Your time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. In order to help narrow choices down on the film, television, and gaming fronts, every Friday we’ll give you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense.
Nick Nunziata and I predicted the box office returns for these films last Sunday, and here’s hoping my inaugural bit of prognostication is better than I hope!
At the Movies
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Current RT Meter: 48% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday: $91,000,000 (four-day weekend)
Nick’s box office prediction: $76,000,000
X-Men: Apocalypse will surely rule the weekend at the movies, but how enthused will audiences be with such a doomy entry after the zany zeitgeist that Deadpool has created? Nick wasn’t too hot on the movie and it’s going to be tough to follow the immensely popular X-Men: Days of Future Past. Still, if big scale superhero shenanigans are what you crave, this is a must-see. Also, if you’re a fan of Oscar Isaac (and who isn’t?), it’s gonna be hard to avoid him hamming things up while being drenched in blue makeup.
The Verdict: The easiest choice this weekend for the casual moviegoer. Or you could help out non-superhero films and go see The Nice Guys. I’m just sayin’!
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
Current RT Meter: 26% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday: $62,000,000 (four-day weekend)
Nick’s box office prediction: $48,000,000
How badly are audiences craving a sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland? Coming six years after the smash hit original, this new version looks even more garish and abrasive. There’s some fun to be had — Sacha Baron Cohen’s villainous Time has a great design — but it all feels a little too studio-mandated. Sadly, this film will be the final appearance of Alan Rickman who voices the blue caterpillar, so maybe it’s worth it for one last experience with that beloved actor.
The Verdict: Read the books instead.
On the Tube
The original Roots is a milestone in television history. Almost forty years later, History Channel is taking a stab at a new adaptation of Alex Haley’s landmark novel. With original star LeVar Burton as a co-executive and a star-studded cast, this might be one of the few remakes that actually outshines the original in terms of cinematic quality. The subject matter of slavery is bound to ruffle some feathers, but what are feathers for if not ruffling?
The Verdict: History Channel hasn’t done a bad job with their mini-series events, and the source material is fantastic. This’ll be one worth checking out.
Fans of Top Gear are anxious but intrigued at how the immensely popular show will soldier on without its original presenting team. Top Gear is the most widely watched factual television program in the world, so it’s likely that a lot of eyes are going to be on newcomers Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans. Will fans stick around or will they wait for Jeremy Clarkson and crew’s new show, The Grand Tour, coming to Amazon in the fall?
The Verdict: Such a seismic change for a long-running show deserves to be seen.
For the Gamers
Blizzard Entertainment has launched a new world for gamers and the results seem to be pretty astounding. Overwatch is being hailed as the next Team Fortress 2, and that’s the loftiest comparison you could make. The sci-fi first person shooter has been lapping up praise from every gaming outlet around, and it’s looking to be one of the year’s best.
The Verdict: No way this isn’t the game of the weekend, possibly of the year.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan
What is going on with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games? Was there some kind of secret pact made between all the game developers of the world that everything after Turtles in Time had to be mediocre at best? Mutants in Manhattan doesn’t seem to be bucking that trend. Maybe it’s the tired gameplay or the outright repulsive design of the Turtles — they look like a Rob Liefeld nightmare — but this game doesn’t look to be worth the franchise it’s representing.
The Verdict: Just play Turtles in Time for the seven-hundredth time. You’ll be much happier.