It feels like a long time since we’ve seen such a massive box office dominance, as Doctor Strange summoned up $85.1 million for first place. No slouch in second, Trolls opened to $46.6 while Mel Gibson’s war film Hacksaw Ridge bombed in third with $15.2. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea movie dropped from first to fourth with $7.7 million with Inferno hanging onto fifth with $6.2. It seemed like North America actually went to the movies this weekend, ahead of the possible Tuesday apocalypse.
Five films open this weekend, only two in wide release that probably won’t shake Doctor Strange or Trolls from the top of the tree:
Arrival – My new favorite film this year, French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve releases his first sci-fi film, just ahead of him resuming production of the Blade Runner follow-up. Amy Adams plays a linguist who must form some sort of communication with an alien race that lands on earth. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker co-star in a film that I regard as a masterpiece.
Shut In – Not screened for us here in Vancouver, this is a horror thriller starring Naomi Watts, B.C.’s own Jacob Tremblay and Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton. The film is about a widowed psychologist who adopts a young boy who promptly vanishes during a brutal winter storm and it’s probably a telling sign that VVS wouldn’t let us have a look at this one.
The Handmaiden – One of the best films to come to the Vancouver International Film Festival, this is the brand new film from master South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook, the mind behind Oldboy. Not for the weak at heart, this is a steamy web of deceit about a young pickpocket sent to a rich woman’s house to help her master secure her hand in marriage. This one is amazing.
The Eagle Huntress – Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley executive produces and narrates this documentary about a young Kazakh girl who is training to be an eagle hunter, the first girl to do so. Beautiful to look at, this film could have been a very powerful short film but works as an inspirational feature.
Our Little Sister (Playing Saturday) – Long delayed in Vancouver, this new film from acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda, this film will delight lovers of traditional Japanese cinema. A pure character driven drama, this film follows a group of sisters who take in their half sister, someone from their father’s adulterous relationship.
At the Twilight Drive-In: This week’s double header is a one I call “To Quote The Donald Trump like Mad Max Villain, MEDIOCRE!”.
7:30 PM Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
9:45 PM Keeping Up With The Joneses
At The Rio Theatre: This Friday, those great people at the Rio have a very interesting and quite eclectic triple threat as the evening kicks off at 6:30 pm with the South Korean zombie flick Train To Busan. After that, at 9:15 pm, the fantastic music documentary Oasis: Supersonic hits the screen followed by the midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 11:55pm. Sounds like a pretty kick ass night to me!
Blu-Ray: the atrocious movie no one should watch, Nine Lives, the animated insanity of Sausage Party, the well-reviewed drama, Indignation, the beautifully animated French film, Phantom Boy, a Jackie Chan/Johnny Knoxville buddy action comedy, Skiptrace and the Jason Bateman starring and directed The Family Fang (only on DVD).