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Period dramas, horror films and comedies are amongst Labor Day weekend’s film offerings, including the return of a sci-fi landmark, Close Enounters of the Third Kind. Also hitting theaters is a special IMAX screening of Marvel’s The Inhumans, Lake Bell’s marital comedy I Do… Until I Don’t, William H. Macy’s The Layover, James Franco-starrer The Vault and a documentary chronicling the impact of a woman just as important as Cesar Chavez in the worker’s rights movement — Dolores Huerta.
Read on to find out what The Hollywood Reporter‘s critics are saying about the new offerings (as well as which film will likely top the weekend box office).
Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan and Christoph Waltz star in the Weinstein Co.’s romantic period drama set in 17th century Amsterdam during “Tulip mania” when many — including the starring characters — gambled on tulip bulbs in hopes of building a fortune. The Justin Chadwick-directed film, based on Deborah Moggach’s 1999 novel Tulip Fever, was shot in 2014 and has had a long road to the big screen. THR critic Sheri Linden writes in her review, “after a long, circuitous route to the screen, it arrives not as a lusty tale in full bloom but as a tastefully arranged still life, in search of an animating spark.” Read the full review here.
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic, that THR‘s critic once compared to Star Wars, is hitting theaters (with a 4K restoration) for a 40th anniversary run. The 1977 film stars Richard Dreyfuss as a line worker who experiences an alien encounter and later is drawn to the wilderness with the feeling that something extraordinary is about to happen. THR‘s original review praised the film: “To get to the bottom line with minimum delay, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a terrific movie, with every possibility of equaling the box-office popularity of Star Wars.”
Cesar Chavez’s female counterpart, Dolores Huerta, gets the spotlight in a new doc highlighting her impact as co-founder (with Chavez) of the United Farm Workers of America. Angela Davis, Chavez and other fellow activists of the era provide commentary in what THR critic Duane Byrge calls a “satisfyingly complex doc.” He adds that filmmaker Peter Bratt “fleshes her out in fullest political and social dimension, but also captures her personal life and driven personality.” Read the full review here.
I Do…Until I Don’t
Lake Bell stars, writes and directs the comedy where she and Ed Helms play a married couple who participate in a filmmaker’s documentary about failing marriages. Amber Heard also makes an appearance as Bell’s younger sister, while Mary Steenburgen and Paul Reiser play an older married couple who also agree to be in the doc.
The first two episodes of ABC and Marvel’s series about a race of superheroes (and super dog Lockjaw) is premiering in an IMAX run in 74 countries before debuting on ABC on Sept. 29. Fans are anticipating the latest addition to the Marvel universe after being treated to a sneak preview during Comic-Con. The show includes some familiar faces such as Game of Thrones veteran Iwan Rheon as Maximus.
The director of two Saw installments, Kevin Greutert, has helmed a new thriller following a family who hires a “deprogrammer” to rescue their son from a murderous cult who in return invades the family’s home to get the boy back. THR critic John DeFore calls the film “forgettable.” He writes in his review, “Its run-of-the-mill standoff may appease some hardcore horror buffs, but it offers nothing to the rest of us and will likely be forgotten before the blood on the ground dries.”
William H. Macy directs the comedy featuring Kate Upton and Alexandra Daddario as best friends who decide to take a vacation together to unwind, but end up fighting over the same guy seated between them during their flight.
The Japanese horror film follows three friends who travel to visit temples in a remote Japanese village, unaware that they are cursed. THR critic Justin Lowe writes in his review that the film “comes off as more of a half-hearted attempt at exploiting typical J-horror themes than an actual homage to the Japanese genre.”
Orlando Bloom and Michael Douglas, Toni Collette and Noomi Rapace star in filmmaker Michael Apted’s spy thriller where Rapace leads the pack as an undercover C.I.A. agent on a mission to prevent a biological terrorist attack in London. THR critic Stephen Dalton says the film’s starry international cast and modestly gripping action scenes can’t save it from being “The Boring Ultimatum.” Read the full review here.
James Franco, Francesca Eastwood, Scott Haze and Taryn Manning appear in the film being described as The Town meets The Sixth Sense.
Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha brings to life India’s historical tale of independence along with a Romeo-Juliet love story intended to target a Bollywood audience. “Drenched in a syrupy score by double Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman, Viceroy’s House promises a lavish banquet of spicy dramatic material, but somehow ends up lukewarm and flavorless,” writes Dalton in his review.
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