2016 Academy Award Nominees Predictions

2016 Academy Award Nominees Predictions

The 2016 Academy Award nominees will be announced on Thursday, January 14, and we have our own predictions of who will earn a nomination for the Oscars Continue reading

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Now Available to Own: The Walk, Sicario, The Visit, Deathgasm, and More

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of January 5, 2016. Every Tuesday we run down new movie and television releases that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, as well as some slick deals that can help save you some coin. New on shelves this week are The Walk, Sicario, The Visit, Deathgasm, and more.

Sicario Movie

Source: Business Insider

Movies on Blu-ray

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) Rated R [121 min] – An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Jon Bernthal

If you like tense, edge of your seat dramas that leave you in suspense up until the bitter end, Sicario will be your cup of tea. Emily Blunt puts out a wonderful performance alongside a stellar supporting casting, especially Benicio Del Toro who absolutely shines.

Special features include:

  • Stepping Into Darkness: The Visual Design of Sicario
  • Blunt, Brolin, and Benicio: Portraying the Characters of Sicario
  • A Pulse From The Desert: The Score of Sicario
  • Battle Zone: Inside The World of Sicario
  • And More…

The Walk (Robert Zemeckis) Rated PG [123 min] – In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, and Émilie Leclerc

Sadly, The Walk is one of the most under seen movies of 2015. The most depressing part about the film isn’t that it’s a dramatization of the thrilling documentary Man on Wire, what’s upsetting is that The Walk is actually a really fun movie that is riveting experience when seen on the big screen. There is some incredible cheese and terrible narration, but overall this movie is one of the most intense things I witnessed in theaters last year. My armpits were dripping with anxiety throughout the last 30 minutes of the film.

Special features include:

  • Pillars of Support
  • First Steps
  • The Amazing Walk
  • Deleted Scenes

The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan) Rated PG-13 [94 min] – A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, and Peter McRobbie

M. Night (Signs; The Sixth SenseThe Village; Unbreakable) has not had the best track record after the handful of successes he garnered early on in his career. After a slew of flops, including 2013’s abomination After Earth, the once revered master of twists shows he still has that delicious flare we know and love. The Visit doesn’t have the best characters to fall in love with, but the pacing, direction, and level of mystery delivers a fairly rewarding end. And amazingly, if he continues doing work at this caliber, I am highly intrigued at what he can accomplish next.

Special features include:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of The Visit
  • Becca’s Photos

The Green Inferno (Eli Roth) Rated R [100 min] – A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, and Kirby Bliss Blanton

Not since 2007’s Hostel II have I really seen anything to jump for joy about when it comes to Eli Roth’s work. And after delays and mixed reviews, I wasn’t so sure I’d walk away from The Green Inferno in any better shape. Surprisingly, I was pleasantly enlightened by its cheeky story. And despite having heard how vicious and disgusting it is, The Green Inferno is pretty tame considering it’s a film about cannibalism.

Special features include:

  • Feature Commentary
  • Photo Gallery

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Christopher Landon) Rated R [93 min] – Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak. Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, and Sarah Dumont

Originally entitled Scouts vs. Zombies, a more suitable and grammatically correct title, Scouts Guide, in its truest form, is the stoner comedy answer to the rise in popularity of the undead. Not without its lewd and somewhat refreshing zombie set pieces, the movie fails to deliver characters and a story that matters. Scouts Guide is what would happen if the tripod from Superbad encountered the zombie apocalypse. It’s not revolutionary on any level, but it does have a few gags that are worth fast forwarding to get to.

Special features include:

  • Scouts Guide to Filmmaking
  • The Zombie Makeup FX Handbook
  • Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography
  • Uniforms and You: Costume Design
  • Deleted Scenes

Deathgasm (Jason Lei Howden) Unrated [86 min] – Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives. Starring Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, and Kimberley Crossman

After its big premiere at South by Southwest, Deathgasm has been on my must watch list for quite some time. So does it live up to the hype? Kinda. The movie is really fun and full of hilarious references to the metal scene, and even if you’re not a metalhead, the movie goes a long way to entertain and fully engage you in the rambunctious anarchy. The only downside is that its convenient ending makes the movie feel a bit rushed.

Special features include:

  • Commentary with Writer-Director Jason Lei Howden
  • Featurettes
  • Music Video: Bulletbelt – “Deathgasm”
  • Trailer
  • Teaser

Experimenter (Michael Almereyda) Rated PG-13 [98 min] – Famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans willingness to obey authority. Starring Peter Sarsgaard, Josh Hamilton, Taryn Manning, Winona Ryder, and Anton Yelchin

Not having any previous awareness to famed psychologist Stanley Milgram, I didn’t quite know what to expect going into Experimenter, only that the cast is exceptional. That being said, the movie is pretty cut and dry aside from a narrative breaking of the fourth wall by Sarsgaard. The movie tells and never shows. The main social experiment is rather fascinating, and its subjects bring up a lot of concerning and existential conversations. However, there’s nothing too exhilarating about Experimenter to capture and engage like it should with how important Milgram’s findings were.

Special features include:

  • The Making of Experimenter
  • Designing Experimenter
  • Understanding Stanley Milgram: An Inerview with Joel Milgram

Kung Fu Panda [Re-Release] (Mark Osborne and John Stevenson) Rated PG [92 min] – In the Valley of Peace, Po the Panda finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior despite the fact that he is obese and a complete novice at martial arts. Starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, and Ian McShane

AND

Kung Fu Panda 2 [Re-Release] (Jennifer Yuh) Rated PG [91 min] – Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past. Starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, and Gary Oldman

Both Kung Fu Panda films have been re-released with extra bonus content in celebration of the upcoming release of Kung Fu Panda 3. While I enjoy both films, the new extra features are fun for the kids, but don’t bring anything really new to those looking for a deeper exploration of the making of the film.

New Re-release Special features include:

  • “Secrets of the Scroll” – an all-new animated adventure. – Tigress, Viper, Monkey, Crane and Mantis transform from complete strangers into the legendary Furious Five Warriors of Kung Fu
  • Martial Arts Awesomeness Music Video – Our heroes’ fight sequences move to the beat of “Kung Fu Fighting” in this colorful music video
  • Mash-Up of Awesomeness: Slo-Mo – Prepare to be thrilled by amazing, high-intensity action sequences in all the glory that slow motion provides
  • Mash-Up of Blunders – Laugh with this lightning quick mash-up of all Po’s hilariously embarrassing moments
  • Plus an Exclusive Sneak Peek of Kung Fu Panda 3 – All-new Kung Fu Panda 3 sneak peek with introduction by Jack Black

DVD Only

Sleeping with Other People (Leslye Headland) Rated R [95 min] – A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Jordan Carlos, and Margarita Levieva

This may be the first time I’ve found Jason Sudeikis mildly tolerable. That may lie solely on the fact that Alison Brie brings out the best in people. Sleeping with Other People isn’t your traditional FWB romcom, but rather a relationship story based on friendship and support. Crazy concept, I know. It works up until the very end where things start to fall apart. It has some good laughs and witty dialogue, but not revolutionary to the romcom game.

  • No special features included

Captive (Jerry Jameson) Rated PG-13 [97 min] – A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run after breaking out of jail and murdering the judge assigned to his case. Starring Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, and Michael Kenneth Williams

Not much can be said about the rather mediocre Captive. While the performances by Mara and Oyelowo maintain a professional level of commitment with the utmost conviction, the film is rather repetitive, beating the main story beats and themes over the head too often. And by the end, the miles Captive puts in to build to some meaningful, big finale doesn’t come close to the oomph it is hoping for because the damage has already been done.

Special features include:

  • Feature film in standard definition
  • Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive
  • Faith and The Purpose Driven Life
Broad City Season 2

Source: neogaf

Television Series

Broad City (Season 2) [DVD Only] (Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson) Rated TV-14 [22 min] – Broad City follows two women throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and Hannibal Buress

I hadn’t had the inclination to check out Broad City, but after the opportunity presented itself, and figuring how well received the series has been, I thought I’d check it out. The show definitely lives up to the hype. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer absolutely crush it. The lives of their characters are hilariously resonating while at the same time utterly fantastical. Season 2 is a big step forward as their characters progress to even further heights and their morals even lower. This show is hilarious and suggest everyone gets on it.

Special features include:

  • Outtakes & Deleted Scenes
  • Pop-Up Enhanced Episode
  • “Hack Into Broad City” Series
  • “Body By Trey” Videos

Additional Releases this Week

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 10) (DVD Only)
  • Legend: The Complete Series (DVD Only)
  • Party of Five: The Complete Series (DVD Only)
  • Comedy Bang! Bang! (Season 10) (DVD Only)
  • Ancient Aliens Season 8 (DVD Only)
  • Battle for Skyark (DVD Only)

Blu-Ray Deals and Steals

  • The Land Before Time – $9.99
  • Fox Searchlight Collection – $69.99
  • Princess Mononoke – $17.99
  • The Drop – $9.99
  • We Are Still Here – $7.99
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – $14.99
  • The Wind Rises – $17.99
  • The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary Edition – $8
  • Baby Mama – $5
  • West Side Story – $10.99
  • Far From the Madding Crowd – $12.99
  • Kill Bill 1 & 2 Collection – $7.99

All prices from Amazon.com. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match online prices.

What will you be taking home this week? Tell us in the comments section below!


new movie tv video game releases on dvd and-blu-ray

All plot synopses come courtesy of IMDb.com

Image: Fighting in the War Room

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD 21st Critics’ Choice Awards Nominees

After last week’s nominations were revealed for the 22nd Annual SAG Awards and 73rd Golden Globes, it feels like it could be anyone’s game at this point. This morning the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) announced their 21st Critics’ Choice Awards nominees with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road leading the charge with 13 nods. Hosted by T.J. Miller, the winners will be revealed during a live broadcast from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on A&E, Lifetime, and LMN on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.

Mad Max: Fury Road has undoubtedly become the underdog favorite of this awards season, as it has become one of the most revered features of the year by critics, myself included – my review. The big topic of conversation, aside from gaining Best Picture recognition, is Charlize Theron’s nods for both Best Actress and Best Actress In An Action Movie. Tom Hardy, of course, is nominated for Best Actor In An Action Movie, but it’s George Miller for Best Director that has really invested my interest into whether he could be a contender come Oscars. The film has also garnered nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Action Movie, and Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie.

Trailing behind the whirlwind, critically acclaimed hit is Carol, The Martian, and The Revenant with nine nominations each. While this year’s big favorite, Spotlight, has earned itself eight nominations from critics, followed by The Big Short and The Hateful Eight with six each. Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Jurassic World, and Sicario each earned five nominations and Room obtained four. Charlize Theron isn’t the only actress up for multiple Best Actress categories, as Jennifer Lawrence is up for three for her work in Joy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, while Rachel McAdams is up for two awards for Spotlight and True Detective.

And while the film categories are all up in the air, the television categories prove that the increasing output of excellent programming continued this year with FX, ABC, and HBO both gaining 14 nominations each; FOX is close on their heels with 12 nods. The big standout series this year, as determined by critics, is FX’s Fargo with eight nominations. The Leftovers (HBO) and Transparent (Amazon) are not far behind with five nominations each; Black-ish (ABC), Mr. Robot (USA), and Penny Dreadful (Showtime) each earned four.

So what can we takeaway from this year’s 21st Critics’ Choice Awards nominees? For starters, no other awards group has seen more movies this year than the critics, assumably. It’s their jobs to assess the year in film. Who better has a sound voice of reasoning than those who sit in dark rooms and watch movies multiple times per week? In the long run, sure, all awards are practically meaningless gold statues, and the varying award categories the BFCA and BTJA have set have little influence when it comes to the Oscars, but if these voices of reason can help sway voters to at least make an earnest decision at the polls we can be safe in knowing we won’t have another year where a Shakespeare in Love wins against a Saving Private Ryan.

21st CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES – THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

BEST PICTURE

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

BEST ACTOR

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Johnny Depp – Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

BEST ACTRESS

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

  • Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation
  • RJ Cyler – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Shameik Moore – Dope
  • Milo Parker – Mr. Holmes
  • Jacob Tremblay – Room

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

  • The Big Short
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Todd Haynes – Carol
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian
  • Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – Bridge of Spies
  • Alex Garland – Ex Machina
  • Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley – Inside Out
  • Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
  • Drew Goddard – The Martian
  • Emma Donoghue – Room
  • Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Carol – Ed Lachman
  • The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
  • The Martian – Dariusz Wolski
  • The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Sicario – Roger Deakins

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Bridge of Spies – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
  • Brooklyn – François Séguin, Jennifer Oman and Louise Tremblay
  • Carol – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
  • The Danish Girl – Eve Stewart, Michael Standish
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson
  • The Martian – Arthur Max, Celia Bobak

BEST EDITING

  • The Big Short – Hank Corwin
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
  • The Martian – Pietro Scalia
  • The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
  • Spotlight – Tom McArdle

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
  • Carol – Sandy Powell
  • Cinderella – Sandy Powell
  • The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP

  • Black Mass
  • Carol
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Ex Machina
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • The Walk

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

BEST ACTION MOVIE

  • Furious 7
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Sicario

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE

  • Daniel Craig – Spectre
  • Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Chris Pratt – Jurassic World
  • Paul Rudd – Ant-Man

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE

  • Emily Blunt – Sicario
  • Rebecca Ferguson – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Bryce Dallas Howard – Jurassic World
  • Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
  • Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST COMEDY

  • The Big Short
  • Inside Out
  • Joy
  • Sisters
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Steve Carell – The Big Short
  • Robert De Niro – The Intern
  • Bill Hader – Trainwreck
  • Jason Statham – Spy

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

  • Tina Fey – Sisters
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Melissa McCarthy – Spy
  • Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
  • Lily Tomlin – Grandma

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE

  • Ex Machina
  • It Follows
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • The Assassin
  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Mustang
  • The Second Mother
  • Son of Saul

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  • He Named Me Malala
  • The Look of Silence
  • Where to Invade Next

BEST SONG

  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  • Furious 7 – See You Again
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Love & Mercy – One Kind of Love
  • Spectre – Writing’s on the Wall
  • Youth – Simple Song #3

BEST SCORE

  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • The Revenant – Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
  • Sicario – Johann Johannsson
  • Spotlight – Howard Shore

Continue Reading to see the the Television Category Nominees–>>

Coming Soon to Blu-Ray and DVD: The Walk, Freeheld, and More

While we provide you with a list of available new releases Now Available to Own every Tuesday, Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD looks at all of the recent home video announcements. For the week of November 28, 2015 we have the The Walk, Freeheld, Irrational Man, and more. Find out when they’ll be out and what special features movie fans can expect below.

The Walk Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD January 5, 2016

The Walk (Robert Zemeckis) Rated PG [123 min] – In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, and Émilie Leclerc

Special features include:

  • Pillars of Support
  • First Steps
  • The Amazing Walk
  • Deleted Scenes

Freeheld Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray and DVD February 2, 2016; Digital HD January 19, 2016

Freeheld (Peter Sollett) Rated PG-13 [103 min] – New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon

Special features include:

  • “The Making of Freeheld” Featurette
  • “Freeheld to Freedom: Ocean County Then and Now” Featurette
  • Oscar-winning Documentary Short “FREEHELD”
  • Audio Commentary with Director Peter Sollett and Actors Julianne Moore and Ellen Page

Irrational Man Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD January 12, 2016

Irrational Man (Woody Allen) Rated R [96 min] – A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, and Joe Stapleton

Special features include:

  • On the Red Carpet: Los Angeles Film Premiere
  • Photo Gallery

Man Up Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD February 2, 2016

Man Up (Ben Palmer) Rated R [88 min] – A single woman takes the place of a stranger’s blind date, which leads to her finding the perfect boyfriend.Starring Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, and Olivia Williams

Special features include:

  • Gag Reel
  • Simon and Lake Interview Clips
  • “The Seven Beats of Man Up” Featurette

And that’s it for this week. What are you looking forward to picking up when they release?

Stay tuned for more Blu-Ray and DVD announcements every Saturday.


All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com

Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD

Click here for more home video announcements

Box Office Battlefield: Pan, Victoria, and The Final Girls

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of October 9, 2015 includes Pan, Victoria, The Final Girls, and Knock Knock. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out below!

Last weekend, Maaaattt Daamon took audiences on a wild ride of survival on the lonely red planet. With no real competition, The Martian moon-walked away with $54.3 million domestically, leaving everything in its red dust. This weekend sees the retelling of the origins of Peter Pan along with the expansion of The Walk into theaters. There are also a handful of limited releases that have been on my radar. Who will reign supreme and who will be the codfish? This is the Box Office Battlefield:

peter-pan-2015-movie-title-logo

Pan (Joe Wright) Rated PG [111 min] – 12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan Starring Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, and Rooney Mara [Watch the Trailer]

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 24% • Audience – 52%

My review:

Never have I giggled in delight so much for one of the most mind-boggling entrances to a villain I’ve ever seen. Hugh Jackman’s Blackbeard is so deliciously wrong for this Peter Pan origin story, but you can’t look away. For the rest of the cast, I though Levi Miller does a thorough enough job as the young Peter, however everyone else feels wildly miscast. I’m not sure what Garrett Hedlund’s accent for Hook is, but it’s atrocious. And of course Tiger Lily is played by the incredibly talented and white-skinned Rooney Mara. Pan is pure lunacy that is too caught up trying to make the origin story of Peter Pan work. The nods to the character are eye-rolling, Neverland is unimaginative, and the final action scene is awfully silly. This makes Hook look like an Oscar contender. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX SO YOU CAN HAVE A GOOD LAUGH!!!

Victoria 2015 Movie Title Logo

Victoria (Sebastian Schipper) [Limited] Unrated [138 min] – While on holiday in Berlin, a young woman finds her flirtation with a local guy turn potentially deadly as their night out with his friends reveals its secret: the four men owe someone a dangerous favor that requires repaying that evening. Starring Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, and Burak Yigit [Watch the Trailer]

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 77% • Audience – 86%

My review:

Long takes are not for the faint of heart. They take a lot of patience and planning to ensure every detail is nailed down. Birdman was shot over the course of 30 days or so and pieces of film were edited together to give the illusion of one long take. Victoria, however, was shot in one long take – they got it in their third attempt. And not only was it shot in one take, but it’s also over two hours long and takes place over multiple locations throughout Berlin. It’s quite impressive and highly commendable, but that doesn’t exactly mean it is without flaws. Edited films have the benefit of trimming down fat and making sure pacing is right for the story.

As much as I enjoyed marveling in awe at how Victoria was made, there are a handful of times where the movie could have been cut down. On the other side of the coin, the single take transports you alongside the characters as if you’re right there in the nitty-gritty of the action. The movie feels personable with our two leads where where the camera lingers long enough without movement that the experience feels very intimate. Sadly the rest of the cast isn’t fleshed out enough to be developed because we cannot cut to what they’re doing. But overall, Victoria is a feat to behold. MATINEE IT!

The Final Girls 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Final Girls (Todd Strauss-Schulson) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [88 min] – A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer. Starring Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam DeVine, and Thomas Middleditch [Watch the Trailer]

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 72% • Audience – 77%

Their reviews:

“There’s plenty to like in Todd Strauss-Schulson’s THE FINAL GIRLS, a perky meta homage to slashers of the ’70s and ’80s.” – Meredith Borders (Birth.Movies.Death.)

“A funny, creative, fast-paced, and well-shot horror satire. They do exist.” – Scott Weinberg (TheHorrorShow)

My take:

Ever since Scream, meta horror has become quite the unsung hero of horror. When things start to turn stale we have the likes of Cabin in the Woods, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and even Scary Movie to thank for shedding some light on tropes horror fans are getting tired of. Unlike You’re Next, that twists the final girl stereotype into a new age, The Final Girls is far more aware of itself as a horror movie because its characters get sucked into one. It looks like a lot of fun and the cast is pretty solid. I look forward to this when it hits theaters near me. MATINEE IT!

Knock Knock 2015 Movie Title Logo

Knock Knock (Eli Roth) Rated R [99 min] – When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse. Starring Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas [Watch the Trailer]

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 33% • Audience – 29%

Their reviews:

“Maybe Knock Knock is just one long, sick joke, skillfully told by a filmmaker who’s always spiked his horror with black humor, just never this effectively.” – A..A Dowd (The AV Club)
“Takes a titillating setup and turns it into hot, wet garbage that doesn’t even work as exploitation, much less as psychological horror or social commentary. ” – Eric D. Snider (GeekNation)

My take:

I want to believe that Knock Knock isn’t as bad as the critics are slamming it for because I think the premise is cleverly unusual. So I remain cautiously optimistic, hoping that Eli Roth can dish something out more energetic and vibrant like Cabin Fever and Hostel rather than The Green Inferno. RENT IT!

No one asked for a Peter Pan origin story, and the marketing is so terrible that I think it’s going to turn away parents. The Walk is getting a wide release in 2D, but last weekend it didn’t fair that well in IMAX 3D to begin with. I don’t think there’s enough enthusiasm for a man that people have hardly heard about. Which is unfortunate because The Walk has a lot to offer. The rest of this weeks releases are all limited and hardly have enough screens to compete with the wide releases. All that’s left is the tremendous love for The Martian. Suffice it to say, Matt Damon still has the charisma that people love and the story is too captivating not to enjoy. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: The Martian

What will you be watching this weekend? What did you think of the current releases? Tell us in the comment section below.


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

Box Office Battlefield: The Martian, The Walk, and Freeheld

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of October 2, 2015 includes The Martian, The Walk (IMAX 3D Only), Freeheld, and He Named Me Malala. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out below!

Last weekend, Hotel Transylvania 2 frightfully broke September box office records, unfortunately proving there may be some gas left in the tank for Adam Sandler. With Translyvania 2 gaining almost $50 million in domestic ticket sales, The Intern lagged behind in second with a mere $17.7 million. Ouch. Can a science fiction adaptation bolstering a star-studded cast make waves against the monsters of Transylvania or will Joseph Gordon-Levitt and crew walk away as victors? Matt Damon phone home! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

The Martian 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Martian (Ridley Scott) Rated PG-13 [141 min] – During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 94% • Audience – 94%

My review:

Leading up to this film, I had always heard from others that The Martian is a wonderful book. I didn’t know exactly what it was about, but my anticipation and expectations were fairly high going in. Suffice it to say, the film definitely met my expectations and more.

Matt Damon brings an excellent balance of emotions to his portrayal of astronaut Mark Watney. While having to stay calm and collected to keep his scientific mind at peace to solve every scenario, there’s a resonating layer of humanity that Damon brings to the character that shows he is not infallible. Although we can’t always see it on the outside, we understand that he cannot let his fears get the better of him.

With the help of an incredible supporting cast, those on the ground at NASA and in the Ares space shuttle, they can fear for Watney, as they struggle to come up with a solution to bring him home. While not every character is as strong as others, and it may seem like Game of Thrones trying to keep up with everyone’s title and name, each character serves a purpose.

After a huge slump of subpar features, The Martian is Ridley Scott’s (Alien; Blade Runner) return to form. Every element sewn together to create this unreal mission to explore the many facets of science in order to save one man is all tied together neatly. And despite its long run time, there are scenes that you wish the science was explained a little more intricately because of how well it’s presented on screen.

Cast Away meets Gravity meets Apollo 13, The Martian is a sleek, entertaining adaptation that works on many levels to positively shed the more boring facade of science into the mainstream conversation.

The Walk 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Walk (Robert Zemeckis) [Opens on 9/30 on IMAX Only] Rated PG [123 min] – In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, and Émilie Leclerc

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 86% • Audience – 85%

My review:

If you can’t get past Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s terrifying “French” accent than you might not be able to make it through The Walk unscathed. It’s atrocious in every conceivable way, but beyond this hiccup lies a gleefully cartoonish biopic that works far better than it should.

There’s a special chemistry that Philippe (Gordon-Levitt) shares with each of his crew that’s built very patiently and rewards in the final moments of the film as everything unfolds. As uninteresting and laborious as it all may seem, I enjoyed the camaraderie shared between everyone leading up to the walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Having this prolonged exposition and character building adds extra value to the walk itself, because without it all their hard work would have felt empty no matter how thrilling it is. And thrilling is almost an understatement. Sadly, I have yet to see Man on Wire, the documentary this film is based on, so I had no awareness of the level of insanity Petit’s walk truly was. It’s completely bonkers that this was achieved.

Even knowing that what I’m watching on screen is fake, after the movie was over I discovered I sweat through the pits of my shirt. The IMAX 3D experience, as gimmicky as it is, pays off immensely. Credit should be given to Gordon-Levitt’s physical performance as well as the effects team. The last third of The Walk will be what many only takeaway from this cinematic experience, but without the heist-y Ocean’s Eleven gravitas it wouldn’t have felt as grand of a spectacle.

Freeheld 2015 Movie Title Logo

Freeheld (Peter Sollett) Rated PG-13 [103 min] – New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 53% • Audience – 58%

Their reviews:

“A television movie of the week gone uninterestingly wrong.” – Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

“It doesn’t quite feel like the prestige pictures that blow through theaters this time of year; it’s a drama often dignified by its workmanlike approach, one that feels relatively judicious with its uplift.” – Benjamin Mercer (AV Club)

My take:

All the right intentions are here, but from what it sounds like, Freeheld doesn’t seem to be as moving or inspiring as it is written on paper. I’m sure Page and Moore put on a good show, but a lot of the other character portrayals I’ve seen in the trailers look like they’re in a completely different movie – I’m looking at you Carell. I don’t think Freeheld looks terrible, I’m just not convinced the movie has that Oscar-level prestige it thinks it does.

He Named Me Malala 2015 Movie Title Logo

He Named Me Malala (Davis Guggenheim) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [87 min] – A look at the events leading up to the Talibans’ attack on the young Pakistani school girl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls’ education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations. Starring Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, and Khushal Yousafzai

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 60% • Audience – 72%

Their reviews:

“The slick, shallow result [movie] better suited for schools than the cineplex: The Malala who lets herself be captured here is to be admired and applauded, not identified with.” – Inkoo Kang (The Wrap)

“Malala’s undeterred fearlessness in the face of extremists should be applauded, and she is rightfully a model for young women around the planet. But ultimately, this amazing girl is underserved by an unremarkable, congenial and safe portrait.” – Rodrigo Perez (The Playlist)

My take:

The whole story involving Malala sounds harrowing and intense, but it doesn’t seem as though the importance of her work and movement are conveyed well through this documentary. I’m sure within the next 15 years from now there will be a feature film based on the true events that might strike a larger impact with movie going audiences.

Sure Hotel Transylvania 2 wound up capturing the many dollars of families across the country, but I don’t think that it has a strong enough appeal to keep a steady stream of cabbage. The Martian is rated PG-13, it has a huge cast of stars, and Matt Damon maintains his likability on the silver screen despite whatever nonsense he’s spouting off in the media. The Walk is a good movie that demands your attendance in theaters, but it’s only in a select few due to its IMAX 3D limitation – it expands to all theaters in 2D next weekend. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: The Martian

What will you be watching this weekend? What did you think of the current releases? Tell us in the comment section below.


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes