Bro-Reviews: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

How can I resist ya? 

Musicals can be hit or miss in Hollywood. Not all translate well to film, especially if they were originally intended for the stage instead of the silver screen. This still didn’t stop Hollywood from cashing in back in 2008 on “Mamma Mia!”, based on the 1999 Broadway jukebox musical of the same name featuring the music of the pop disco group ABBA. Despite opening against “The Dark Knight”, “Mamma Mia!” enjoyed a long run at the box office with a final tally of over $600 million worldwide, leading to Universal to kick the tires on the possibility of a sequel. Nearly a decade to the date of the release to the first film, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” finds itself dancing into theaters, but with the tepid reaction to the first film, there was a question as to whether or not audiences would be able to resist the film.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” sees Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) prepping for the grand reopening of her mother’s, Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep), hotel. With Sophie and her three fathers, Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) all scrambling to ensure the re-opening is a success, Sophie thinks back to how her young version of Donna (Lilly James), met the younger versions of her fathers, while a surprise arrival of Sophie’s grandmother Ruby (Cher) could potentially ruin the re-opening.

As a person who despises ABBA and recalls how enraged he became when “Dancing Queen” came on the bar loudspeakers during his final senior stumble in college, one would think “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” would be an absolute headache to sit through. Throw in the fact the first “Mamma Mia!” is a bit of a mess and one of my least favorite actresses in Meryl Streep of all time in the mix, and you’re bound to have a disaster on your hands, right? Shockingly, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” doubles down on the musical numbers that made the first film so popular by playing ABBA’s B-side tracks with a sprinkle of their smash hits, and the result is actually one of the better Hollywood film musicals since “La La Land”.

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Alexa Davies, Jessice Keenan Wynn, and Lilly James in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”.

One aspect of the film that helps it rise above the original is the story. The backstory of young Donna and how she came to court her younger version of her lovers and how she ended up in Greece is quite charming, filled with witty dialogue and well staged musical numbers. Also bolstering these scenes are Lilly James, who makes a star making turn as the young Donna. James’ willingness to go all out during the musical numbers is a sight to behold, and her usual acting abilities are on full display as well as it pertains to her interactions with her three suitors, making her a dual threat actress to watch for years to come. While her younger male counterparts suffer the same fate as the older ones experienced in the first film where it is painfully obvious they’re here for looks rather than pipes (save for the younger Sam, played by Jeremy Irvine), they show decent enough acting chops to warrant future castings in other films.

Sure, there are times where the present day story of Sophie and the reopening reaches paint by numbers status, but Seyfried’s singing abilities and the dynamic between Donna’s old friends manages to carry the film. While Sophie’s fathers once again cannot sing a note, the trio of Brosnan, Firth, and Skarsgård are definitely having a blast making a fool of themselves to the songs of ABBA. Even though her time onscreen is reduced to more of a cameo, even Cher is able to leave and impression with her rendition of one of ABBA’s most notable songs, and who would’ve ever though she and Andy García would ever share screen time together?

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is the most pleasant surprise of the summer. For those of you who despise musicals, romantic comedies, and ABBA, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” will makes you question whether there is truly a benevolent god. But with its surprisingly good dialogue, solid backstory, and well staged musical numbers, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” may have you feel that you can dance, you can jive, all whilst having the time of your life and become the dancing queen.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars. Pay matinée price.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” stars Amanda Seyfried, Lilly James, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Andy García, Dominic Cooper, Christine Baranski, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Julia Walters, Alexa Davies, and Cher. It is in theaters now.

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Bro-Reviews: Skyscraper

Die Hard with a Plastic Leg.

Over the years, Hollywood has had the tendency to churn-out copy cats of popular blockbusters, chief among them 1988’s “Die Hard.” “Speed” was “Die Hard” on a bus. “Under Siege” was “Die Hard” on a boat.  “Sudden Death” was “Die Hard” on one of the biggest sports stages, the Stanley Cup Finals. “Air Force One” was “Die Hard” on a plane. “Snakes on a Plane” was “Die Hard” on a plane, with snakes. But what happens when you combine “Die Hard” with another beloved Hollywood blockbuster like 1974’s “The Towering Inferno”, add in the most popular action star Dwayne Johnson and take away one of his legs just to seemingly make it a fair fight? You get “Skyscraper”, Dwayne Johnson’s latest vehicle in an attempt to become this generation’s Schwarzenegger.

Johnson stars as Will Sawyer, a former FBI   Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran turned security accessor for skyscrapers after a rescue mission leaves him with an amputated leg but is fitted with modern prosthetic leg. Sawyer is tasked with accessing “The Pearl”, the tallest building in the world located in Hong Kong, China built by Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) designed to be a literal city in the sky. However, Chin has something on terrorist kingpin Kores Botha (Roland Møller), who unleashes a plot involving setting “The Pearl” on fire in order to attain what Han has on him. With Swayer’s wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and kids trapped inside, Sawyer must scale the building to save his family before the building comes crumbling down. 

“Skyscraper” is undoubtedly a retread of the aforementioned “Die Hard” combined with the aforementioned “The Towering Inferno” with current action star of the moment Dwayne Johnson in nearly every single frame of the film. Unfortunately, the film comes across as a tired knock-off of the two, and with Mr. Johnson already appearing in the zanier “Rampage” earlier this year in which he teams up with an giant albino gorilla to fight a giant flying wolf, seeing the seemingly invulnerable Johnson scale a building to save his family seems unimaginative and unimpressive. It doesn’t help matters the film is clearly pandering to a Chinese film audience in the hopes of obtaining high box office receipts, which appears to be plaguing the industry with the release of each new film every week.

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Dwayne Johnson in “Skyscraper.”

Dwayne Johnson is s more than capable action star, and his turn as Sawyer marks one of his finer solo performances. The rest of the characters in the film, however, are reduced to types. Neve Campbell has proven she’s a decent actress, but her role as Swayers wife doesn’t rise above “the wife”. Chin Han’s Ji is nothing more than the eccentric Asian architect with a secret, while many of his Asian co-stars serve as the pandering to China pieces that will hopefully entice people of that nation to see the film. Roland Møller comes across worst as the film’s main villain, a terrorist who believes having an accent constitutes as having a personality.

Working in the film’s favor, however, is just how ridiculous the action is. The further the film devolves into Johnson, best known as his WWE persona “The Rock”, attempting impossible feats of ability on one leg, the more fun “Skyscraper” becomes. Can the Rock defeat an adversary who pulls off his prosthetic leg? Can the Rock jump into the building off a crane while being shot at? Can the Rock dead-lift a bridge to hold it steady for his family to make it across safely? Can the the Rock use the magical powers of duct tape to tip toe his way around the outside of the building? Can the Rock climb up his prosthetic currently entangled in rope and climb that same rope and pull up his leg in time to get into a safe-house door? It’s ridiculous moments like these that make “Skyscraper” enjoyable if one is willing to go along for the ride, and those who do will find the humor necessary to enjoy the film.

“Skyscraper” may be a clone of a clone that lacks any sort of distinction from the films it borrows from, but it’s a rare star vehicle that can be enjoyed. If one abides by Johnson’s/ The Rock’s line “This is stupid” during the film’s over-the-top action sequences, then you’re in for a good time. “Skyscraper” may not be reinventing the wheel in the action genre, but it’s perfectly fine star vehicle that coasts off being “Die Hard” with a Plastic Leg.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars. Pay low matinée price.

“Skyscraper” stars Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, and Hannah Quinlivan. It is in theaters now. 

Bro-Reviews: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

More a Jurassic World theme park ride than a movie.

Back in 2015, the arrival of “Jurassic World” was a historic one. It had been nearly a decade and a half since the much maligned “Jurassic Park 3”, and eager audiences paid their hard earned dollar in droves in en route to the largest opening weekend of all time (for 6 months) and one of the highest opening weekends of all time. With the dinosaurs once again becoming a money printer for the studio, a sequel was greenlit quickly, and three years since the world welcomed its return, the park has reopened once again for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

Three years after the events of “Jurassic: World”, a group of mercenaries funded by the estate of John Hammond’s former partner, Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), has extracted remains from Isla Nublar, the park’s abandoned island,  despite push-back from the US Government and mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). The park’s former operations manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), is contacted by Lockwood’s aide, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), to partake in a mission to relocate the remaining dinosaurs to a new sanctuary, including the velociraptor Blue. Despite initial rejection, Claire’s former flame and velociraptor trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), partakes in the mission as well. The two discover the Lockwood estate’s plans are not the virtuous mission it was pitched as, and must find a way to stop the estate from taking the cloning of the extinct creatures to a point of no return. 

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” isn’t so much a movie as it is a theme park ride, much like one you’d see at the Universal Studios resort. Though it gets off to a slow start after its action packed opening, the film’s first act is a non-stop action thrill ride filled to the brim with scientific impossibilities, explosions, chases, and most importantly, dinosaurs. This undoubtedly is the high point of the movie, and once the film leaves the self titled “Fallen Kingdom”, it somehow devolves into even more preposterous territory.

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Chris Pratt in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

The second and third acts of “Fallen Kingdom” may take place mostly on the Lockwood estate, but attempt to tackle the similar issues its predecessor dealt with, namely the introduction of a new super dinosaur that could one day be used not only as an attraction, but a weapon. There’s a tinge of Universal’s classic monster horror films in there with the dinosaurs lurking within the creepy, tucked away estate in Northern California, but it’s much too silly to truly generate scares for anyone over the age of 8 years old. Other interesting theories and conflicts arise such as the endangered species and cloning dilemmas, along with asking the question of if the creators and trainers of such clones are just as responsible as the ones who are selling and exploiting the creatures, but they’re half baked ideas that are largely forgotten for humans versus dinosaurs al la “Home Alone” style. 

Chris Pratt seems to be using these films as an audition tape to become the next Indiana Jones, and while a capable action star with presence, still hasn’t grown much as an actor. Bryce Dallas Howard manages to be more of a force than a damsel in distress in the last film, but her idealism of the extinct creatures despite evidence proving they should remain extinct is beyond eye rolling. The mysterious child of the Lockwood estate, played by Isabella Sermon, never rises above annoying kid in movie status, while Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, and Ted Levine all sleepwalk through their villainous roles. Goldblum barely gets out of his chair at a senate hearing to collect a paycheck, while James Cromwell would like you to hold his beer as he barely gets out of bed for his. 

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” isn’t necessarily a let down, but a sequel made because of a surging of 90s nostalgia that has yet to die down. With the heat of the summer upon us, audiences will look to “Fallen Kingdom” as an escape for summer pop-corn fun, which it is more then capable of being. But for a film that actually raises interesting questions that remain pertinent to today’s society, it’s a shame “Fallen Kingdom” plays it relatively safe and settles for dumb summer fun. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars. Pay low matinée price.

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, B.D. Wong, Isabella Sermon, Geraldine Chaplin, and Jeff Goldblum. It is in theaters now.

Bro-Reviews: In Defense of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The hype was too big to live up to.

The early buzz for the latest entry in the world famous space opera saga Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been very positive, with many saying it is one of the best the series has to offer. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi opening in theaters this week, many television networks are of course opting to show the previous entries in marathon fashion throughout the week. This of course always re-opens the conversation Star Wars junkies and casual fans almost universally agree upon: the prequels are awful.

After the 1983 release of Return of the Jedi, fans had to wait nearly 16 years for another Star Wars film. It came in the form of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menance, the first film in a planned trilogy that would act as a precursor to the original three films from the man who helmed the 1976 film that started a worldwide phenomenon, George Lucas. With the promise of state of the art special effects, a talented ensemble cast including the likes of Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, and an ominous new threat, the film had sky-high expectations, especially considering the positive reception the first three films earned.

Fans waiting outside of a movie theater to be the first to see “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

While the film earned over $431 million and was a smash hit at the box office, many left the theater disappointed. Most of the complaints centered around the terrible acting, over-complicated plot, lack of action, and Jar-Jar Binks. One might say the film is one of the biggest disappointments in the history of cinema, and the release of two more not well received prequel films only solidifies this status, as it was the one that started the disappointing cycle. I, however, invite you to reconsider, as while The Phantom Menace is far from a perfect film, it is a fine entry in the Star Wars saga.

Many criticize the acting in the film, placing much of the blame squarely on the shoulders of unrefined child actors Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd as Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker respectively. Here’s a newsflash: most child actors are terrible. I would never advise one to praise their acting prowess in the film, as they deliver mostly wooden performances, but they get the job done. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are great as Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Won Kenobi respectively, and are able to anchor the film. And lets be honest, the acting in the original three films is awful as well. There’s a reason why Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer (*R.I.P.*) didn’t get much work once the original saga concluded, it was because they weren’t very good. Star Wars isn’t a movie franchise you go to see for the acting, you go for the visuals and the story.

Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Jake Lloyd, and Ewan McGregor in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

However, many complain the story in Phantom Menace is poor as well. What they really mean is that the story is complicated. It isn’t as clear as the Cold-War like storyline represented in the original three films, which is the Rebels (*the good guys*) fighting the Empire (*the bad guys*) for space supremacy. In Phantom Menace, there’s many more parties involved, including the Republic, the Trade Federation, the Gugans, the Galactic Senate, the Jedi Council, and the Sith. Each of these parties have their own agendas, with some even acting as double agents, thus alluding to the political climate we have grown accustomed to. The film may not have the sharp dialogue required to pull off the story due to George Lucas’s shortcomings as a writer, but the film should be praised for containing such a complex story-line and using it as the set-up to the stories in the 70s and 80s films.

“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

If there’s anything I can agree with most people about, it is Jar-Jar Binks. Actor Ahmed Best will have to live with this burden the rest of his life, as the borderline racist character will forever live in infamy as one of if not the worst character in the Star Wars universe. However, fans and critics are missing the point as to why the character exists: it’s a movie for children. Yes, Star Wars appeals to fans of many ages, but the films target children. Jar-Jar was the major selling point for kids to see the movie, as the fun loving, goofy character represented the lighthearted side of the film, and whose main function was to provide comic relief for the children. After seeing him in the film, children who more than likely loved the character would then bug their parents enough for them to buy them a Jar-Jar toy, thus allowing the Star Wars franchise to obtain even more funds from everyone. The same was and remains true for Chewbacca, the Ewoks, and also continues for new additions like BB-8 and Porg.

Ahmed Best as Jar-Jar Binks in “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

The podracing scene stands out to most as the best sequence in the entire movie. It’s undoubtedly inventive and suspenseful, and clearly took advantage of the advancements in special effects technology to deliver one of the most thrilling scenes in Star Wars canon. But let’s not forget the feeling of dread and awesomeness when one of the baddest Sith lords to ever grace a Star Wars film, Darth Maul, reveals his double sided lightsaber in the best lightsaber battle in all the Star Wars films. Sure, it’s interrupted by a somewhat annoying Anakin Skywalker in an auto piloted starfighter joining the federation in fighting the droid control ship and the Gugans battling the droids with a clumsy Jar-Jar somehow saving the day, but even those scenes are fun as well. The choreography for the lightsaber fight is unprecedented, filmed in such a way you can tell what’s occurring on screen and feel every clash of a lightsaber, and adds one of the biggest gut-punches that would forever shape the Star Wars universe.

Ewan McGregor in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

It’s elements such as these that makes Phantom Menace much better than its reputation would have you believe. Yes, it’s far from perfect and maybe has its sights set too high in regards to its story for a Star Wars film, but Phantom Menace delivers blockbuster thrills and tremendous state of the art visuals on a grand scale. The hype machine set the expectations for the film so high there was no way it could live up to it. People had been craving another Star Wars movie for over a decade, and wanted it to be the way it was when they were a child. There’s no doubt “this wasn’t my childhood” sentiment also hindered the film, but it’s been long enough now that hopefully everyone has grown up and realized these movies, while they can be enjoyed by all ages, are targeted towards children, which they obviously no longer were by the time Phantom Menace landed in theaters nearly 20 years ago. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace should be given another viewing, and one should leave with a greater appreciation for the film than they did a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Liam Neeson, Ray Park, and Ewan McGregor in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

Rating: 2.5/ 4 Stars. Pay Matinée price.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiamird, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ahmed Best, Frank Oz, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Bro-Commentary: Summer Movie Preview

Finally, a summer movie season to look forward too.

The summer movie season has arrived, and this summer appears to be loaded with potential. Here are the most notable movies being released this summer that will end up as a hit, a bomb, or a surprise.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2:

It’s the biggest movie of the summer. Even if it ends up not being as fresh as the original, you’re going to see it.

Prediction: Hit, $400 Million

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

I like Guy Ritchie as a director. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and RocknRolla may be Tarantino-esque knockoffs, but they’re good London crime capers. His bigger budgeted films are mixed bag, as the first Sherlock Holmes movie was fun, the second one was a mess, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a stylish, flashy, but somewhat hollow spy film. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks like a misstep for the director, and will be the first bomb of the summer.

Prediction: Bomb, $60 Million

 

Snatched:

Amy Schumer returns for the first time since her hit film Trainwreck in this road trip gone wrong movie featuring Goldie Hawn. It’ll have its moments, it’s only a question of whether Amy Schumer stole the jokes or not.

Prediction: Hit, $90 Million

 

Alien: Covenant

Ridley Scott returns to his sci-fi horror roots in the sequel to Prometheus/ prequel to Alien. It’ll be a welcome return.

Prediction: Hit, $100 Million

 

Baywatch:

Dwayne Johnson. Zac Efron. Beaches. Bikinis. What more do you want in a summer movie?

Prediction: Hit, $120 Million

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

No one asked for this. But that wasn’t going to stop Disney from making more money. Add in the fact the original cast returns and adds Javier Bardem to the mix, and it might be better than At World’s End and On Stranger Tides.

Prediction: Bomb (Domestic) $180 Million, Hit (Overseas) $800 Million

 

Wonder Woman

It’s the second to last beacon of hope for the DC extended universe, as Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the legendary heroine was one of the few positives in the otherwise appalling Batman V Superman. The trailers look promising, but its DC. The reviews will be key for this one.

Prediction: Hit, $200 Million

 

Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie

Finally, a kid’s movie to get excited about. Captain Underpants makes his big screen debut after numerous successful novels about the underwear frolicking hero. With a tremendous voice cast featuring Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Thomas Middleditch, this could be a surprise hit. Coming out before Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, however, might lead to the self-titled Epic First Movie to be the only movie in the series.

Prediction: Surprise, $105 Million

 

The Mummy

Tom Cruise runs away for the millionth time. This time from a Mummy. I love Tom Cruise. One must wonder why the studio didn’t try to get him to star in this franchise when it began in the 90s. Somewhere, Brendan Fraser is begging the executives to allow him a cameo in this re-boot.

Prediction: Hit, $120 Million

 

It Comes at Night:

Joel Edgerton follows up his award worthy performance in Loving with a horror-thriller about people stuck in the woods while the world is falling apart. The low budget film got rave reviews at SXSW, and that should translate it to being one of the biggest sleeper hits of the summer.

Prediction: Surprise, $55 Million

 

Cars 3

I hate these movies. But it’s Pixar. They print money and then wipe their behinds with it.

Prediction: Hit, $190 Million

 

Rough Night

Scarlett Johansson attempts to erase Ghost in the Shell from everyone’s memory in this all female comedy about a girl’s night out gone horribly wrong. I personally think Girl Trip with an all black cast will be funnier, but this will do until that comes out.

Prediction: Surprise, $100 Million

 All Eyez on Me

If they can make a hit movie about NWA, then you knew a biopic about Tupac Shakur would attempt to follow suit.

Prediction: Surprise, $80 Million

 

Transformers: The Last Knight

Michael Bay Explosions: Part 5. Just do the crossover with the Fast and the Furious already.

Prediction: Disappointment (Domestic) $200 Million, Hit (Overseas) $850 Million

 

Baby Driver

It’s one of the more intriguing films of the summer, and features an all-star ensemble cast. It’s also writer/ director Edgar Wright’s first film in four years, his last being the hilarious The World’s End. Its earned rave reviews so far, and it’ll be one of the best films of the summer.

Prediction: Surprise, $60 Million

 

Despicable Me 3

Enough with the minions.

Prediction: Hit, $300 Million

 

The House

Amy Poehler decides to ride the coat-tails of Will Ferrell instead of Tina Fey in this film about two parents who decide to run an illegal casino in their basement to pay their daughter’s college tuition. There is nothing funny about this. You will go see it regardless.

Prediction: Hit, $120 Million

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man + Tony Stark + Michael Keaton + Marvel Cinematic Universe = Profit.

Prediction: Hit, $275 Million

 

War For the Planet of the Apes

I’m still waiting for the moment where the apes become the knights of the round table like in the classics of the 60s and even the 2001 re-make. That being said, I’ll take Caesar fighting Woody Harrelson in the meantime.

Prediction: Hit, $190 Million

 

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan movies are always big events, even when they end up disappointing like 2014’s Interstellar. Dunkirk marks the acting debut of Mick Jagger wannabe Harry Styles, but other than that atrocity the film appears to be epic.

Prediction: Hit, $170 Million

 

Atomic Blonde:

John Wick but with Charlize Theron. Sign us up.

Prediction: Surprise, $75 Million

 

The Emoji Movie

I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

Prediction: Hit, $105 Million (*Dear God please let this movie bomb*)

 

The Dark Tower

Stephen King’s epic finally makes it to the silver screen. It’s got a great cast with Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger and Matthew McChonaughey as the Man in Black, but first trailer arrived just days ago. We haven’t heard a lot from the production, which is never a good sign, but the trailer leaves me hopeful. It probably won’t become the next major studio franchise, but it could be a very good one-off film.

Prediction: Surprise, $75 Million, but has big BOMB potential

 

Detroit

 Kathryn Bigelow is responsible for two of the most overrated films of all time in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. The Hurt Locker is worst best picture winner ever, but something about this film, which tells the story of the 1967 riots in Detroit, makes it appear like an early awards contender.

Prediction: Surprise, $60 Million

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson trading curse words for 90 minutes while bowing up stuff overseas. Yes to all of that.

Prediction: Surprise, $85 Million