Exodus: Gods and Kings: The defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. Opening Weekend: $24.1 million Rotten Tomatoes: 28% Review: It is unclear if there truly is a resurgence occurring in Hollywood of sweeping Biblical epics or if the emergence of Exodus and this year's earlier Noah are merely passing fads of the year. But it is clear that filmmakers do enjoy telling such grand tales of God and men. Exodus takes fewer liberties with the original source material found in the Torah than Noah did (though I still appreciated the effort put into crafting a conflicted Noah character), giving it less of a fairy-tale feel and more of a historical account. Of course, the infliction of the classic plagues upon Egypt are fantastical in nature, but legendary director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) finds ways to depict them as both visually and narratively compelling. Stars Bale (The Fighter) and Edgerton (Warrior) craft engaging, complex characters and Exodus is truly only held back by not focusing on them enough. The visuals are outstanding, though I'd have liked to have seen more of Moses's interactions with the people he leads to understand why they follow him so devotedly. In the end, Exodus boasts impressive imagery and captivating story, making it worthy of a viewing for religious and nonreligious alike. The Final Word: 3.5/4 - Go buy a ticket.
November 7th Big Hero 6: A special bond develops between plus-sized inflatable health-care robot Baymax, and inventor prodigy Hiro Hamada as they team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. Opening Weekend: $56.2 million Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Opening Weekend: $32.5 million Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Review: We've had an over-saturation of dystopian young adult adaptations recently and I'm burned out. But I honestly really enjoyed The Maze Runner just as much as, if not more than, the (overrated, imo) Hunger Games films. It's exciting and intriguing, propelled by earnest efforts from its young cast. And what's fascinating is that even though the end sets up a sequel, it's clearly not going to be a carbon copy of this first entry, but something new, and that is truly breaking the current pattern of dystopian young adult adaptations. I'm looking forward to seeing where the Maze Runner franchise leads. The Final Word: 3.5/4 - Go buy a ticket.