This weekend, the issue of climate change comes to us again via the documentary format, courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio. Alongside that, we have a handful of other things of note. They include a blockbuster adventure sequel, some musical docs, and a special citation of a new movie theater opening in New York City. It all makes for a fairly unconventional and doc heavy week, though sometimes that can be a nice little change of pace. The next few weeks will lead up to the heavy hitter Oscar players opening, so consider this the calm before the storm. In the meantime, let us dive right in to what’s out today in theaters!
Best Bet This Week
“Before the Flood” (National Geographic Channel)
A worthy followup to “An Inconvenient Truth” of sorts, this climate change documentary is a Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens passion project. It’s a rather solid look at this important issue, one that threatens us in a very real way. Whether you’re a climate change believer or denier, there’s vital information to pass along here. Does it somewhat preach to the choir? Sure, but what documentary doesn’t? This is an overall strong doc, with a few interesting touches. Notably, getting to see a bit of pre-production on “The Revenant” as DiCaprio goes from that office to the filming of this. That was fascinating. In a weird weekend, this is easily the best bet.
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 69%
Oscar Hopes – A potential fringe player in Best Documentary Feature
Screen Count – Limited Release (also playing Sunday on the National Geographic Channel)
Also Opening of Note
“Gimme Danger” (Magnolia)
Another doc (and not the last one this weekend), this one comes from Jim Jarmusch. It looks at The Stooges, a band that Jarmusch feels deserves more acclaim. Go figure: a music doc has been more beloved than a climate change one so far this week. This isn’t a band I’m overly familiar with, but if you are (or just a fan of Jarmusch), it should be clear what you’re seeking out this weekend. With currently 94% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s one of the best reviewed docs of 2016. That’s quite the achievement, too, so perhaps it’s something to seek out?
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 94%
Oscar Hopes – Probably not
Screen Count – Limited Release
The latest Robert Langdon adventure brings star Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard back into the fold. New to the fray is Felicity Jones, though reviews have been as bad as ever, so really, has anything changed? Presumably, you already know if this has any appeal to you, and if so, you might have already preordered your tickets. If that’s the case, don’t let me turn you off to it. This isn’t my thing, but hey…different strokes for different folks. Hanks and Howard have a long history together, though this likely won’t go down as one of their bright and shining moments.
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 24%
Oscar Hopes – I wouldn’t bet on it
Screen Count – 3,400 Screens
“Oasis: Supersonic” (A24)
Despite being a fan of the band ever since high school, I never got around to this documentary during its press screening run. There’s definitely a good chance that I really missed out, too. Is the presumed bickering between Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher as important as climate change? Of course not. Is it probably an entertaining music doc? That’s likely a safe bet. If you dig on Oasis or musical nonfiction film in general, this could be something to check out. Again, I can’t vouch for it, but I have heard good things, so make of that what you will.
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 84%
Oscar Hopes – Very unlikely
Screen Count – Limited Release
Briefly, I wanted to talk a bit about something very exciting opening this weekend. If you live in New York City, there’s an Alamo Drafthouse opening in Brooklyn. I was given a media tour of the facility earlier this week and was absolutely blown away. Between a bar with nearly 100 local beers on tap that doubles as a wax museum and state of the art theaters, this is manna from cinematic heaven. Anyone who has been to a Drafthouse, be it in Austin or elsewhere, can vouch for this chain. Now, New Yorkers can really experience it for themselves as well. This, as far as I’m concerned, is now the premiere place to watch a movie in the Big Apple.
“By Sidney Lumet” (American Masters)
“New Life” (Argentum)
“The Unspoken” (Paladin)
“You’ve Been Trumped, Too” (Independent)