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.
At the Movies
Tom Hanks. Clint Eastwood. A heroic true story. Things seem to be aligning for Sully. The Oscar season is slowly dawning and this is one of the first big contenders. Mature stories like this are often treated extremely well, and the critical response to Sully seems to be pretty solid. It looks a little hokey and stereotypical at times, but good performances and pacing can make up for that.
The Verdict: Go see Sully if you need to feel like a grown-up this weekend.
The Wild Life
Directors: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Stars: Yuri Lowenthal, David Howard, Laila Berzins
Current RT Meter: 19% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday: $4,500,000
Nick’s box office prediction: $6,000,000
This is a foreign animated film that is getting dubbed and dumped over here in order to make a quick buck. The trailers have been grating and there’s nothing to suggest this is aiming for anything but the lowest common denominator. We used to not care about the quality of our children’s films, but we live in a better age. This is going to be forgotten before it even has a chance to be remembered.
The Verdict: Show your kids the 1984 version of The Wild Life instead. That should start some conversations.
When the Bough Breaks
It’s tough to judge whether an erotic thriller like When the Bough Breaks will be enjoyable. Movies of its ilk are often knowingly trashy and sensationalistic. It’s likely that audiences will know whether or not this is something they can take seriously. Honestly, it looks pretty fun in a grungy paperback sort of way. This could make for an interesting and provocative date night flick. And who doesn’t want to drool over the gorgeousness that is Morris Chestnut?
The Verdict: If you’ve been missing movies like Basic Instinct, give this one a watch.
The Disappointments Room
What an awful title. If not for the bland trailers and that stupid name, everything else about The Disappointments Room sounds like it could be worth seeing. The script is by Wentworth Miller, who most know from Prison Break and his role as Captain Cold, but he also wrote the fantastic Stoker. Director D.J. Caruso headed up the surprisingly enjoyable Disturbia. Why does this look so bland? After the empty and forgettable Morgan, this is looking like more of the same.
The Verdict: Leave this one alone and go watch Stoker. It’s a dark, twisted delight.
On the Tube
Cinemax is offering up this gritty drama about a Vietnam vet who returns home and finds himself wrapped up in a world of crime and murder. Prometheus actor Logan Marshall-Green (who was in the excellent The Invitation earlier this year) anchors what looks to be a no-nonsense bit of hard-knuckled semi-horror. If things work out, this could be a sleeper hit.
The Verdict: Don’t like smiling? Need something rough and mean? This is your best bet this weekend.
Son of Zorn
The gimmick behind Son of Zorn is fairly amusing but will it be able to sustain itself over an entire season? The talent involved are all solid but this feels like something that could work as a movie better than a serialized story. Still, that bit with the bird at the end is undeniably funny. Maybe this one will be worth giving a chance.
For the Gamers
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
The Phoenix Wright games have always been a dependable source of in-depth gameplay and humorous characters. This newest entry doesn’t look like it’s breaking from that tradition. There are some intriguing settings and a new mechanic, but fans are there for the cast and story. Spirit of Justice looks to satisfy those aspects.
The Verdict: You know by now if you love these games.
Jotun: Valhalla Edition
One of the more beloved indie games of last year makes its way to consoles. It’s impossible to deny the gorgeous art of Jotun, and that will certainly be a draw for some. The gameplay looks a little repetitive and basic, but that’s not so bad when it takes place in such a unique and vibrant world. Reviews are mixed but odd games like this often do get a little divisive.
The Verdict: Watch that trailer and you’ll know if this is right for you.