Hey there, everyone! I hope this winter’s off to a great start for you. Sorry I wasn’t around to herald ‘The Irishman’ or even ‘Ford v. Ferrari.’ Those are two amazing flicks absolutely worth your time. More on that below. But first, let’s see what’s new this weekend at the theater…
JUMANJI 2: THE NEXT LEVEL
In the ‘reboot’ we saw teens vanish into the game and inherit the avatars of adults. This time, those teens are grown and plan to winter break together. Well, Bethany (Madison Iseman), Martha (Karen Gillen) and Fridge (Jack Black) are, at least. But Spencer (Alex Wolff) isn’t crazy on the idea. Feeling overwhelmed by ‘stuff,’ he vanishes into the game board as a way to get away from his problems… followed by his friends, who decide to rescue him. Along for the ride: Spencer’s ‘roommate’ Eddie—in fact his cranky grandpa (Danny DeVito)—and the latter’s estranged pal (Danny Glover). There are some additions – Awkwafina being the highlight. So the plot hasn’t changed, but the characters interact far more this time, and hilariously, thanks to good on-screen chemistry. The movie’s a good option if you’re looking for some lighthearted laughs… but really, that’s it. Go for anything else and you’ll be bored. Here’s the trailer:
Clint Eastwood’s depiction of real-life events in July 1996, in which Richard Jewell (portrayed here by Paul Walter Hauser), a security guard, saved hundreds from the ‘knapsack’ bomb at the then Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA. True to Murphy’s law, the poor man was vilified for it. The flick features a star-studded cast (Kathy Bates as his mother, Jon Hamm as the FBI agent, Olivia Wilde as the reporter, Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney; and others), a great script, and excellent production, so it’s worth the theater ticket, if you’re into this sort of fare. Here’s the trailer:
A modern, social-media-driven take on the original, with a focus on ‘rape culture.’ Riley is a student at Hawthorne College, where, in the lead up to Christmas, her sorority sisters one by one fall prey to a serial killer—who’s in the habit of sending these timely texts. The flick starts off quite well, but eventually runs out of steam. The pros include Imogen Poots’ performance as the fragile heroine, and the fact that it’s a fresh take on the original. Passionate supporters of feminism may well enjoy this.
And now for two movies you must consider watching:
Don’t let the critics turn you off this one—Scorsese’s bow to the gangster movie genre. It’s amazing. I thought it was all about Frank Sheeran, the mob hitman in the 60s; but the movie veers off into its take on one of the greatest mysteries of all time. And yes, Robert De Niro does look a bit weird thanks to the de-ageing CGI, but his acting is so perfect I managed to see past it. In fact, I’m glad Scorsese did not get a younger actor to play the younger version of Sheeran. The script, with its dark humor, is brilliant. And of course, it’s an all-star cast—Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, and more. I thought the final shot incredibly appropriate. Not to mention, it opened on Netflix!! Please, please see this. Here’s the trailer:
FORD V. FERARI
Nice little period drama surrounding the birth of the GT40, the Ford racing car, built specifically to upset Ferrari at Le Mans. Until 1966, Ferrari had been the dominant presence in that famed race. That streak may have continued, had Enzo Ferrari not insulted Henry Ford II over a proposed deal. Matt Damon plays Carroll Shelby—the famed automotive designer; Christian Bale, driver Ken Miles; Jon Bernthal is Lee Iacocca, and Tracy Letts is Henry Ford II. Trust me, you don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy this.
And that’s it for me! I really hope you’re all doing well. Don’t stress out over the holiday gift-giving, and don’t feel pressured to go to any parties you don’t want to attend! I’ll see you right here next time.