Coming Soon Trailers: The Fate of the Furious.
F8 is set to run everyone off the road this weekend. Can it please fans without Paul Walker at the center of the story?
The Fast and the Furious franchise has become a bit of a phenomenon. After 7 outings, it continues to earn crazy money, even with a release date in the “slow” month of April. This will be the first film in the series since Tokyo Drift to not feature Paul Walker, who died in an unrelated accident during the filming of the last film. Despite losing one of its central stars, prospects are still good for this film: it will be releasing simultaneously in nearly every major movie market on the 14th, and is expected to blow up the box office for 450 million dollars world wide.
Against such a steamroller, other studios are understandably avoiding this weekend like the plague. There are no other wide releases scheduled, with one animated feature opting for a limited release and one drama choosing a limited expansion.
At home, we have five new films on the VOD market, in case muscle cars aren’t your cup of tea.
The Fate of the Furious.
Once again, everyone on the globe-hopping heist crew of the Fast and Furious has settled down to domestic bliss after the events of their last outing, only to have a shadowy figure from their past pull them back into action. This time around, a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) appears in Dom’s (Vin Diesel) life, forcing him back into the criminal world in opposition to the rest of his former crew who must try to stop him.
See It?: After 7 movies, you know if you should know by now.
A few technical new wrinkles (the loss of Paul Walker and Straight Outta Compton‘s F. Gary Gray taking over the directing job) should not materially alter the substance of this entry. It’s going to be big action set pieces with sexy vehicles, and Vin Diesel getting into a slam fight with The Rock. If it ain’t broke…
Spark – A Space Tail.
Spark the space monkey and his friends live on a planet devastated by war, and the trio decide to take on the evil Zhong when Spark learns that he is the heir to the monkey royal family.
See It?: Kids only.
The animation looks pleasant, but everything else here is strictly by the numbers coming of age adventure fantasy for young viewers.
A young child with incredible talents in mathematics becomes the center of a family drama when her uncle (Chris Evans) and her grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) clash over if the young girl should attend a normal school or a special program for gifted children.
See It?: Rent it.
This film is packed with talent (and it’s nice to see Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer teaming up for another film after Snowpiercer.) I can’t say the premise is ground breaking, but the dialogue is strong and the characters all feel genuine. Not sure the big screen will add anything to your enjoyment, so catch this one when it comes home.
Video on Demand
Maiko: Dancing Child.
A documentary about Maiko Nishino, a prima ballerina whose intense rise to prominence is thrown into jeopardy when she decides to start a family.
See It?: Rent it.
Normally I would insert my standard “Netflix is for documentaries” line here. While that is still true, I would say to make a point of catching this. Most documentaries about niche endeavors fail because they’re mostly trying to lionize those activities. This film looks like an intensely personal study of one persons extraordinary journey, which looks compelling even if you don’t care a wit about Ballet.
The Sweet Life.
A man with no prospects meets a woman looking to go out in style, and the pair embark on a journey across the country to maybe end up jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
See It?: Wait for it be free.
I want to recommend this, because 90% of the cast is intriguing…but the female protagonist is not well written or acted, and her dialogue is crap. I feel like I’d end up jumping off a bridge if I spent money on this one.
Asylum of Darkness.
A patient in a mad house refuses to accept that he’s unwell, and escapes. On the road, he crosses path with another man, and the two swap identities, supernaturally. It turns out things are crazier outside of the asylum than inside it.
See It?: Skip it.
While the premise is enticing, the cinematography is awful. This trailer is a highlight reel of every cliched horror shot, done poorly and on an obvious budget. The dialogue is pretty stiff, and the acting isn’t much better. Don’t sign this patient out.
The Lone Road.
A young woman with plenty of her own troubles tries to get away by taking a road trip, only to witness a murder at a motel and become the next target of the killer.
See It?: Burn it with fire.
I have a hard time remembering worse acting in a trailer. This is awful. People off the street reading from a teleprompter with typos could do better. The premise isn’t exactly lighting in a bottle, either. Avoid this by a mile.
A interacial family moves from NYC to a small college community in Rome, Washington, and instantly become the objects of fumbling attention from the mostly monochromatic community.
See It?: Wait for it to be free.
This film did well at the film festivals, and I don’t see any glaring weaknesses in the trailer. I also don’t really see much that is daring or innovative. Feels like the kind of movie you’d get sucked into if it were on TV when you were passing by, but would be hard pressed to grab off the shelf if you wanted something memorable.