4th of july Alexander Skarsgard

Fireworks Inside and Outside the Movie Theater This July 4 Weekend

Friday, July 01, 2016 Rob Samuelson

It’s a big holiday weekend, so Hollywood is out to dazzle you and make you feel good. Most of you will have a three-day weekend, so there are lots of opportunities for you to catch the wide releases, all of which seem to be very different from each other. 

So strap in and see what’s available to you when you’re not grilling and setting off fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall

There is always a possibility that Steven Spielberg will drop a dud on us. That is not a likely scenario, but it has happened -- I’m looking at you, The Terminal. So the safe option for the weekend would be Spielberg collaborating with his E.T. writer, the late Melissa Mathison, on an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book about a particularly large man who befriends an English girl of ordinary height. There are hidden magical worlds, a reunion between Spielberg and Oscar winner Mark Rylance, and lots of adventures to be had. This one’s a no-brainer, folks.

The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
Writers: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie

This one is more for the people inclined toward classical adventure stories. Now that Tarzan is over 100 years old, he needs a fresh update. That update comes in the form of Harry Potter series director David Yates and his recruitment of the impossibly muscular Alexander Skarsgard to play the wild man of the jungle who swings on vines. Of course, he needs an impossibly beautiful wife, Jane, played by The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie. They get to face off against Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) as the bad guy. That pedigree has so far not convinced early reviewers, who have not been kind to the movie. But hey, it’s got good lookin’ people doing cool lookin’ stuff. That’s got to count for something.

The Purge: Election Year
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria

And now for the movie that should appeal to those of you with the most “adventurous” (re: twisted) tastes. The third film in the Purge series, about a near-future United States ritual wherein all laws are abandoned for a 12-hour period every year to appease the violent hordes of dissatisfied citizens who want to go a-murderin’. Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell plays a senator who wants to abolish the practice. Frank Grillo (The Grey) returns from the last installment of the series to protect her as her security systems falter on the Purge night. Insanity and depravity (and terrible masks) ensue.

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