Your weekend time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. To help narrow down your choices on the film, television, and gaming fronts, every Friday, the Weekend Preview gives you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense.
At the Movies
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen
Current RT Meter: 85% Fresh
Drew’s box office prediction: $160,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $175,000,000
I don't know about you but it's sure been cold where I live and I'm ready for some heat. Luckily for me, the hottest film of the year is here.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a big test. It's a test to see how strong the Star Wars brand is when it's not an official episode in the series. It's a test to see how receptive audiences are to a female-driven action film. It's a test to see where the Star Wars franchise goes next. Will they branch out and explore more spin-offs like this or play it safer and focus only on origin stories of Han, Yoda, etc? The question isn't if this film will do well, it's just how well it'll do. Expect big, big business here. But you know that and you've probably already got your ticket purchased.
The Verdict: Everyone you know is probably seeing Rogue One this weekend. Expect perhaps the biggest opening of the year.
Director: David Frankel
Stars: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris
Current RT Meter: 13% Rotten
Drew’s box office prediction: $12,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $28,000,000
Suicide Squad aside, Will Smith doesn't have the box office pull he used to. It's not just the fault of the audience either, Smith is to blame in a big way. He isn't picking great movies to star in. He used to be reliable and now he's more miss than hit. That seems to be the case with Collateral Beauty, a star-studded drama that is receiving scathing reviews. Even with the critical thrashing, the cast alone should bring in a crowd but we likely won't be talking about this movie much once it leaves theaters. Time to get your act together, Will. You're far too good for this.
The Verdict: Will Smith isn't the star he once was but he's a lovable and well known commodity. Even a critically ravaged film from him will produce a decent haul.
On the Tube
In just a few weeks, Barack Obama will be an ex-president and his legacy will belong to the history books. While Obama has been the most televised president in our history, he's still a bit of an enigma to many. Netflix's Barry examines the future world leader as he attended college in New York City. It wasn't easy for young Barack who was trying to figure out where he fit in a world that didn't know what to make of him. Obama has a lot of layers, he's a deep dude and this film promises to show you some of them. For fans of history, fans of Obama and those scared for the next four years, Barry will be comforting and relatable.
The Verdict: Barry is will be perfect for those who admire the man or just want to know what makes him tick. Plus you can watch from the comfort of your couch.
Man in the High Castle, Season Two (Amazon Prime)
Next to Transparent, Man in the High Castle is Amazon's biggest hit. Set in a parallel universe where Hitler won World War II (shudder...), High Castle is a dystopian drama that fans have been really enjoying. It's great to see heady and historical sci-fi find an audience. Amazon has spared no expense with the show's second season and this thing looks damn good. Now I know where my money goes when I pay for next day shipping.
The Verdict: For those saying things are really bad right now, watch some Man in the High Castle to put it in perspective. If you have Amazon Prime, you should be watching this.
For the Gamers
Mario Run (iOS, Android coming soon)
This weekend is actually a big moment in gaming history. It's the time Nintendo truly makes the leap to mobile gaming. That's right, Mario is now in your pocket. Super Mario Run is an endless runner starring everyone's favorite plumber. While the game might not end up being as big as Pokémon Go (can anything be?) it's going to take the mobile gaming world by storm. If it does well (it will) expect to see many other iconic video game characters make their way to your handheld. Which games should end up on smartphones? We have a few ideas.
The Verdict: Mario Run is sure to make waiting for the bus much more fun. Everyone is going to be playing this so download it today and you can be part of the conversation. Read Fandom's Super Mario Run review to learn more!