There are limited new choices this weekend. Let’s jump right in!
The Belko Experiment – Rated R
In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogota, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
Critics: The Belko Experiment offers a few moments of lurid fun for genre enthusiasts, but lacks enough subversive smarts to consistently engage once the carnage kicks in, according to Rottentomatoes.com. 46% LIKE
Blake: great to see an impressive cast including Michael Booker (The Walking Dead), John C. McGinley and Tony Goldwyn. However, according to my sources, they can’t make better… what isn’t good. Plus, the extreme cruelty may be too much for many. I predict afternoon showings will garner the majority of viewers who prefer to spend on the wise.
Beauty and The Beast – Rated PG
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.
“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar (R) winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe (R) nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award (R) winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Oscar (R) winner Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast” is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards (R) (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.
Critics: according to a general consensus from Rottentomatoes.com, “With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.” 68% LIKE
Blake: good to see Disney waiting long enough (26 years) to re-boot this story with such a wonderful and proven cast in a fresh and family-friendly manner. A 68% thumbs-up from critics isn’t the best… but enough to secure interest, massive matinee response, and the good seats will be gone, quickly.
The family-friendly film route is best this weekend, and do your best to avoid singing-along… out loud:).