As expected, the top spot at the box office belonged to Doctor Strange for the second week, as the Marvel film took in $43 million with Trolls doing a second place repeat with $35. New release, Arrival, opened in third with $24.1, a movie that will make more money due to word of mouth and Almost Christmas, a film I had no idea about, opened in fourth with $15.1. Rounding out the top five was Mel Gibson’s World War II film, Hacksaw Ridge, making $10.6.
A huge slate of movies this week, ten to be exact and three of them in wide release. I guarantee we’ll be seeing a new number one this weekend:
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – Warner Brothers kicks off it’s latest cash cow connected to the Harry Potter universe with the same director as the last handful of films but with a twist. This time J.K. Rowling is the screenwriter as well as the source material. Eddie Redmayne toplines this film and it’s now confirmed that Johnny Depp is in this and the four sequels that will follow.
The Edge Of Seventeen – Shot in and around Vancouver, this film is the most refreshing coming of age comedy I’ve seen in a long time. A genre long dominated by male characters, like in American Pie and the movies like it, this film focuses on a female protagonist, played by Hailee Steinfeld. A hilarious film, this one almost gets stolen by Woody Harrelson and local newcomer Hayden Szeto.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – This long awaited Ang Lee film finally hits screens here after opening in the States last week. Following up his critical success of Life Of Pi, Lee seems to have stumbled with this one, a movie about a young man’s tour in Iraq. The faster frame rate and obvious script are being blamed for another film that Sony was too scared to screen for us.
Bleed For This – Looking for those award considerations, this is the true story of boxer Vinnie Pazienza, a fighter who was in a horrific car accident and made one of the most inspiring comebacks in professional sports. Miles Teller stars in the lead role with Sons Of Anarchy bad ass Katey Sagal as his mother. Looks interesting but Sony got too scared to screen it for us.
Loving – Writer and director Jeff Nichols returns with his second film of 2016, after Midnight Special earlier this year. This time he takes on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple ran out of their own state of Virginia because of their union in the 1950s. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are fantastic in this film, as is the writer and director himself. A really great film.
Operation Avalanche – What if the original moon landing ha been faked by a couple of film students on a sound stage? That’s what this Canadian made mockumentary suggests, one that I had the pleasure of checking out at VIFF. A really fun and ambitious film, this one is a film that other independent filmmakers need to see.
The Love Witch – An ode to the psychedelic horror films of the seventies and another VIFF pick, this film is a woman power film through and through. It follows a troubled but powerful witch as she leaves the big city of San Francisco for a small town with one thing on her mind. Seduce all the men to increase her power and possibly find love. This one seems to have a lot of critics on board, except for me.
Aquarius – Brazil’s official entry into the Academy Awards and another film that screened at VIFF, this one is very much a strong character film. Actress Sonia Braga plays a prominent music figure that is the last hold out at an apartment building that is supposed to be torn down. Fighting the establishment, she struggles to keep her home, the one thing that hasn’t changed in her life.
London Road – A film that played at last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, this is a movie about a series of murders in the Ipswitch community of London but, get this, it’s a musical! Top lined on the poster by Tom Hardy, this is a trick as he only is in the film for five minutes. Another film that critics are liking and I am not.
The History Of Love – A co-production of Canada, France and Romania, this is one of those “everything is connected” romantic dramas that have a bunch of intersecting stories. British actress Gemma Arterton leads this one that eOne never screened for the critics.
At the Twilight Drive-In: This week’s double header is a one I call “Not A Great Finish But A Worthy Beginning”.
7:30 PM Hacksaw Ridge
10:00 PM Inferno
At The Rio Theatre: This Friday, your midnight screening at the Rio just may get you singing and dancing as The Little Shop Of Horrors hits the screen at 11:55 pm. Just want to point out that this is the more popular Rick Moranis version, not the older Jack Nicholson version. Feed me!
Blu-Ray: the follow up to the massive hit more than a decade ago, Finding Dory and two music documentaries come out on Friday, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years and Rush: Time Stand Still.