By Rick Davis
Although Fifty Shades Freed and Peter Rabbit are expected to top the box office this weekend, The 15:17 to Paris looks to be the most interesting of the wide releases.
The 15:17 to Paris refers to the Thalys train that originates in Amsterdam on which, on Aug. 21, 2015, a terrorist opened fire on passengers. Although others tried to intervene before the shooting started, this is the story of three friends from the United States, two being off-duty members of the U.S. Armed forces, who jumped to action after the shooter’s assault rifle jammed.
What makes this based on a true story thriller different is that director Clint Eastwood cast the three heroes, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, to play themselves. The three also wrote the book the movie is based upon. Also starring Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, Tony Hale and Thomas Lennon, the film will show not only the incident that made them heroes but start during their childhood and show their friendship leading up to the moment that changed their lives.
Over a century ago, Beatrix Potter introduced the character of Peter Rabbit and has since captured the imaginations of generations. And while there has been a movie made about herself, called Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger, there has never been a movie made of her beloved character. Walt Disney himself tried to get the movie rights in 1936, but Potter refused to let him do it.
However, Sony Pictures Animation (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Smurfs) has now adapted the story with a mix of live-action and animation featuring the voice of James Corden as the titular character as well as Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and Sia as the some of the other animated creatures and Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne and Sam Neill as the live characters.
Fifty Shades Freed is the final movie in the erotic romantic drama trilogy that started with Fifty Shades of Grey starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. The final movie leans more towards being a thriller as newlyweds Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey try to begin their new life together but sinister events from the past might jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.
And Landmark Cinemas Grand 10 is opening the faith-based movie Let There Be Light. Kevin Sorbo, who rose to fame in the TV shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda and more recently starred in God’s Not Dead, stars in and directs this story of an atheist who reinvents his life after a near-death experience to save his family and his soul. It also stars his wife, Sam (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Dionne Warwick and Travis Tritt.