Bang for the Buck!

Looking at the Hollywood Titles Hitting the Cinema Screens This Quarter

  • 03 Feb - 09 Feb, 2018
  • Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
  • Feature

Let’s face facts: most of us love to go to the cinemas, but are forced to become a bit wise by the rising price of tickets. With the money factor now a serious part of the decision making, here is a list of Hollywood entertainers releasing in February and March, and our estimation of their entertainment value.

Acts of Violence
February 16

Action / Drama
Bang for the Buck: 3/10

Bruce Willis – who I believe will have a limited role – plays a cop investigating human trafficking who helps save an ex-paramilitary officer’s fiancée. Meanwhile, tired of sitting still, the ex-military men launch their own assault into the underworld. The movie looks like your run-on-the-mill actioner.

A Wrinkle in Time
March 09
Fantasy / Adventure
Bang for the Buck: 7/10

Directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), and starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine, this magical adventure has a girl (Storm Reid), her brother and their friend searching a fantastic universe for her dad who is held captive by an evil presence. Take the kiddies.

The Hurricane Heist
March 09
Bang for the Buck: 5/10

Definitely a mindless actioner starring Maggie Grace and Toby Kebbell as a U.S. Treasury agent and a meteorologist who fend off a highly skilled gang of robbers in the midst of a hurricane crisis. Yeah… my thoughts exactly.

Black Panther
February 16
Superhero / Action
Bang for the Buck: 6/10

The next release before Avengers: Infinity War hits screens sees T’Challa – aka. the Black Panther – take his rightful place as the King of Wakanda, as all hell breaks looks. I wasn’t impressed by the movie’s first look. The second trailer, featuring a lot of expensive action is a good rebound by Marvel Entertainment.

Den of Thieves
February 16
Thriller / Action
Bang for the Buck: 5/10

IMDB succinctly synopsises the movie as “A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. and the state's most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank”. This is only for action-junkies and Gerard Butler fans, I gather.

Peter Rabbit
February 9
Animation/ Live Action
Bang for the Buck: 7/10

Based on the character created by Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit may be familiar to an older generation who didn’t have a darting attention span thanks to Facebook and other competing social media. Peter (with the voice of James Corden) is an anthropomorphic rabbit who lives with his widow mother and sisters in a small rabbit hole. In this adaptation we see Peter and Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) fight for the affections of the Bea, the kindhearted woman played by Rose Bryne. The movie also casts the voice of Daisey Ridley (Rey from Star Wars) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad).

March 02
Adventure / Action
Bang for the Buck: 9/10

Director Albert Hughes (of the duo The Hughes Brothers of From Hell and The Book of Eli) has an ace up his sleeve early March in Alpha – a caveman-era adventure of survival and friendship between a young man and grey wolf. The movie looks smart, refreshing and visually original.

Tomb Raider
March 16
Live Action
Bang for the Buck: 6/10

A far grittier, yet video game-ish looking reboot of the film series that once starred Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider feels like it needs to find the right balance and tone between cinema and video games. Alicia Vikander looks apt in the role though.

Pacific Rim: Uprising
March 23
Science Fiction / Action
Bang for the Buck: 5/10

With a new director and awful visual effects, this sequel doesn’t have the original’s cast, nor does it share its “oomph” factor. The new cast and tone makes this one feel like a Power Rangers movie.

February 23
Science Fiction / Adventure
Bang for the Buck: 7/10

Lena (Natalie Portman), a biologist with military experience goes into an ethereal place called “The Shimmer”, where fantastical creatures roam. Her mission is simple: to find out why her husband (Oscar Issac), the sole survivor of the last mission to The Shimmer, has come back with an unknown disease. The film will eventually become a monster-on-prowl actioner, but is visually enticing nevertheless.

Death Wish
March 02
Action / Revenge
Bang for the Buck: 7/10

A remake of the 1974 film of the same name – also one of the most iconic films starring Charles Bronson – this version stars Bruce Willis in, finally, a full-fledged lead role. Apart from Willis, there’s a considerable amount of other talent behind the scenes that makes it a must-watch. The movie is written by Joe Carnahan (director of The Grey and The A-Team) and directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel).

Sherlock Gnomes
March 23
Bang for the Buck: 6/10

In this sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet, the couple-recruit detective Sherlock Gnomes and his sidekick Gnome Watson to help investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden gnomes. Like the first part, the voice acting doesn’t match the animation, nevertheless, visually there is vast improvement.

Ready Player One
March 30
Science Fiction / Adventure
Bang for the Buck: 10/10

Prepare to be hit hard by nostalgia by the last week of March. Ready Player One is the pre-summer visual effects laden extravaganza set in a future ruled by virtual reality. As with any Spielberg-directed adventure, this film feels fresh with a unique outlook. The film may also require multiple viewings, because there may be an overload of nostalgic information that one cannot grasp on their first show.

Red Sparrow
March 02
Action / Thriller
Bang for the Buck: 8/10

Jennifer Lawrence plays a ballerina called Dominika Egorova who is recruited as a Russian intelligence agent and forced to use her body as a weapon against a CIA agent. This film from Francis Lawrence, the director behind I am Legend and the last three Hunger Games movies, looks wonderful.