Amazon continues to make the most of its format, as one of its best received March pilots debuts its first season (with a second season already promised). And it’s from the creator of Gilmore Girls!!! The Christmas season is ramping up and today’s the day for … Continue reading What to Watch: 11/29/2017
The four-part Arrowverse event ended with a resounding boom. While all episodes of the rarely attempted quadruple crossover were highly lauded, the “Crisis on Earth X” finale on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow truly stuck the landing, earning the title of last night’s best reviewed show. It … Continue reading Tuesday’s Best Reviewed: DC’S Legends of Tomorrow
It’s beginning to look somewhat like Christmas, and the time is nigh to shout “Happy Holidays” in order to confound people who that seems to annoy for some reason. JASON’S PICK: Drunk History Christmas Special [Comedy, 10p] When Teddy Roosevelt was not charging up hills (and … Continue reading What to Watch: 11/28/2017
Hoo boy, did the month catch up with me. Here are the movies I missed, your movie releases for next weekend, and a tentative promise to share trailers for this year’s possible Oscar contenders. (You may have noticed that some films, like Call Me By Your Name and The Weight of Water, for example, have been shared here but are getting their Oscar release in the coming weeks.)
My recommendations are Tumhari Sulu and The Breadwinner. I’d skip Justice League, and I’d boycott Wonder Wheel.
Lazer Team 2 is the sequel to 2016’s Lazer Team, wherein a group of heroes mobilizes to fight aliens in an action-science fiction-comedy. This time, one of the team is lost, and the disbanded team must come together to save one of their own.
Rebels On Pointe is a documentary about the 40-year-old Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male drag ballet company. Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart.
Song of Granite is a documentary about Irish folk singer Joe Heaney. It is Ireland’s submission to this year’s Oscars.
Verna is a Pakistani, Urdu-language, film starring Mahira Khan and Haroon Shahid as a married couple who face difficult circumstances.
Wonder is a family drama based on R. J. Palacio’s book. Oscar-nominated actor Jacob Tremblay plays Auggies, a fifth grader with facial deformities who opts to attend a prep school. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson also star.
Attack of the Killer Donuts is a horror-comedy with a premise that deeply offends me.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange is a 1936 film from Jean Renoir, who made my favorite movie, The Rules of the Game. The 1936 comedy is the least known of his works and has been restored. And it has everything:, unions, a cowboy, romance, and a daring border escape.
Mr. Roosevelt stars Noël Wells as a woman who crashes with her ex-boyfriend when she returns to her hometown. Wells also wrote and directed the film.
The Star is an animated movie with an all-star voice cast about a donkey who gets wrapped up in The Nativity. I’m sure Princess Carolyn would have stopped Oprah from getting into this drivel.
On the Beach at Night Alone is a South Korean drama about a woman who is seemingly ostracsized after she falls in love with a married man and has an affair with him.
Destined stars Cory Hardrict as Sheed and Rasheed, two men whose lives intersect in Detroit. The film has 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Justice League is the comic book movie that forced us to accept Ben Affleck as Batman, because DC wanted a box office response to 2012’s The Avengers, and at least we got last summer’s Wonder Woman out of it, but even with Josh Whedon on the script, this thing is a real stinker.
The Breadwinner is an animated film from the same studio that brought us The Secret of Kells. Based on the children’s book by Deborah Ellis, it is about a little girl who pretends to be a boy in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan so she can support her family after her father was arrested.
Revolt stars Lee Pace as an American soldier in a war-ravaged countryside—set in the future.
Porto is a drama about two expatriates who fall in love in Porto, Portugal.
Sweet Virginia is a thriller starring Jon Bernthal as a man who befriends a “young man with a propensity for violence.”
Sat Shri Akaal England is a romantic comedy about a Punjab man who enters a “marriage of convenience” so he can live in England. Of course, the authorities track him down on his fraudulent union.
Holy Air is a comedy about a man, who sells the air of Nazareth when he finds he desperately needs money.
Tumhari Sulu stars Vidya Balan as a happy-go-lucky housewife whose life gains excitement and thrills when she gets a job as an overnight DJ. I AM HERE FOR THIS.
The Man Who Invented Christmas stars Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, as he flits around England writing A Christmas Carol.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. stars Denzel Washington as an idealistic attorney who joins a big law firm after his partner suffers a heart attack.
Coco is the latest Pixar movie.
Call Me by Your Name is the critically-acclaimed Coming of Age film starring Armie Hammer as a charming American man visiting Italy in the early 1980s, sparking an awakening in his young host. Adapted from the beloved novel by André Aciman. I hope this is Armie Hammer’s return to (successful) films.
Darkest Hour stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, who we are all pretending to like and respect for some reason. (I mean, sure, he was on the Allies, but seriously?)
Eric Clapton: A Life In 12 Bars is a documentary about another man we’re all supposed to be OK with? (I mean, I guess it’s about him as an artist.)
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a documentary about the bombshell actress Hedy Lamarr, who was also a noted inventor who CHANGED OUR LIVES. (But I knew that, because I listen to You Must Remember This.)
Coming out December 1:
Firangi is a 1920-set historical drama about an Indian man who thinks the Brits are not so bad. Oh, no, that sounds not good.
Wonder Wheel is Woody Allen’s latest, and apparently not very good. Which is just fine, because Woody Allen is a gross man. What is Kate Winslet doing here?
The Tribes of Palos Verdes stars Jennifer Garner in a drama about wealthy Los Angelenos.
Gangster Land is a drama about the rise of Al Capone.
The Shape of Water is a drama from Guillermo del Toro about a mute woman, played by Sally Hawkins, who falls in love with a fish-man. This is a problem with the government. This film is an Oscar contender and I look forward to seeing it.
The Swindlers is a South Korean crime-drama about a con man.
Brotherhood of Blades 2, a prequel to 2014’s Brotherhood of the Blades, is a Ming Dynasty-set period drama about mystery, intrigue, and espionage.
Psychopaths is a horror film.
Slumber is a horror movie. It stars Maggie Q!
American Yogi is…a documentary…about Westerners co-opting Eastern culture.
Titanic gets a 20th Anniversary release
Welcome back to your weekly trailer revue! Last week’s winner-takes-all was Thor. This week has a bunch of stuff, which frankly, seems pretty boring. If I could ask you to think twice about your money, it would be Daddy’s Home 2. I have agreed already to see Lady Bird.
Thumper is a thriller about teens who sell drugs and drink beer in junkyards.
Hello Again is a film adaptation of the lauded musical.
Bitch is a dark comedy written and directed by Marianna Palka. Palka plays a woman who, stressed by her dumb husband (Jason Ritter) and many children, begins to act like a dog.
Daddy’s Home 2, the sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home, finds the Dads, good-natured Will Ferrell and hypermasculine Mark Wahlberg visted by their dads, who are more extreme versions of themselves, noted wife beater and racist Mel Gibson and John Lithgow. In an echo of the first film, Wahlberg’s Dusty must face his wife’s first husband, played by John Cena.
Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction is a documentary about the Armenian genocide.
No Stone Unturned is a documentary about 1994 Irish cold case wherein gunmen stormed a pub and opened fire on a pack crowd watching the World Cup.
Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie’s novel, finds a 2017 adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also plays Poirot. Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, wife beater Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Dame Judi Dench also star.
Qarib Qarib Singlle is a Hindi romance starring Parvathy and Irrfan Khan. Two polar opposites meet online and eventually fall in love.
I Remember You is an Icelandic horror film, connecting strange deaths of the elderly, missing children, and miscelleanous supernatural occurences.
No Greater Love is a documentary shot by an active duty soldier in Afghanistan. Comes with a side of Christianity. Happy Veterans Day!
Mayhem stars Steven Yeun as a fired finance bro trapped in a building under siege by a rage virus.
Lady Bird is a coming of age drama, set in Sacramento in 2003. It stars Saoirse Ronan and is written and directed by Greta Gerwig.
LBJ stars Woody Harrelson as America’s president.
Thelma is a Norwegian thriller (and the country’s submission for a Foreign Film Oscar) about a girl who triggers supernatural powers when she falls in love with another co-ed.
Welcome back to a better-late-than-never box office weekend post! I write to you from the trenches of Thanksgiving Hallmark movies, which is to say, there are practically none, and I am up to my eyeballs in disappointment.
Last weekend’s big draw was Jigsaw, even though I advised against it. This weekend I recommend seeing Wait For Your Laugh.
1945 is a Hungarian drama about a father and son who, upon returning to their town, are viewed with suspicion by the town’s residents, who fear that the Jewish men intend to collect “their inheritance.” You know, the property their neighbors stole during the Holocaust.
Frank Serpico is a documentary about the man who inspired the 1973 film Serpico—a NYPD detective known for his 1960s whistleblowing and cause for justice.
A Bad Moms Christmas is the sequel to last year’s Bad Moms. Returning stars are Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell. They are joined by Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski, and Susan Sarandon, who play the Moms’ moms
Defining Hope is a documentary about end-of-life care.
Last Flag Flying is a comedy about three veterans who reunite when the son of one dies.
Blade of the Immortal is an action film from Takashi Miike. I like his work, but the screengrab was too much for me to watch this trailer for you. The film is based on the popular manga of the same name, and is about a samurai who avenges the deaths of a young woman’s family.
Dream Boat is a documentary about a seven-day gay yacht cruise. All of the men in the trailer seem so happy to be on the boat! How can anyone say no to this film?!
Wait for Your Laugh is a documentary about Rose Marie, who holds the longest career in show business, and has a lot to say (in the film and on Twitter too!)
My Friend Dahmer is a drama based on the graphic novel of the same name by Derf Backderf and is about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer through the teenage eyes of one of his peers; Dahmer is played by former Disney star Ross Lynch; Derf is played by Alex Wolff.
No Dress Code Required is about two men trying to marry in Mexico. When they show up to get their license, they are denied.
It Happened In L.A. is a romantic comedy starring writer/director (!) Michelle Morgan and seemingly ageless Jorma Taccone.
Princess Cyd is a coming-of-age drama about a young woman who visits her aunt, falls in love with a young woman, and begins to find herself.
Thor: Ragnarok is this week’s Marvel release. It is said to be more fun than most Marvel movies, but just thinking about it has me feeling bored.
Battlecreek stars Bill Skarsgard as a nocturnal young man with a rare skin disease whose life changes, despite the watchful eye of his mother, when he rescues a woman from a car wreck.
Ittefaq is a Hindi action film. It is a remake of the 1969 film about an escaped murderer, a cop, and a murdered wife.
Most Beautiful Island is a thriller about an undocumented woman’s struggle to make it in New York.
11/8/16 is a documentary…about the election. Hey, I hear there’s a group scream that day in Washington Square Park
A Gray State is a documentary about a military veteran’s mad, wild attempt to make a film.
Singularity is a science fiction film about artificial intelligence. It stars John Cusack, who refuses to make good movies.
As expected, Madea squashed the box office last weekened. Can she outwit the competition? Probably. No one liked The Snowman. This week my pick is Suburbicon; I would recommend Brimstone & Glory to the general public, while cautioning against Amityville: The Awakening and Jigsaw. (All I See Is You is apparently not as bad as expected.)
Amityville: The Awakening is a direct sequel to 1979’s The Amityville Horror and the 10th installment in the Amityville series. A teenager moves into the haunted house on Long Island in the 1970s. The film, made in 2014, and delayed until now, stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne. A reminder that Ronald DeFeo, Jr. committed familicide (of real people! SIX PEOPLE!) in 1974. The house on Ocean Avenue was knocked down long before long-faced Bella Thorne could have moved in. And every goth teenager in America saw the 2005-remake AND KNOWS THE STORY. (I can’t believe I’m this bothered, either!)
Jigsaw is a movie all about the bad guy from Saw. Earlier this week I was chatting with a peer about Hostel, and I just can’t fathom that Eli Roth paved the way for this crap.
All I See is You stars Blake Lively as a blind woman who regains her sight and begins to realize that all is not what it seems! Maybe her husband is controlling and bad! Maybe he’s just not as handsome as she thought.
Novitiate stars Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Morgan Saylor, and Dianna Agron. A young woman, raised in 1960s Texas by an agnostic, single mother, joins the convent at what she claims is the urging of God. But following Vatican II, and the actions of the head nun, she begins to question her devotion.
Thank You For Your Service stars Miles Teller in this military drama. That this has overlap with Lone Survivor and Sniper should be enough to tell you to look the other way. And how is it that America keeps producing and releasing these war movies but we haven’t taken to the streets to demand the end of the wars? Somehow you just know this film is going to glorify the violence, strife, and killing, without the empathy of actual sacrifice, despite the alleged empathy of the trailer.
Suburbicon is directed by complicit man George Clooney and stars complicit man Matt Damon, which is a damn shame because the script was written by Clooney, Teddy Schwarzman, and Joel and Ethan Cohen. It’s another Cohen return to The Wrong Man trope, and that’s totally man jam!
The Square is a dark comedy from Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) and stars Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and Terry Notary. An art curator, who seems like a real dick, finds his world in total chaos after his phone is stolen.
Brimstone & Glory is a documentary about the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico.
The Divine Order is a Swiss drama about a woman fighting for women’s equality in 1971.
Félicité is a Senegalese drama film directed by Alain Gomis. It follows a strong-willed woman, a singer and bar entertainer, who must raise funds for her son’s health care. The film received six awards at the African Academy Awards, a record, and has been submitted to the Academy Awards; it is Senegal’s first submission.
Crash Pad stars Domnhall Gleason as a “hopeless romantic” (a real Nice Guy) who falls in love with an older woman and is crushed to learn that he is an “instrument of revenge.” Sigh.
Let There Be Light is this week’s Christian film, but there’s no doubt, like, since it stars Kevin Sorbo.
Mansfield 66/67 is a documentary about the last years of Jayne Mansfield’s life. Unfortunately the documentary “asks” if her “life spiraled out of control” because of her alleged relationship with the Church of Satan, and that just seems…unfair.
Maya Dardel stars Lena Olin as an aging poet who announces, on NPR, that she will bequeath her entire estate to a young, male, poet. Things spiral before she disappears.
Acts Of Vengeance stars Antonio Banderas as a lawyer who vows to avenge the murder of his wife and daughter.
The Truth About Lies is a truly original romantic comedy about a total loser who tells a string of lies so he can get a job and sleep with a beautiful woman.
Flesh and Blood is a film directed by, and starring, Marc Webber. It is loosely inspired by his own family.