8 Things to Watch This Weekend

9:41 AM 8/4/2017

by Ashley Lee and Jackie Strause

Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' finally hits the big screen, while 'Wet Hot American Summer' and 'Sharknado' take over TV — again.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
  • The Dark Tower

    In theaters

    Courtesy of Sony Pictures

    The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s eight-book opus stars Idris Elba as a wandering gunslinger who is the last hope of the fallen land. He is charged with finding the Dark Tower while battling his nemesis — the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey.

    Unlike other villains, McConaughey’s character is “just plain effing evil — there's no excuse. He's not trying to say, 'Well, I was mistreated as a child,' none of that," director Nikolaj Arcel told THR. "There's no excuse for his badness. He is pure evil. He wants chaos.” Also quite chaotic: the frustratingly low reviews for the Sony fantasy film.

  • Detroit

    In theaters

    Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

    Kathryn Bigelow directs the Annapurna Pictures drama, which recounts the true and gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of 1967, and has remained a largely forgotten act of police brutality against a group of young black men, and two young white women, in Michigan’s biggest city.

    It the third collaboration over a nine-year stretch between Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, after The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter and Jacob Latimore are among the cast of the movie, which is shot in docudrama style.

    After opening in limited theaters last weekend, Detroit now expands nationwide. A box-office challenge for the movie, which is already earning Bigelow Oscar buzz, is its tough subject matter. Legal questions have also arisen as to whether the movie risks a lawsuit from the real-life cops at the center of the story.

  • Kidnap

    In theaters

    Peter Iovino

    Halle Berry stars in the thriller as a mom who takes matters into her own hands to rescue her abducted son. “This movie is an homage to all of the mothers in the world," said Luis Prieto of the action-packed Aviron release. "We’ve all heard stories of mothers lifting cars to rescue their kids, because that’s what mothers are: They’re heroes. They will do anything to protect their kids. But we never get to see movies about that.”

    Berry echoed the sentiment for all women at the movie’s premiere: “We get to see men save the day all the time, but you know what, ladies? We can, too.”

  • Step

    In limited theaters

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Directed by Tony winner Amanda Lipitz, the documentary centers on the first graduating class of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, which opened in 2009 with a mandate to send every student to college, despite the barriers that their home lives and community might present. The doc follows three irrepressible seniors and their “Lethal Ladies” step dance team as they navigate a nerve-wracking college application process and strive to elevate the creative outlet that keeps them united and fighting to reach their goals. It may soon be the basis of a dance movie, as Fox Searchlight also nabbed narrative remake rights to the Sundance hit.

  • Wind River

    In limited theaters

    Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

    Jeremy Renner stars in the crime drama as a wildlife officer who teams with an FBI agent, played by Elizabeth Olsen, after discovering a dead woman’s body on a Native American reservation in Wyoming. The Weinstein Co. release marks the feature directorial debut of Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the critically-acclaimed Sicario and Hell or High Water.

    In fact, the screenwriter-turned-director sees the three films as somewhat of a thematic trilogy. “Each is an exploration of the modern American frontier — how much has changed, how much hasn’t changed, and how much it still suffers from that settlement and assimilation,” Sheridan told THR at Sundance. “And all three are a study in fatherhood, in degrees of endearing and failing.”

  • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

    Friday on Netflix

    Saeed Adyani/Netflix

    They're back — again. Using a line from Bradley Cooper's Ben as a kickoff ("Let's all promise that in 10 years from today, we'll meet again and we'll see what kind of people we blossomed into"), Netflix follows the counselors of Camp Firewood into a new decade. Now in the early 1990s, the eight-episode sequel to the revival of the cult film Wet Hot American Summer reunites most of its original stars (minus Cooper, whose Ben has become a "busy movie star") and welcomes some new faces (Alyssa Milano, Mark Feuerstein, Jai Courtney, Dax Shepard and Adam Scott) for a reunion on the camp grounds. (It's 10 years after the film, but 20 after the Netflix prequel.)

    When Coop (Michael Showalter), Katie (Marguerite Moreau), J.J. (Zak Orth), Susie (Amy Poehler), Victor (Ken Marino), Neil (Joe Lo Truglio), Beth (Janeane Garofalo), Abby (Marisa Ryan), Andy (Paul Rudd), Donna (Lake Bell), Yaron (David Wain) and more get together, "if you laughed at somebody before, you'll still laugh," says THR's review, despite some misses.

  • Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

    Sunday, 8 p.m. on SyFy

    Courtesy of Syfy

    The fifth installment of SyFy's campy shark movies wants swimmers to pack their passport and grab a chainsaw — Sharknado is going global! Taking the world — and unsuspecting celebrities — by storm, the next sequel in the TV movie franchise has a global warming-inspired title and political tagline: "Make America Bait Again!" Welcoming back star Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard and Tara Reid as his bionic wife, April, the pair must fend off sharks around the world when their young son gets trapped in a sharknado. From London to Rio, Tokyo, Rome, Amsterdam and beyond, the globetrotting heroes seek assistance from a "highly skilled squad" that invites cameos by Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Olivia Newton-John, the Today show hosts, and comedians Chris Kattan, Gilbert Gottfried and Margaret Cho. 

  • Ray Donovan

    Sunday, 9 p.m. on Showtime

    Courtesy of SHOWTIME

    Liev Schreiber returns as Los Angeles' famed fixer Ray Donovan for the fifth season of Showtime's Emmy-nominated series. After last season's bloody finale, the drama makes it entrance with a time jump and welcomes Susan Sarandon, recently nominated for an Emmy for her role in FX's Feud: Bette and Joan, into its fold for a season-long arc as Samantha Winslow, a powerful studio head who pits Ray against her own fixers. The trailer shows Ray picking up the pieces with his family, including dad Mickey (Jon Voight), as he forges a new professional relationship with Samantha.

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