Hello there, and welcome back to your customized weekend movie report! i.e., my honest take on what’s worth your cash among the latest new movies at the theater. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Finally, the sequel to that brilliant piece of art THE SHINING. But is it worth the hype? Director Mike Flanagan has tried to please both parties involved—fans of Stanley Kubrick, as well as author Stephen King. The result is not as striking as the original, but it does have its scary moments. Ewan McGregor stars as the grown-up (alcoholic) Dan, now a hospice worker assisting patients into that final ‘sleep.’ Through his friend Abra (Kyleigh Curran) – whose psychic powers far outweigh his own – he gets to know a charming little group calling itself True Knot. These are a bunch of a*holes stupid enough to believe they can gain more ‘life energy’ by scaring it out of little children. Flanagan’s scenes of child exploitation will give you nightmares. It’s only when these creeps begin to focus their attention on Abra, that Dan decides they need a lesson at that famed pit of evil, the Overlook Hotel. And so, welcome back to those beloved halls of terror populated not only by present-day Dan and his peers, but also by wonderful flashbacks of little Dan, the twins, and huge cascades of blood… in short, everything we’ve treasured lo these many years. Behold the trailer:
Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding are super hot at the moment, so voila, a Christmas romance has flowered for your viewing pleasure, starring the pair as love birds Kate and Tom. Kate is a starving artist, while Tom is the eternal optimist encouraging her to notice (and savor) the little things in life (as we all should). There’s a good twist there, and it is saved by the competent performances of the two leads, but you can’t get away from the fact that it’s mostly… fluff. If you’re like me, you’ll reserve this for streaming. Then again, if you’re at the theater and want to look at something pretty and (in general) happy for an hour or so, go for this. Also starring Emma Thompson and Michelle Yeoh (supporting roles).
This is especially for all you budding film makers – if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: the script is everything. It’s the blueprint to the movie. If it sucks, the movie will suck, a great cast and good CGI notwithstanding. This latest effort from Roland Emmerich about the pivotal naval battle of WW2 is a potent example of what happens when you shoot from a script loaded with clichés. It’s certainly starry: Woody Harrelson as Adml. Nimitz, Dennis Quaid as Vice Adml. Halsey, Etsushi Toyokawa as Adml. Yamamoto, Asano Tadanobu as Rear Adml. Yamaguchi Tamon, Patrick Wilson as (intelligence) Edwin Layton, Aaron Eckhart as Col. Doolittle, and so on. But the movie fails to elicit any emotional response because the script doesn’t allow for character development. Everyone’s just… a caricature. Emmerich did well in the 90’s when CGI was a big deal. Now, it’s commonplace, and cannot make up for lack of emotional depth in a poorly-scripted flick. I’d leave this one for streaming. Here’s the trailer:
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Don’t. Also, this movie, which seems to assume its intended audience is too stupid to understand story. Even the poop humor is boring! John Cena stars as a fire station super who airlifts three children (Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery, Finley Rose Slater) from a fire… and then gets stuck – along with his crew (John Leguizamo, Keegan Michael-Key, Tyler Mane) – babysitting them at the station for a few days. Just—no.
And that’s it for this time. Let me know what you think. And here’s hoping I’ll see you all at the theater! Adios.