Decisions, decisions, decisions… Good thing you have FKB to help guide you in your decision on what to watch in theaters this weekend. Steve McQueen has a new film out, that’s already one great reason to rush out and challenge yourself (or not, Escape Plan is out too) to a great weekend at the theaters.
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard
Genre: Historical Drama
With a quick look at the trailer, 12 Years A Slave could almost be mistaken for your average Hollywood Oscar-bait. But if you look closely, Chiwetel Ejiofor isn’t exactly the bankable leading man you see on every summer movie poster. And director Steve McQueen is known more for his powerful and challenging films like Hunger and Shame than for giving in to Hollywood’s thirst for “easy” films. So what can we conclude about the trailer? It’s misleading. McQueen isn’t the type to shy away from brutality or harsh truths, and there is no exception here.
Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northrup, a New York State citizen who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film is partially based on Northrup’s memoir. Words being used to describe the film include “mesmerizing”, “raw”, “brutal”, and “essential”. McQueen would hate the comparison, but this is a far superior (and much more serious) Django Unchained, dealing with a similar subject matter in a very different way. By the time the end of the year comes around, don’t be surprised to find 12 Years A Slave on many “best of” lists. This is a must-see.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Starring: Chloe Grace-Moretz, Julianne Moore, Portia Doubleday
A remake of Brian De Palma’s 1976 classic, Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie stars rising young actress Chloe Grace-Moretz (Hit Girl in Kick-Ass) as Carrie White. Shunned by her classmates, shy Carrie is kept sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Moore). When problems at school reach a boiling point during senior prom, Carrie unleashes telekinetic destruction on her small town.
Peirce has handled subject matter with themes similar to this before, making the excellent Boys Don’t Cry in 1999. While reviews haven’t been the most favorable so far, Grace-Moretz is a talented young actress and it will be interesting to see how Peirce approaches the remake. That being said, if you haven’t seen the original yet, watch that instead.
Director: Mikael Håfstrom
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Vinnie Jones, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vincent D’Onofrio
Pairing action legends Stallone and Schwarzenegger together for the first time, Escape Plan has little else going for it besides cheesy one-liners and lots of action. But with a film like this, offering dumb fun that knows it’s dumb fun, it’s easier to go along for the ride. If you’re a fan of Stallone’s Expendables films, then this is right up your alley.
Sly plays Ray Breslin, a security expert who agrees to take on one last job (stop me if this sounds familiar): to break out of the most fortified and protected prisons ever built called “The Tomb”. Sly recruits fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Ah-Nold) to work with him in devising an escape from the facility. We all know how it ends, but with films like this, the ride there can be pretty fun.
Have a fun weekend at the movies!