Preview This! “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”

Opening this week at a theatre near you.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”  (2015)

Having figured out and escaped The Maze, the Gladers now are confronted with a new set of challenges on the open roads of a vast and desolate landscape. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” Website

What to Watch For:  This is the second of the “Maze Runner” film series.

Word on the Street:  The second film will look and feel very different from the first “Maze Runner” film. The first film was shot in Louisiana.  The 2nd film was shot in New Mexico.

My Take:  I enjoyed the first film, so I am looking forward to seeing this one.

Black Mass

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

“Black Mass” (2015)

The film depicts the rise and fall of the ruthless and violent Boston mobster, Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), in the 1970’s and 80s. “Black Mass” Website

What to Watch For: To prepare for the role, Depp studied surveillance footage and audio recordings of Bulger. Depp also made an attempt to meet Whitey, but he declined.

Word on the Street:  Many critics who have seen the film feel that Depp is a shoe-in for an Oscar Best Actor nomination.

My Take:  I am most excited to see Benedict Cumberbatch play Whitey’s brother.

Everest

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Everest”  (2015)

Climbing Everest is a tough task.  In 1996, a storm made climbing Everest nearly impossible to survive. “Everest” Website

What to Watch For:  For the first week, “Everest” will be shown in IMAX theaters, exclusively.

Word on the Street:  Production had to halt for a time due to a massive avalanche that killed 18 Sherpa guides on Everest.

My Take:  The film has an stellar cast including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Grandma

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

“Grandma”  (2015)

Elle (Lily Tomlin) has just gotten over a bad breakup with her girlfriend when Elle’s granddaughter ,Sage (Julia Garner), shows up, unexpectedly. Sage is pregnant and needs six hundred dollars.  So, Elle and Sage go on a mission to try and raise the six hundred dollars in one day, bugging every friend and family member they can find. “Grandma” Website

What to Watch For: The cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Elliott, Laverne Cox and Judy Greer.

Word on the Street:  Critics are falling for Lily Tomlin’s performance in the film.

My Take:  When given the right part, Tomlin can be very impressive.

Captive

Photo courtesy of Paramount

“Captive”  (2015)

A single mother (Kate Mara) struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her apartment by a man on the run (David Oyelowo). The man broke out of prison and murdered the judge who was assigned to the case. “Captive” Website

What to Watch For:  Kate Mara is coming off her much talked about role in the TV show, “House of Cards.”

Word on the Street:  David Oyelowo was impressive in his Golden Globe-nominated performance in last year’s, “Selma.”

My Take:  Screenwriter Brian Bird also was Executive Producer of this film.

Pawn Sacrifice

Photo courtesy of Bleeker Street

“Pawn Sacrifice” (2015)

At the height of the Cold War, the world stopped to watch a series of chess matches between American champion Bobby Fisher (Tobey Maguire) and the Russian Grand Master Champion Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). “Pawn Sacrifice” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is directed by Edward Zwick (Traffic, Shakespeare in Love), and the script is written by Steven Knight (Locke).

Word on the Street:  The film was shown at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival to great critical acclaim.

My Take:  I love playing chess and want to see this film.

Rosenwald

Photo courtesy of Ciesla Foundation

“Rosenwald”  (2015)

Documentary on Julius Rosenwald, who became the President of Sears and was inspired by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington.  Rosenwald went on to join forces with African-American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. “Rosenwald” Website

What to Watch For:  The director of the film, Aviva Kempner, will do an in-person appearance for a Q&A on Friday, September 18th at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.

Word on the Street: The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Nashville Film Festival.

My Take:  I have enjoyed this director’s work in the past at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival including the documentary, “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” (1998).

 

If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on Atlanta’s CW.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Max Payne”  (2008)  NYPD detective Max (Mark Wahlberg) is determined to find who killed his wife and baby. He is willing to do anything to accomplish his task.

3:00 pm

“White Water Summer”  (1987)  An experienced white water rafting guide takes four boys on a trip that will change all of their lives.

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