Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Adventure
TEMPO PREDICTION: 4 stars
The galactic rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans for the legendary ‘Death Star’. Enlisting the help of a skilled soldier and criminal named Jyn Erso, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, and her team set the stage for the original Star Wars trilogy, giving fans a chance to see the story behind the Empire.
THE GOSSIP: This will be the 3rd film in the Star Wars franchise to be shot digitally, the last one being Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
DIRECTED BY: Gareth Edwards
CAST: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn
GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure
TEMPO PREDICTION: 3.5 Stars
Callum Lynch never thought himself to be out of the ordinary, until Abstergo, a powerful corporation, snatches him off the street and hooks him up to an extraordinary device called the Animus. With this technology, Abstergo can unlock the genetic memories of Callum’s long-dead ancestors, but they’re particularly interested in a Spanish assassin named Aguilar.
THE GOSSIP: When filming the signature “leap of faith,” the only CGI used is seen in the background; Damien Walters had to free jump from a height of 125 feet to capture it.
DIRECTED BY: Justin Kurzel
CAST: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Bad Santa 2
TEMPO PREDICTION: 3.5 stars
It’s been thirteen years since their last escapade, and now the team has their sights on a Chicago charity. It seems like the perfect heist until Willie meets an unexpected partner in crime in his mother.
THE GOSSIP: Although Billy Bob Thornton plays the son of Kathy Bates, he is really only seven years younger than her.
DIRECTED BY: Mark Waters
CAST: Christina Hendricks, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates
The Edge of Seventeen
GENRE: Comedy, Drama
TEMPO PREDICTION: 3 Stars
It’s hard growing up, especially in high school, but that’s what friends are for. At least, that’s what eleventh-grader Nadine thought before her best friend started dating her brother. Now, she must overcome her own adolescent awkwardness and venture outside her comfort zone.
THE GOSSIP: The film got its title from a Stevie Nicks song of the same name.
DIRECTED BY: Kelly Fremon Craig
CAST: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner
By Noelle Pope-George
Based on an insane true story, War Dogs documents the tale of two best friends whose get-rich-quick scheme actually worked… except that it was massively illegal. While the war in Iraq was still raging, David Packouz (Miles Teller) runs into an old friend from Junior High, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill). Efraim convinces David to join him in becoming international arms dealers, supplying weapons to the American military and splitting the comically large payments they reaped in return. At first their little project takes off without consequence, until they become blinded by their own greed. When they stumble upon a contract offering 300 million dollars in exchange for 100 million bullets to arm American forces in Afghanistan, the pair eagerly jumps on the opportunity. However, the deal quickly turns sour when every conceivable thing that could go wrong… ends up going wrong.
War Dogs is an interesting take on the thrilling story of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli. For one thing, it’s a dramatic comedy – emphasis on ‘comed’y. The contrast that this genre choice placed on the film offers quite a distinctive viewing experience. Between nail-biting suspense, you’ll be giggling at the clever humour. This balance makes for a movie that unexpectedly sucks you in, and before you know it, you’re glued to your screen, waiting on the edge of your seat for what happens next. You know that what David and Efraim are doing is wrong, but for the duration of the film you may find yourself in their corner regardless, hoping they won’t get caught, wishing that their deal is successful. For the film industry, basing a movie on a true story is a bargain, as they often get a poor reception, but War Dogs knocked it out of the park. A must-see for any fan of the crime genre.
Catch it on Blu-Ray: Star Trek Beyond
When it comes to Star Trek, there are so many different routes to take. Perhaps you enjoyed The Next Generation, or are a stickler for the originals… or you preferred the different, yet quirky Deep Space Nine. But no matter where your allegiance lies, there’s something to be said about the newest addition to the beloved sci-fi franchise. Taking place after the events of Star Trek: Into Darkness, the film drops the Enterprise crew into a seemingly straightforward rescue mission. However, their quest quickly turns sour when the starship is ravaged, and the crew barely escapes the wreckage with their lives. However in the confusion, they end up separated, some lost on the strange planet while others are held captive by Krall (Idris Elba), In their attempt to escape and piece together what went wrong, the crew finds themselves trapped in a galactic battle that could determine the fate of the whole of Starfleet.
If you’re a self-proclaimed “Trekkie,” then you’ll love this new spin on the series! The plot keeps you guessing, with unexpected turns around every corner. The characters are expertly developed, making it all too easy to cheer them on and become invested in their struggles and triumphs. The perfectly placed comic relief keeps audiences laughing, and adds a bit more fun to the whole experience. Plus it’s a wonderful choice for a family movie night, with classic Star Trek wackiness and valuable life lessons about the importance of companionship, unity and loyalty sprinkled throughout.