Tony’s Movie Reviews: ‘Lights Out,’ ‘Absolutely Fabulous,’ ‘Ice Age: Collision Course,’ ‘Star Trek Beyond’

SALT LAKE CITY, July 22, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Four films hit theaters this weekend and there’s something for everybody it seems.

If you’re a sci-fi fan you know this year marks the 50th anniversary of the classic TV series “Star Trek.” Part of Paramount’s promotion for the event was the release of the third film in the J.J. Abrams reboot of the franchise: “Star Trek Beyond.”

The film is scoring very positive reviews so far (it has an 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and the film is predicted to open in first place with about $59 million, knocking “The Secret Life of Pets” out of the top slot, according to Box Office Mojo.

If you’re looking for a kids’ movie, “Ice Age: Collision Course” marks the fifth film in the series, not counting a few direct to DVD films starring some of the characters. The animated film, starring the vocal talents of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah and Dennis Leary, is estimated to open in third place with $26 million.

Horror fans will gather to see “Lights Out,” which is enjoying an 82 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is expected to pull in about $14 million its first weekend out.

And finally for fans of British comedy, “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” takes up where the long-running series left off. It will play to a very particular crowd in the USA. The film did $18 million in Europe already, but will only open in 313 theaters across the country,  pretty much keeping it out of the Top10 films.

Here’s Box Office Mojo’s predictions for the Top 10 films at the box office:

Star Trek Beyond – $59 million
The Secret Life of Pets – $26.9 million
Ice Age: Collision Course – $24 million
Ghostbusters – $23 million
Lights Out – $14.5 million
The Legend of Tarzan – $6.1 million
Finding Dory – $5.8 million
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party – $4.9 million
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – $3.7 million
The Purge: Election Year – $3.3 million

The Reviews:

Ice Age: Collision Course
Starring the Voices of: Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Dennis Leary and John Leguizamo
Rated PG

Scrat’s epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” is a terrible movie. This latest one should have been a direct to DVD release. There is nothing in this boring film that will hold a child’s interest. Watching this film will be more of a punishment for your kid and for you.

Pass it by.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” gets a D and is rated PG.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Starring: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley
Rated R

Edina, played by Jennifer Saunders, and Patsy, played by Joanna Lumley, are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot spots.

Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more.

Of course “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” is based on the BBC TV series that ran from 1992 to 2012. In those 20 years, “AB-FAB” has garnered fans over the world. The comedy is unapologetic, silly slapstick that is just terribly funny and embarrassing.

“Absolutely Fabulous” is not only unashamed of its characters’ vices, it revels in them.

It gets a B and is rated R.

Lights Out
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Maria Bello and Gabriel Bateman
Rated PG-13

When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.

“Lights Out” is a creepy thriller, using style to scare the audience rather than a series of quick set ups and scares. The film is nuanced in its approach, allowing the audience to relax a little before the intenseness really begins.

The cast is well directed with Teresa Palmer the stand out performer in the film. Her presentation is nearly perfect for this genre of film.

Although I am taking away some points for the music, which seems to telegraph too much, and for some confusing moments, the film is well worth your time if you love good horror.

“Lights Out” gets a B and is rated PG-13.

Star Trek Beyond
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin and Jon Cho
Rated PG-13

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

The third installment of the recent reboot of “Star Trek,” “Star Trek Beyond” has a few problems. The film is a mashup of plots we’ve seen a few times before. The main plot has Kirk and company fighting an angry alien whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc on The Federation.

This plot was already been used in pretty much all the “Star Trek” films and TV shows. “Star Trek Beyond” is the same film with a different wrapper.

There’s a secondary plot about Spock and Uhura, and other plot devices to fill the gaps in the story, but nothing new added to the “Star Trek” formula.

That being said, “Star Trek Beyond” is an audience-pleasing film with enough drama, special effects and humor to involve the audience, making it a very likable movie while you’re watching it.

However, when you leave the theater ask yourself, “What was different about the film?” I bet your answer is the same as mine.

For refusing to stretch itself and try to do anything different, “Star Trek Beyond” gets a very average C and is rated PG-13.

 

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