In conclusion, you love Wonder Woman.
Your mom loves it too. So does your younger sister and small children. And everyone else. Loo, a $100-plus million opening weekend for a female-fronted superhero movie — and directed by a woman — is staggering. Consider it a win-win for all future comic-book projects. (Though I maintain that the movie itself is a bit underwhelming.)
But guess what? The summer movie season is still in its infancy. And though the gladiator already proved she can help topple the enemies in World War I, now it’s time to see if she can topple the biggest movie star in the world.
Here’s the MaraMovies weekend movie guide:
Stars: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boatel
Two-minute plot: In the Egyptian desert, an archeologist (Tom Cruise) tackles an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) who’s risen from her tomb and dead-set on destruction.
Backstory: Did you ever think you’d see the day when Tom Cruise takes on a role originated by Brendan Fraser? Well, you haven’t. Title aside, this is a remake of the film released back in 1932. It’s darker and more sinister in tone than the 1999 Indiana Jones-lite incarnation, which spawned two films and a spin-off. Cruise, in fact, plays an entirely different character (though the plots are close relatives.) The Mummy also marks the first entry of the Universal Pictures’ recently announced “Dark Universe” — a series of upcoming big-and-low budgeted gods and monster flicks that include the Bride of Frankenstein (coming in 2019), The Wolfman and The Invisible Man. Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll character is the common link in all the above. Sounds intriguing. Right? Maybe? Ish?
Heat index: Moderate, trending low. Critics couldn’t see it early in the U.S. And in the past decade, Cruise has not fared well in a movie not titled “Mission Impossible.” Somewhere, Fraser is smiling.
Stars: Kate Mara, Edie Falco
Two-minute plot: A teen Marine corporal fights (Kate Mara) to adopt a K-9 dog, Rex, after he’s wounded. The two share a unique bond and together, they save countless lives over the course of 100 missions in the Iraq War.
Backstory: Megan Leavey is a real Marine Corp. vet, and this is her sure-to-be heartwarming true story. And legit production credits — it’s directed by Gabriela Coperthwaite (Blackfish) and co-written by Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) assure that Megan’s tale will be handled with care.
Heat index: Low, but rising. Perhaps moviegoers will support a real-life Wonder Woman.
It Comes at Night
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott
Two-minute plot: The “It” is, ostensibly, a desperate man (Christopher Abbott) who breaks into a family’s fortress in the wake of the apocalypse. He can’t be trusted . . . right?
Backstory: Not another post-apocalyptic thriller! Oh, wait: This one is directed by Trey Edward Shults, whose first film was the award-winning 2016 indie darling Krisha. And the film is backed by A24, the smart NYC-based production company that just guided Moonlight to Oscar gold. I promise that means something.
Heat index: Moderate. The low-budget film is already at 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Beatriz at Dinner
Stars: Salma Hayak, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass
Two-minute plot: Salma Hayak plays a holistic masseuse and Mexican immigrant who ends up at a client’s ritzy dinner party — where she clashes with a brash real estate tycoon (John Lithgow).
Back story: Why is this being billed as a comedy? I went to the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and can confirm the audience watched the way-too-timely social commentary with their mouths collectively agape. If the story didn’t veer off course and entirely derail in the final act, it would have been applause-worthy.
Heat index: Low. This is a tough sell. Try to stream it in a few months, though. It’s just 83 minutes.
Also published on Medium.