With the weekend coming up and several movies seeing new releases, here’s my preview for what to see and what to avoid.
12 years a slave
This film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who is abducted and sold into slavery. Not only was Solomon a free man, but he had a family and also happened to be a very successful violin player. It has an all-star cast that includes Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Fassbender. My advice: it’s going to be a must-see. But wait until after opening weekend, when you can read content reviews. The rating advisory includes some nudity and brief sexuality, so it may be one that needs to wait until it can be rented and filtered.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwartzenneger star in this movie, about an expert at breaking out of prisons, who’s betrayed and thrown into a high-security prison off the grid. He, along with the help of another inmate, tries to break out so he can find the person responsible and find out why they did it. I’m a big fan of anything with Stallone in it, and it ought to be good, but I’ll wait on this one. The language in R-rated movies is often enough to steal its worth from the theater. It may be another wait and filter, but still one I’ll watch.
This is a reimagining of the “classic” horror movie, based on a Stephen King novel. There are two kinds of films in the horror genre: thrillers and bloodbaths. This one will be a pointless bloodbath. Carrie is a shy girl rejected by everyone around her who develops telekinetic abilities, which we are led to believe by the trailer are due demonic powers, or at least her mother thinks so. The mother, played by Julianne Moore, is very religious and uses that to even abuse her daughter, saying “Go to your closet and pray!” My guess is that she will be used to portray religion is the reason for death in the world. Don’t waste your time.
The Fifth Estate
Of all the films coming out this weekend, this one has to be at the top of the list. Everyone’s list. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, which is what the film is about. It explores the question of whistleblowers – are they heroes or are they menaces? The trailer gives you a pretty good idea of what it’s going to say, but it appears to do so in a way that admits the faults of Assange. More so than just him, however, it really appears to be about corruption and the access of information. It’s an R-rated film and has language in the content advisory, so it may also be a wait and filter. But I repeat myself. It should be at the top of your list. So as soon as you can see it in a way that is not morally objectionable, do it.
The One to See:
This one may be on my shortlist for a while. The realistic thriller is based on the true story of a captain whose ship is hijacked by pirates. Read my review here.