Opening in the United States – Weekend of April 21st, 2017

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Free Fire: Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) comedy about a weapons deal gone bad. Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and terrible movie sign Sharlto Copley star.  A24 is bizarrely going wide with this…good luck with that, folks. (A24, theatrical)

Unforgettable: Call me nuts, but this throwback erotic thriller (it looks like a Lifetime movie on steroids) starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl looks kind of fun.  That 30% RT score is not a deterrent.  Directorial debut of Denise Di Novi, who produced most of Tim Burton’s good films. (Warner Brothers, theatrical)

Made in China: Another DisneyNature animal documentary.  This one is about Giant Pandas.  Do they get a tax write-off for these? (Disney, theatrical)

Phoenix Forgotten: Ridley Scott-produced extraterrestrial horror picture. It’s found footage, like it’s 2011 or something! No name cast and behind-the-camera talent from a Z-grade distributor.  Why is this theatrical? (Freestyle Releasing, theatrical)

Tramps: I was excited when Netflix acquired Adam Leon’s (2012’s excellent Gimme the Loot) sophomore effort at TIFF last Fall.  Unfortunately, they’ve completely buried their own release with zero on-site or in-app promotion.  Heck, the trailer only dropped a week ago. Netflix still seems to struggle in some key areas, the marketing of their lower budget acquisitions being a big one.

Anyway, it’s at 100% on RT right now with 8 reviews in.  I’m going to say this is your best bet this weekend. (Netflix, streaming)

Sand Castle: Generic-looking Iraq war drama with Henry Cavill, Nicholas Hoult and Glen Powell.  Reviews are harsh. (Netflix, streaming)

The Lost City of Z: James Gray’s Amazon adventure film is scoring rave reviews, despite the cast of warning signs (Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson) and how long it’s been sitting on the shelf.  Good luck finding this in a theater near you, fortunately it will be available free for Amazon Prime subscribers in the coming months. (Amazon, theatrical)

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9 responses »

  1. I mean, Free Fire looks like a fun experiment in the way the latest bonkers Korean or Hong Kong action film is fun, but…while some reviews have been good, some have not at all. Ben Wheatley, like Rian Johnson, is a filmmaker I don’t understand being as high-level as they are, and how they have as many followers. Because they’re not fans, they’re like cult members. Oh, wait, I think the same thing about Refn, so what do I know.

  2. I have three films I’m thinking about seeing this weekend: Colossal, Lost City of Z, and Free Fire. Not sure which one to see. It’s always a gamble passing on a movie if it disappears by the next weekend. Thankfully they’ll be VOD in just about a month.

    And Kill List was pretty amazing. High Rise less so.

  3. I liked Kill List and Sightseers a lot. Did not enjoy High Rise. Looking forward to Free Fire but I know it will be on Amazon Prime within 90 days or so.

    I’ll probably watch Tramps this evening.

  4. I have to say I was wrong about Tramps promotion to an extent, it’s all over Netflix’s website and app now. A banner for it took up the top 1/3 of my screen on Roku a few minutes ago.

  5. Tramps is very agreeable. It’s slight and not as good as Gimme the Loot, but I enjoyed how casual it all was.

    The female lead (Grace Van Patten) seems like she could go places.

  6. If Sharlto Copley is a bad movie sign warning than Rosario Dawson is a bad movie red alert. In the films I’ve seen her in she has charisma to burn but her film record is uninspiring to say the least (probably why she’s been doing more TV and voiceover work in past few years).

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