Weekend Reviews: See “Black Mass,” “Everest,” skip “Scorch Trials”

cranksAn avid fan of “The Maze Runner,” presumably that rare tween/teen too young or too hip to have seen the nuclear “Saturday Night Live” takedown of that first film and its ilk, could be excused for high-fiving his or her fellow travelers this week. Getting all “psyched” for the sequel.

Because hey, “The Scorch Trials” was earning rave reviews. Up until Wed. PM.

Because hey kids, those were AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand notices, mostly. And they’re all fanboys Down Under. Apparently.

Once the killjoy Grownups weighed in (Guilty), well, and the jig’s up.

The pans have been piling up ever since. A little better than the original, still devolves into yet another mindless zombie picture.

But this is a weekend to celebrate, despite that. It’s the first weekend of “Fall movies” — better stories, better acted, awards contending dramas, thrillers, etc.

“Black Mass” maybe will give Johnny Depp a shot at the Oscar. He’s quite good, even if he doesn’t manage the South Boston accent. Good to quite good reviews for this one. Solid, entertaining enough. “‘Departed’ Lite,” I’d say.

“Everest” is a considerably more involving just-the-facts drama built around the “Into Thing Air” mountain climbing disaster. It doesn’t pull punches, and hits you in the face (IMAX 3D) with the wind, the ice, the chasms. And in the gut, too, with some genuine emotion for those who tried to save others and gave their lives in the process.  Good reviews for this one.

And “Pawn Sacrifice” gives us Tobey Maguire as the volatile nutjob/bad sport Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as the rock star chessman brought low by having to play him for the world championship. Fascinating Cold War history, great character studies. Good reviews for this one, too.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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