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Weekend Preview for September 23

Your weekend 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 the Weekend Preview gives 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.

At the Movies

The Magnificent Seven

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke
Current RT Meter: 63% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday:
$38,000,000
Nick’s box office prediction: $30,000,000

This remake of the 1960 classic looks like it has plenty of action and humor to enjoy. Westerns have always had a tough time in the modern marketplace, but the talent assembled in front of and behind the camera looks like it could change that. Though reviews have been somewhat mixed, they still lean towards the positive.

The Verdict: Director Antoine Fuqua knows how to make crowd-pleasing tough guy films. This is a safe bet for the weekend.

Storks

Directors: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Stars: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer
Current RT Meter: 57% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday:
$29,000,000
Nick’s box office prediction: $24,000,000

Another broad comedy for the kids. Storks looks enjoyable enough but probably lacks the kind of emotional depth of a Pixar film. With Finding Dory shattering records earlier this year, audiences expect a lot out of their animated features. This will probably be a disposable bit of fun with little to no staying power.

The Verdict: If you want to take your kids to see something, catch Kubo and the Two Strings before it leaves theaters.

On the Tube

The Exorcist

A remake in name only, The Exorcist looks like it has some polish but is doomed thanks to its namesake. Comparisons are inevitable and it's a shame this won't have a chance to stand on its own. It doesn't help that the critical reaction has been pretty mixed. It might surprise but it's got some big shoes to fill.

The Verdict: Horror fans have to give this a watch. Everyone else can probably tune out.

MacGyver

Yet another remake but this one seems a little too on the nose. After the incredible parody MacGruber, how can we take a new MacGyver seriously? Apparently, we can't. Reviews have been abysmal and it looks like this one might be dead on arrival.

The Verdict: No amount of paper clips and rubber bands will save this one.

Transparent

The critically adored Amazon series is back with a flashback-heavy third season. With Jeffrey Tambor winning another Emmy for his performance in this show, there will probably be even more eyes on this. That's great for everyone involved, especially the people watching.

The Verdict: If you haven't been giving this a chance, now's the time.

The Last Man on Earth

Will Forte's ridiculous sci-fi comedy is back and we couldn't be happier. This is one of the most heartwarming, silly, and weird shows out there. The strength of the two leads alone is enough to recommend this, but the supporting cast members are all equally lovable. This is a guaranteed good time on the television.

The Verdict: A weekend necessity.

Star Wars Rebels

The prequel cartoon returns for season three. The big addition comes in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a fan-favorite villain that was thought to be lost from the regular continuity. The series will also be picking up everyone's beloved Rebel pilot, Wedge Antilles. The series continues to be well-received, and it's looking to get even better as it progresses.

The Verdict: Star Wars fans can't miss this.

Bob's Burgers

One of the funniest animated series in recent years is back for its seventh season. It's astounding that this bizarre and often cheerily transgressive show has caught on, but the world is a better place for it. If there was anything that could take over for The Simpsons at Fox, it's this.

The Verdict: There's no better way to spend the weekend than with the Belchers.

The Simpsons

The longest running sitcom of all time returns for its twenty-eighth (!) season. Do we really need to explain The Simpsons at this point? Either you're still dutifully watching or you dropped out over a decade ago. Still, you gotta catch those "Treehouse of Horror" episodes.

The Verdict: Oh come on.

Family Guy

It's Family Guy.

The Verdict: It's Family Guy.

For the Gamers

Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2

Full disclosure: Fandom has a sponsored content deal going with Batman: The Telltale Series.

As stated when the first episode of this released, it's tough to judge these episodic games until the entire picture has been revealed. Responses to Batman have been on the weaker side so far. That's a shame considering how strong their stories for The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us were. Perhaps things will start to gel together as the series goes on, but it's not looking good.

The Verdict: Did you buy the first episode and like it? Might as well get the whole thing at this point.

Dear Esther: Landmark Edition

The controversial art game comes to home consoles this week. Dear Esther is often credited as one of the essential "walking simulators," and with good reason. Dear Esther's gorgeous landscapes and emotional plotting make it stand out in a market cluttered with aggressive properties predicated on violence. It's always going to be the kind of game that many won't enjoy, but there's definitely an audience for these kinds of experiences.

The Verdict: You probably know if this is for you.

Virginia

Taking inspiration from shows like The X-Files and Twin PeaksVirginia is a stylistic mystery/thriller about a small town with a secret. First person games are usually dominated by shooters, but they make perfect sense for investigating a crime. Reviews have been solid and this looks like the kind of cinematic game we need more of these days.

The Verdict: This looks like one worth picking up.

See you next weekend!


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