Slim pickings this weekend! Mostly. Your time may be better spent puttering about the house vacuuming up dead fleas and such from summer. Seriously! There is one blazing bright spot, but it’s so bright it may burn a hole in your mind. Let’s take a look at what I am yammering about, shall we?
Roland Emmerich used to be a good director. I loved the first Independence Day. Then came White House Down (hey the White House has come down). That his disciple Dean Devlin has followed him is touching, but unfortunately the padawan has taken his cues from his master’s flops. Story lines and ideas are all just jammed up in GEOSTORM, so much that you just end up laughing at poor Gerard Butler sweating in a spacesuit as he plays a scientist on a spacestation trying to fix a climate-control disaster… while his brother (Jim Sturgess) tries to manage the political mess in the White House. The female characters may as well be cardboard cutouts. And Gerard Butler may well be the new B-movie king. Remember 300 and when he was Jennifer Aniston’s beau? Those were the days.
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
Let me be upfront with you—I’m not into faith-based flicks. That being said, this is not half-bad. Art collector Ron Hall’s (Greg Kinnear) perfect life falls apart when his wife (Renee Zellweger) discovers he’s having an affair. Although dumbfounded, she stays in the marriage. As part of reconciliation, Ron reluctantly agrees to assist her at the local homeless shelter, where they come across crabby vagrant Denver (Djimon Houndsou). Ron hates him, but his wife befriends him, believing it’s God’s will to change the neighborhood through him. The feature could’ve used a lot more editing. And, deep-wrought issues like racism don’t go away with the easy fixes this screenplay offers—they’re far too deep for that. Still, the acting is good, as are the cinematography and musical score. Here’s the trailer:
I saw the logline for this flick, saw the cast, and got all excited. Waste! It’s not worth the ticket. Michael Fassbender plays an alcoholic police detective named Harry Hole (not kidding. Also, not a comedy). A*hole characters like this usually have a powerful redeeming quality—most commonly, they’re brilliant at their work. Oddly, not Mr. Hole. He ignores the possibility of a serial killer in the community despite the monotonous parade of dead young moms, classifying them all as domestic disputes until their heads start showing up on snowmen. He ignores the letter from the killer. There’s more but why spoil it? 🙂 There are several exciting characters (abortionist, dirty businessman, and so on), but not a single one is explored. The almost-monochromatic style of the flick was aiming to be cool but has the unfortunate effect of making it even more dreary. Due to extensive editing, there’s virtually no chemistry between Hole and his deputy (Rebecca Ferguson)—but, we do get to see Val Kilmer’s extensive and pointless wandering, and, like, a million shots of snowmen. Pass.
BOO2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN
More of the same! That’s what this is—the 2016 story recycled, and with a couple new tweaks and a big infusion of predictability. Eighteen-year-old Tiffany (Diamond White) heads out to a fraternity party held at a remote haunted lakeside, at which move protective dad (Tyler Perry) enlists the help of Bam (Cassi Davis), Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Madea to bring Tiffany back. Throw in the dumb antics and crass jokes and that’s the entire flick. What do you think—will there be another sequel? Or will Perry find new material?
ONLY THE BRAVE
A fine recreation of the fatal Prescott, Arizona wildfires and the Granite Mountain firefighters, whose job it was to control dangerous fires. Josh Brolin plays Eric Marsh, the lead of the municipal firefighting squad, who has to contend not only with the fire, but also with jurisidictional b*s* from the local Forest Service clown. Just before the fatal fires hit, Marsh decides to take a chance on a certain newbie (Miles Teller) – a decision the team members are not happy about. This movie is similar to ‘Dunkirk’ in that the screenplay does not dwell on the backstory of each of the characters—all the action happens entirely at the site of the fire. And just like these wildfires, the flick makes you think you’re headed down one path, and then destroys you with another. A fine drama indeed.
And that’s it for me, ladies and gents! See you at the movies!