Welcome to the second edition of this week in theaters, our thoughts on the flicks coming to the silver screen this week. Conversation about many of these can be found on Podcast Episode 2: Fall Movie Preview.
First up is VENOM. VENOM has finally been released after being locked in the Sony Vaults after being locked in after 2002. Wait, I’ve been informed this is a NEW movie, coming after nearly 20 years of attempts. After 20 years? I guess maybe we will get a Crow reboot sometime (spoiler alert: we won’t). The only Crow reboot is the robot on MST3k. So, yeah, VENOM looks ridiculous. Maybe I can tap into 15-year old Bob mindset and sit back and allow the stupid fun roll over me like the symbiote does over Eddie Brock. After the abomination of Topher Grace as Venom in Spider-Man 3, Brock is now played by grunt-master Tom Hardy; in the trailers, he’s just as mumbly as he was for his last big comic character Bane (are we still making fun of that, it was like seven years ago).
Honestly, I expect a mess of a plot with Tom Hardy allowing himself to goof off and others to try to make something work. So far, the Metacritic is sitting at 34, and Rotten Tomatoes at 30% fresh, with an average review of 4.4 /10. Cody and Bob are seeing the film Thursday at 10pm so we’ll weigh in soon after. Forget the trailer – let’s share this instead.
The other big release this week is the Bradley Cooper directed and starring A STAR IS BORN. This is the 4th version of the tale. Surprisingly, I’ve seen NONE of them. I’m glad for it to finally come out. I’m SO FUCKING TIRED of the trailer. It’s become a joke to my wife and me; we continually sing “Shallows” along with the vocal work she does halfway through. That said, I’m legitimately looking forward to it. The response from TIFF was astounding, with great remarks about Cooper’s direction and Gaga’s performance. I expect some award nods come that time of the year, especially a push for the song Shallow. I hope this film will slide off the last of the people who think Lady Gaga is just a showpiece and not an amazing artist. Outside of the artifice, she’s one of the best singers out there and has shown promise in the acting roles she’s had so far. She IS a star, but here’s the acting breakout. I think VENOM will win the weekend in ticket sales, easy; but A STAR IS BORN will have some legs (lungs?) and do well for a while.
Critically, A STAR IS BORN is the 14th highest rating this year on Metacritic – with an amazing 88; from the 56 reviews only two are less than 60%. At Rotten Tomatoes, 93% fresh with average score of 8/10.
If somehow you missed the trailer – I envy you if you have- we got it below.
We’re all looking forward for THE HATE U GIVE, the ripped-from-the-headlines drama based upon the book by Angie Thomas. This year has been a strong year for films about race-relations, after SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and BLACKKKLANSMAN; each taking on different subjects and tones. While the previous films (both excellent by the way; I still need to see BLINDSPOTTING) are mostly comedy, this looks to be absolutely heartbreaking in the righteous anger it will cause. It’s hard to watch the trailer without tearing up. The plot finds a young black girl from a poor neighborhood, although she goes to a mostly white private school where she codeswitches when she’s there, thrust into protest and revolution when a friend is shot by the police. The film is limited this week, and then going wide in two weeks; we’ll talk about it more then.
Currently it is at 84 on Metacritic, #44 of the year; and 98% at Rotten Tomatoes.
I also want to recommend the documentary WHOSE STREETS? from last year about Ferguson, MO and the rise of Black Lives Matter.
CHASING THE BLUES
John Lovitz (he may be enough to seek this out – HIGH SCHOOL HIGH for life!) leads a story of two feuding record collectors seeking the same cursed 30’s blues record. It’s only 77 minutes long… that sounds like “we cut this as short as we can”. Metacritic is at 48 with the four reviews ranging from 68 to 40; so middle of the pack.
The trailer is odd. IMDB lists as a comedy, but the trailer is more drama centered mostly. But it also seems to think it’s a wacky comedy. Tonally confused and really low-energy.
An import from Scandinavia, HEAVY TRIP is a Heavy Metal road trip. Takin’ a Ride, right (great, now I wanna watch HEAVY METAL). From the trailer, looks to be goofy fun. Glad to see the Heavy Metal band members are fun goofy guys, in my experience they are. (in the kindest way; cross over with horror – the greatest fun fans in the world). There are only 6 reviews on Metacritc, but they come out to solid 70.
LOVING PABLO –
Penelope Cruz is a journalist who falls in love with Pablo Escobar, played by Javier Bardem. Great cast! Bad reviews, with 45 on metacritic might be why no traction.
SHINE finds two DJ brothers seperated for a while who come back together on opposites sides of gendrificatin. Meh. There are no reviews up.
STUDIO 54 is yet another documentary on the legendary night club. Do we need this again? Maybe we do, averages a 76 over 12 reviews.