of the movie. It’s dark, but still has so much love to offer to not only the characters, but to the audience, as well. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes, “Make no mistake, Logan earns its tears. If Jackman and Stewart are serious about this being their mutual X-Men swan song, they could not have crafted a more heartfelt valedictory.”
IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
As always, we ask ourselves, “What are we watching this week?” Well, to start, we’re definitely revisiting childhood with the new Power Rangers film. Then, we’re headed to space with the SXSW feature, Life! After, we’ll get a little comic relief with another television show reboot, Chips.
Synopsis: Five ordinary teens must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.
Synopsis: Astronauts (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds) aboard the International Space Station are on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As members of the crew conduct their research, the rapidly evolving life-form proves far more intelligent and terrifying than anyone could have imagined.
Synopsis: Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello have just joined the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles, but for very different reasons. Baker is a former motorbike rider who’s trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky, undercover FBI agent who’s investigating a multimillion dollar heist that may be an inside job. Forced to work together, the inexperienced rookie and hardened veteran begin clashing instead of clicking while trying to nab the bad guys.