The Weekend Warrior 1/13/17: Patriots Day, Monster Trucks, Live by Night, Sleepless, The Bye Bye Man

– by Edward Douglas

Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.   

THIS PAST WEEKEND:

The year started out a lot like expected with Rogue One winning its fourth weekend at the box office, but it was a much tighter battle than expected, but not with Underworld: Blood Wars, actually. Instead, it was Fox’s Hidden Figures, which destroyed in its first weekend of wide release with $22.8 million, which actually was enough to surpass Rogue One in its fourth weekend, knocking it down to #2. I’m not sure anyone saw that coming.  Underworld: Blood Wars ended up tanking pretty badly—blame it on “sequelitis”?—as it opened in fourth place behind the movies above and Sing with slightly more than $13 million.  Obviously, that’s a franchise that’s probably over now. Juan Bayona’s A Monster Calls opened wide into over 1,500 theaters but it only ended up with $2 million, not enough to get into the Top 10.  


Just two weeks after the holidays, we’re already getting our first four-day weekend of the year, at least for schools and government offices, as three new movies open wide and three more movies expand nationwide following their limited releases over the holidays. It should be a busy movie weekend with the money spread fairly thinly between them.

PATRIOTS DAY (CBS Films)

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, JK Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, Alex Wollf, Melissa Benoist
Director: Peter Berg (Hancock, Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Battleship, The Kingdom, Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights)
Genre:  Drama, Action
Rated R
Plot:
On April 15, 2013, two brothers detonated bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring countless others and beginning a week-long manhunt that brought the FBI, Boston police and everyone of the city together.
Theater Count (est.): 2,900 

After opening over Christmas weekend in New York, L.A. and Boston, Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg’s third movie together after 2013’s Lone Survivor and last year’s Deepwater Horizon will expand nationwide, and it will be interesting see how it does at the nationwide box office for a number of reasons.

The duo had better success with Lone Survivor, which had a similar limited release over the holidays in 2013 (in a single theater in New York and L.A.) before expanding nationwide in January, a tactic that worked even better for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper a year later.  After making $42,000 in limited release, Lone Survivor exploded with $37.8 million in the second full weekend of 2014 and went on to make $125 million domestic

This isn’t as much of a straight Mark Wahlberg movie, as it is an ensemble piece where Wahlberg is surrounded by a strong cast that includes JK Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan, as Peter Berg tries to create the most complete picture of the investigation to find those responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

The movie has already received favorable reviews with 79% Fresh on RottenTomatoes and a strong “A” CinemaScore that has helped it bring in $870,000 in seven theaters in New York, L.A. and Boston, and there should be enough interest in other cities that interest should continue accordingly.

Two films that could be used for easier comparisons are Paul Greengrass’ United 93 ($31.5 million gross in April 2006) or Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center ($70.3 million gross three months later), because they were similar looks at the 9/11 tragedy with slightly more time passed.

Patriots Day is the latest release from CBS Films through their partnership with Lionsgate (who released Deepwater Horizon) and so far, their biggest hits have been the February 2012 release The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the November 13 comedy Last Vegas. The former is their biggest opening with $20.8 million, a number they could very likely match with Patriots Day given the semi-holiday weekend.

One obstacle that might keep Patriots Day from surpassing that amount is that its biggest audience is likely to be in Boston where the movie has already been playing for three weeks. CBS Films has certainly upped the advertising in recent weeks, and those who didn’t catch it over the holidays might finally go check it out.

The movie does have competition for older moviegoers, especially males, both from Ben Affleck’s Live by Night (another home-grown Boston boy) and Martin Scorsese’s Silence, although women will probably lean more towards last week’s Hidden Figures. Chances are that Jamie Foxx’s Sleepless could also appeal more to urban males than this, so that will probably keep it from doing the $30 million plus nationwide opening of Lone Survivor.

Even so, it’s certainly reasonable that Patriots Day will do the best out of the new movies and probably make enough over the holiday weekend to finally dethrone Rogue One, as well as making it CBS Films’ biggest hit to date.

LRM Interview with Michelle Monaghan


MONSTER TRUCKS (Paramount)

Cast: Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Holt McCallany, Barry Pepper, Tucker Albrizzi, Danny Glover, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Frank Whaley, Thomas Lennon
Director: Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Epic)
Genre:  Family, Action, Adventure
Rated PG
Plot:
High school senior Tripp (Lucas Till) decides to build a Monster Truck from bits of car scraps, but an accident at a nearby oilrig displaces a strange creature with a taste for oil, so Tripp incorporates him into his vehicle creating a “Monster Truck”… get it?
Theater Count (est.): 2,800

Because the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend has become somewhat infamous for the release of awful-looking family films that end up doing better than expected—mainly because parents need an excuse to get their kids out of the house--here comes a live action family adventure that’s been delayed a few times but is finally seeing the light of day.

It’s such a simple high concept premise that a child could have come up with, and in fact, rumors have it that the idea to combine “monsters” and “trucks”—two things that kids love—came from the child of a Paramount or Nickelodeon Films executive. As the story goes, they ran with it to create a combination CG and live action movie.

Directing the film is Chris Wedge, who previously directed animated films for Blue Sky Films, including the original Ice Age movie. There have been directors who have successfully made the transition to live action such as Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia), but also more than a few who just couldn’t hack it and ended up going back to animation. (We're talking to you Finding Nemo/Dory's Andrew Stanton.... although I liked John Carter quite a bit.)

Even so, Wedge has a somewhat impressive cast that includes Lucas Till (from the popular new CBS show MacGuyver) and Jane Levy (from last year’s hit horror film Don’t Breathe), surrounded by an impressive cast of adult actors including Rob Lowe, Amy Ryan, Danny Glover and Thomas Lennon, although the latter has a bigger role than the others.

Till’s growing popularity should help the movie but it’s really selling itself more on the popularity of the movie’s namesake “monster trucks” which have been a popular form of entertainment for many years, so a movie that plays on that idea by adding a real monster to the mix should prove popular. In some ways, the movie reminds a little of Michael Bay’s original Transformers movie with its story of a boy and his car, but it also is similar to last year’s Pete’s Dragon with a boy and his dragon. The latter ended up with around $76 million (less than its production budget), but it’s a good barometer for Monster Trucks’ box office potential.

The movie was filmed way back in the summer of 2014 with plans to release it first in the summer of 2015 before it was pushed back to Christmas and then moved to March 2016. It finally ended up on this weekend, nearly a year and a half since its original planned release date, and that’s always dubious, although it could have been delayed to work on the presumably abundant visual FB.

Most moviegoers probably won’t know much about the delays in the movie and will just see it as a kid-friendly movie that can get them out of the house (and on the East Coast, after last week’s snowstorms that might have kept people grounded at home).  Early reviews haven’t been great with 21% on RottenTomatoes, but you have to remember that many of those reviews came from England where monster trucks aren’t a thing like they are here.

The fact is that the movie isn’t that bad, in the vein of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment films ala E.T. the Extraterrestrial mixed with something for older guys like Transformers or Fast and the Furious in terms of the monster car racing aspect. There’s a good chance that young boys from age five to 13 or slightly older might enjoy it even if the older male monster truck fans in rural areas might not be as interested.  Either way, it’s the only PG family film opening over the weekend, which should allow it to do fairly well in its opening weekend even with the hit animated film Sing still looming.

LRM Interview with Director Chris Wedge (Coming Thursday 1.12.17)


LIVE BY NIGHT (Warner Bros.)

Cast: Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina
Director: Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town, Gone Baby Gone)
Genre:  Crime, Action, Drama, Thriller.
Rated R
Plot:
After fighting in World War I, tough guy Joe Coughlan (Ben Affleck) returns to prohibition-era Boston where he falls into an affair with the Irish mob boss’ girlfriend Emma (Sienna Miller). After a bank robbery goes wrong, Joe ends up in prison and once out, he’s forced to head down to Tampa, Florida to become a rum smuggler in order to get away from the conflict in Boston. There, he meets a Cuban woman (Zoe Saldana) and gets into more trouble.
Theater Count (est.): 2,700+ 

Another movie opening nationwide Friday after a limited release is the latest from Ben Affleck, four years since Argo, the last film he directed, which ended up winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Fly By Night is his second adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel, following his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, which got Amy Ryan her first Oscar nomination. (Just so that years later, she could appear for a few minutes in this week’s Monster Trucks.)

Since then, Affleck has been working hard as an actor, appearing in David Fincher’s Gone Girl a few years back, in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman and Gavin O’Connor’s action thriller The Accountant last year, all of which did decent business.  The latter may be the best comparison for Live by Night because it put Affleck in a similar role, and it ended up grossing $86 million after an impressive $24.7 million opening weekend. That also opened against far lesser competition in a new Kevin Hart concert movie and the second weekend of The Girl on the Train.  Even so, it’s clear that Affleck has revived his career as an A-list star after a few low points in the mid-00’s with flops like Gigli and Surviving Christmas. Changing gears and becoming a director certainly helped Affleck’s status and being cast as Batman in Snyder’s film last year certainly didn’t hurt.

Reviews for the movie haven’t been great (33% on Rotten Tomatoes so far) although Warner Bros’ strong marketing campaign has deliberately made the film look far more fast-paced than it actually is, which certainly should help it as it expands. (Unfortunately, this is the type of movie that really does rely on reviews.)

Probably the best comparison for the movie is Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad, starring recent Golden Globe winners Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. That opened with $17 million on the same weekend in 2013 and grossed $46 million domestically and another $59 million overseas. Because it cost $60 million, it pretty much broke even.

Live by Night opened over the holidays in four theaters, but it only has made about a third as much as Martin Scorsese’s Silence in the same number of theaters, and yet, it’s expanding into almost 2,000 more theaters this weekend.  Granted, unlike Patriots Day, one of the areas where Live by Night hasn’t opened is Boston where Affleck has a strong fanbase, so maybe this one can make up some ground there even if it loses in other territories.

Taking on stronger fare like Patriots Day and Martin Scorsese’s Silence certainly won’t help matters, though, and that should keep the movie in the mid-teens for the four-day weekend.


sleeplessww.jpg

THE BYE BYE MAN (STX Entertainment)

Cast: Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, Douglas Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway
Director: Stacy Title (Let the Devil Wear Black, Hood of Horror, The Last Supper)
Genre:  Horror, Thriller
Rated PG-13
Plot:
A horror film that tries to explain the unthinkable acts of evil committed by people, which can be pointed to the curse of the Bye Bye Man, who gets inside your head and forces you to do awful things. Three college friends learn about the myth of the Bye Bye Man and know that the only way to avoid his curse is not to say or even think his name.
Theater Count (est.): 2,300+ 

In case you didn’t realize from this column’s title, this Friday is the 13th of January, and since there isn’t a new Friday the 13th remake or sequel ready, we’re going to get another low-budget horror film trying to capitalize on the kids wanting to see something scary on Friday the 13th.

This teen-driven horror film is based on Robert Damon Schneck’s short story “The Bridge to Bloody Island” but more surprisingly is that it marks the return to theaters of The Matrix star Carrie-Anne Moss—her first wide release since Paul WS. Anderson’s Pompeii—and also Oscar-winning Faye Dunaway, whom we haven’t seen in a major release in some time. The film also marks the return of a 1994 Oscar-nominated director (for a short film) Stacy Title with her first film in over ten years. It also features a teen cast that no one is likely to have heard of, which is more typical for this type of horror movie. (It also stars the awesome Doug Jones, best known for his creature work with Guillermo del Toro in Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth.)

On the surface, this seems like a fairly high-premise film, basically using the same idea as the one where you’re not supposed to say the name of the Candyman more than once, because if you say the Candyman’s name three times that means the Candyman shows up… uh oh.  Maybe there’s more to the movie than that, but that’s certainly what stands out from the commercials and trailer I’ve seen.

Maybe the teen and slightly older crowd looking for a way to get scared won’t be as bothered by this film’s obvious rip-off of a horror classic, especially since the film’s PG-13 rating will make this movie easier to get into than some others. Also, there’s enough fans of cheesy horror films that this should be good for $10 million over the extended weekend with most of its business on Friday.


SLEEPLESS (Open Road)

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Gabrielle Union, David Harbour, Tip "T.I." Harris, Scoot McNairy, Octavius J. Johnson
Director: Baran Bo Odar (Who Am I?, The Silence)
Genre:  Drama, Action, Crime
Rated R
Plot:
Las Vegas undercover police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) gets caught up in a web of police corruption and when a heist goes wrong, the gangsters kidnap Vincent’s teenage son, and he has one night to save him.
Theater Count (est.): 2,000

The plot for this movie sounds like something we might get from Lionsgate Premiere, yet it’s somehow getting a wide release by Open Road, hoping to find some business against far stronger action-thrillers.

Directed by Swiss filmmaker Baran Bo Odar, the man behind his country’s hit Who Am I?, this is a remake of the 2011 French film Sleepless Night, which most Americans probably won’t have seen, but the main draw is that it’s Jamie Foxx’s first movie in quite some time. Foxx literally hasn’t been in a movie since 2014 when he starred in three lame sequels (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Rio 2 and Horrible Bosses 2) and even lamer remake (Annie). One presumes that doing something grittier will remind his fans of his roles in tougher films like Law Abiding Citizen.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’d even know this movie was coming out this weekend if it wasn’t my job to know (and if I hadn’t spoken to Michelle Monaghan, who mentioned the movie). I saw my first commercial for this movie on New Year’s Eve as I was watching a rare college football game on ESPN, so presumably that’s where Open Road is putting all its marketing dollars. Still, waiting until two weeks before a movie comes out to unleash commercials is never a good strategy.

Sleepless is opening in the least amount of theaters of the new movies, which is rarely a good sign for a movie breaking out, although it’s likely going to be targeted directly towards African-American males with the commercials being run during sporting events, as another option to the very white other choices.

The fact Open Road won’t screen the movie for critics in advance is telling that the reviews probably won’t be very good, and while that might not hurt the film that much, it won’t help either. It’s doubtful this will make more than $7 or 8 million over the four-day weekend rather than breaking out.

LRM Interview with Michelle Monaghan


The Bye Bye Man (STX Entertainment)  - $8.5 million ($10 million 4-day) N/A

Sing (Universal) - $12.7 million ($17 million 4-day) -13%

BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS:

The big winner of the weekend should be the Wahlberg-Berg drama Patriots Day, as it will probably bring in a lot of interest with the amount of push it’s been getting over the past few months while only playing in 7 theaters in New York, L.A. and Boston.  One can expect that family films like Monster Trucks and Sing will benefit the most from Monday being a school holiday and the winter months bringing families to have an excuse to get out of the house. Rogue One will finally be knocked further off its perch with so much competition and Live by Night, The Bye Bye Man and Jamie Foxx’s Sleepless will probably be vying for the bottom half of the Top 10. Also expanding nationwide is Martin Scorsese’s faith-based drama Silence, which will go into roughly 750 theaters across the country, which might not be enough for it to break into the Top 10.  Unlike previous years when there was one or two blockbusters dominating, expect the money to be spread out fairly evenly among some of the new and returning movies. 

(NOTE: Check back on Thursday night for any updates to these predictions due to changing theater counts, etc.) 

UPDATE 1.12.17 - A little reshuffling going into the weekend with final theater counts which should allow Hidden Figures a solid hold from its first week nationwide as it adds 815 more theaters while Damien Chazelle's La La Land takes advantage of sweeping up at the Golden Globes by adding a few more theaters allowing it to get a nice bump this weekend, maybe enough to hold off some of the new movies. I probably was a little too bullish about Paramount's Monster Trucks, which still has to contend with Sing, but Rogue One is losing about 1,000 theaters which might help Live by Night do well against it.

1. Patriots Day (CBS Films) - $20.6 million ($24.8 million 4-day) (Down $1.2 million 4-day)

2. Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox) - $16.5 million ($22 million 4-day) – 4% (up 3 million 4-day)

3. Sing (Universal) - $12.7 million ($17 million 4-day) -13% (same but up one spot)

4. Monster Trucks (Paramount) - $11.8 million ($16 million 4-day) – N/A (down 2 million and one spot)

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Lucasfilm/Disney) - $11.5 million ($14.8 million 4-day) -33% (down .7 million)

6. Live by Night (Warner Bros.) – $10.5 million ($12.8  million 4-day) (down .9 million)

7. La La Land (Lionsgate) – $9.5 million ($12 million 4-day) -18% (up 3.5 million and one spot)

8. The Bye Bye Man (STX Entertainment)  - $8.4 million ($9.8 million 4-day) N/A (down .2 million and one spot)

9. Underworld: Blood Wars (Screen Gems) - $6 million ($7.7 million 4-day) -42%

10. Sleepless (Open Road) - $5.8 million ($7 million 4-day) N/A (down .1 million)

-- Silence (Paramount) - $3.4 million ($4.4 million 4-day)  (down 1.1 million)

LAST YEAR:

Last Martin Luther King Jr. weekend finally saw a movie defeat Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the Ice Cube-Kevin Hart sequel Ride Along 2 (Universal) won Martin Luther King Jr. weekend with $35.2 million in its first three days and $41 million, including Monday. Clearly, last year’s “sequelitis” was still to come. The soon-to-be Oscar-nominated The Revenant moved ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in its fifth weekend with $37.5 million and $33 million over the four-day weekend, respectively. Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Paramount) opened in fourth place with $19.2 million over the four days and $16.1 million in three. The animated family film Norm of the North opened in sixth place with $6.8 million three-day and $9.4 million including Monday.


THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

If the five movies mentioned above weren’t enough for the weekend, there is an absolutely crazy number of limited releases coming out, as well. We’re going to do something a little different the next couple weeks cause the Weekend Warrior is going to be super busy at the Sundance Film Festival soon. While I’ve seen a couple decent movies, none of them seem worth writing long reviews about them, but my two favorites are the Greek anthology Worlds Apart from Christophos Papakaliatis, and Aram Rappaport’s intriguing financial drama The Crash. 

Worlds Apart (Cinema Libre)

Cast: J.K. Simmons, Christophoros Papakaliatis, Andrea Osvart, Maria Kavoyianni, Tawfeek Barhom, Niki Vakali
Writer/Director: Christophoros Papakaliatis (What If…)
Genre: Drama
Unrated

Plot: An anthology of three interlinked stories following three generations of strangers meeting, one from Greece and one from afar. Boomerang is about a young Greek girl who meets and falls for a Syrian immigrant, while J.K. Simmons stars in Second Chance about an older Greek woman who meets a German visitor. Director Christophoros Papakaliatis stars in the middle story about a stressed businessman who begins an affair with the sexy Swedish woman who has been brought in to streamline his company.

This film might be of interest to those interested in foreign fare, as it uses three interlinked stories to explore the social issues of modern-day Greece. It reminds me a bit of Paul Haggis’ Third Person, but the romantic story featuring Simmons is definitely the best of the three.

 Worlds Apart opens in New York at the Village East on January 13 and the Arclight Hollywood in L.A. on January 20.


THE CRASH (Vertical Releasing)

Cast: Frank Grillo, Minnie Driver, John Leguizamo, Maggie Q, Dianna Agron, AnnaSophia Robb, Mary McCormack, Ed Westwick.
Writer/Director: Aram Rappaport (Syrup, Innocent)
Genre: Drama, Politics
Rated R
Plot:
After unknown hackers attack the New York Stock Exchange, the government calls upon an indicted CEO (Frank Grill) who previously used software to manipulate the stock exchange to put together a team to help prevent it from happening again.

A surprisingly decent character drama that explores the use of technology to hack the financial market with connections to real world economics and what might be possible, even though it’s entirely fictional. Aram Rappaport’s exceptional cast, particularly Grillo, Driver and Leguizamo, makes this film far better than the VOD release it’s getting.  


OTHER LIMITED RELEASES:

 Idris Elba produces and stars in Jim O’Hanlon’s British character drama 100 Streets (Samuel Goldwyn), which looks at three stories set in the loneliness that is modern-day working class London. Also starring Gemma Arterton, Ken Stott (The Hobbit) and Franz Drameh (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), it will open in New York at the Village East, in L.A. at the Laemmle Monica and in San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago and other cities as well as On Demand. (The movie is similar though not quite as innovative or compelling as Worlds Apart, but if you like Arterton and Elba—and who doesn’t?—then they’re both quite good in the film, Elba as a troubled football star and Arterton as his estranged wife. The storytelling is a little bit obvious and not particularly new, but still worthwhile for Anglophiles.)

Kids are causing trouble in three genre films opening Friday…

The Bad Kids of Crestview Academy (Momentum Pictures) is the sequel to the 2013 dark comedy Bad Kids Go to Hell, which itself is based on a comic book. It stars Sammi Hanratti as Siouxsie, a feisty “undercrust” student who deliberately gets herself put into detention to find out which of five “uppercrust” students knows something about the suicide of her older sister Allison.  The directorial debut by actor Ben Crowder, which features Gina Gershon, Sean Astin and Drake Bell, will open in theaters, On Demand and on Digital HD Friday. (I really hated this movie. Definitely not for me, and first-time director Crowder seems out of his depth with a snarky, nasty screenplay that does little to warrant its viewing.) 

Documentary filmmaker Matt Ogens (Meet the Hitlers) makes his narrative debut with the post-Apocalyptic film Go North (Gunpowder and Sky) set in a community with no adults where a bunch of jocks and upper crust of the local high school are running things, headed by Caleb (Patrick Schwarzenegger). Not liking the situation, Josh and Jessie (Jacob Lofland, Sophie Kennedy Clark) head out on their own with Caleb and his underling Gentry (James Bloor) in pursuit. It opens in select cities and On Demand.

Also set post-Apocalypse (a different one) is Emilia Rocha Minter’s We Are the Flesh (Arrow Films), which will open theatrically after playing a number of genre films in 2016, including Fantasia Fest and Fantastic Fest.  It follows an unbalanced hermit and the two starving siblings he takes under his wing to rebuild after the Apocalypse. It will open in L.A. at Laemmle's Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre on Friday, and then in New York at the Cinema Village on January 20.

After premiering last year at the Tribeca Film Festival as “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” the dramatic fantasy The Book of Love (Freestyle Releasing) stars Jason Sudeikis as a widower whose wife (Jessica Biel) died in a car accident, and he befriends a teen (Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones), who he helps to build a raft to travel the world. It opens in select cities.

Betsy Brandt from Breaking Bad stars in Lisa Robinson and Annie Howell’s second feature, the missing person thriller Claire in Motion (Breaking Glass Pictures). She plays a woman whose husband has disappeared and with the police giving up their investigation, Claire takes it upon herself to find out what happened with him. It opens in select theaters and On Demand.

Opening at the Film Forum in New York are two shot docs about creative artists Everybody Knows Elizabeth Murray, about the costume and production designer for Scorsese and Jonathan Demme, while The 100 Years Show is a film about 101-year-old Havana-born artist Carmen Herrera, who has lived and done art in New York since 1954. 

Opening in New York at the Cinema Village, in L.A. and On Demand following its premiere at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival is Reset (FilmRise), Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai’s doc about choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan) and his attempts to rejuvenate the Paris Opera Ballet.

Also at the Cinema Village is Dave Davidson and Amber Edwards’ doc Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past, a look at the bandleader, musician, historian and leader of The Nighthawks, who bring the music of the ‘20s and ‘30s to life with their vintage instruments, as heard on the HBO show Boardwalk Empire

Vincent Perez’s World War II drama Alone In Berlin, based on the novel by Hans Fallada, about a German couple who decide to resist Hitler and the Nazis after the death of their son. Based on the postcards written by the real life Otto and Elise Hampel, who urged others to protest against Hitler’s reign, the film version stars Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson and Daniel Bruhl, and it seems rather timely.

Eugène Green’s French drama The Son of Joseph (Kino Lorber) is a “nativity story reboot” starring Victor Ezenfis as a Parisian teenager looking for his father with Mathieu Amalric playing his foster father and Natacha Régnier as his single mother. It will open at Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Friday.

Also opening Friday are the doc Saving Banksy (Parade Deck Films), the Chinese comedy Some Like It Hot (China Lion) and the Bollywood romance OK Jannu (FIP).

That’s it for this week, but join us again next Wednesday right here on LRM Online for a look at new movies including Vin Diesel’s return as xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (Paramount), M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller Split (Universal), and Michael Keaton stars as the mastermind behind MacDonalds in The Founder (The Weinstein Company).

(Text copyright Edward Douglas 2017. The Weekend Warrior logo designed by and copyright Tim Nardelli 2017.)

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