Walter (Matthew McConaughey) and Roland (Idris Elba) in Columbia Pictures THE DARK TOWER.

The Movie Guy: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower hits the screen

Kelowna movie writer Rick Davis takes a look at the happenings at the box office this weekend

By Rick Davis

The Dark Tower is based upon one of the most popular creations from the mind of Stephen King but this one is a little different than his typical horror stories like Carrie or his dramas like The Shawshank Redemption. This one blends fantasy, science fiction, horror and western genres together featuring a lead character who is a gunslinger named Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) on a quest to reach a tower that will help him save the world in multiple universes. Standing in his way is Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also know as the Man in Black, the evil that is determined to prevent him from reaching the Dark Tower. The movie is intended to launch both a film and television franchise with a prequel TV series set to be released next year and, if the movie is successful enough, big screen sequels.

Although The Dark Tower might be the most high profile movie being released this weekend, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit has the attention of movie critics and will likely be remembered during awards season. Bigelow is the award-winning director of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker and she re-teams with the writer and producer of those films to revisit the 1967 Detroit riot. On July 23 of that year, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten. Starring John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Will Poulter (The Revenant), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and John Krasinski (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi), it will be interesting if the summer movie audience will take another chance on a dose of reality like they did with Dunkirk.

Another piece of history is being shown as Landmark Cinemas Encore starting this weekend. Churchill stars Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity) as the beleaguered British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill in the days leading up to the infamous June 1944 Allied D-Day landings in Normandy. Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I, he received support from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson).

And finally, Halle Berry stars in the thriller Kidnap about how far a mother will go to rescue her abducted son from dangerous kidnappers. A day in the park turns into a nightmare when she witnesses her son being dragged away and she immediately starts a dangerous pursuit to rescue her son. This high concept thriller immediately reminded me of Berry’s somewhat forgettable The Call a few years ago but it was very profitable and she received recognition for her performance.

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