Sorry for missing the last two weeks. I have no excuse for two weeks ago, and last week over Thanksgiving I was in Disneyland!
Quick rundown: Fantastic Beasts opened two weeks ago. It’s a mess, with too many characters and exposition, not enough plot. Essentally cuts down to “Clarence is still alive somehow. He and some people look for his parents. Grindlewald escapes and with some people look for Clarence. Newt and some aurors look for Grindlewald. Everyone is bad at what they’re trying to do.” Widows has received great acclaim with a great cast and creative team but I’ve not seen it yet. Instant Family looks like it was made for your aunt who shares Minions memes; cloying and saccarine. The Reddit response thread has been surprising positive so that’s something.
Last week, Creed II and Ralph Breaks the Internet both did well at the box-office and with critics. There was also Robin Hood. As Meatloaf said, two outta three ain’t bad.
On to this week! The week after Thanksgiving is usually a bye-week for releases, with a small release or two if anything. A quick breather before the holiday blitz (go to boxofficemojo.com/schedule and look at ALL THOSE MOVIES coming soon). So use this time to catch up. As I’ve seen few above, I obviously need to. Good thing next week only has a few releases as well (and Seattle gets The Favourite!)
So what DO we have this week? First, we have ONE wide(ish) release
The Possession of Hannah Grace/ horror narrative/ written by Brian Sieve (Scream: The TV show, Boogeyman 2 and 3)/Directed by Diedrik Van Roojien/85 minutes
So we are big horror people over here at City of Geek. None of us can tell you anything about this flick. We’ve seen no posters or trailers, no embedded ads, etc. I’m watching the trailer for the first time for this article. Let’s go do that shall we? And I’m back. What an aggressive trailer throwing everything at us. I think I just saw every scare sequence in the film. Looks overblown and reaching for cheap shocks.The story is a new coroner has to perform an autopsy on a woman who died in the middle of an exorcism. Cliche ensues. Want a similar concept done pitch perfect? Go rent The Autopsy of Jane Doe with Brian Cox and Emilie Hirshe.
Perhaps tellingly, this was not screened for critics so no reviews at all to run with on either metacritic or rotten tomatoes.
Anna and the Apocalypse / horror-musical-comedy narrative/ written by Alan McDonald & Ryan McHenry/ Directed by John McPhail/ 97 minutes
Here is a horror film we do know about and have been been dying to seesince it made the festival circuit last year to rave responses. Zombie, comedy, Christmas musical? Yeah, there’s a lot going on there, almost sounding like it’s reaching into the purposely wacky “no way, what a concept, check it out!” ether. From what we can tell, it’s done right. I’ve not watched the trailer, but the buzz around it has been enough. I’ll obviously embed it down below, but not going to watch as I’m watch the film in a few hours.
(Kim and Bob saw it – our immediate throughts, edited from our twitters: Bob and Kim went to see the pre-screening for ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE tonight. Reviews from both of us to follow soon but I quote our immediate thoughts: BOB: We,had so much fun at (#AnnaAndTheApocalypse). Fantastic songs, interesting characters, good heart, very funny, and plenty of Blood! KIM: everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and see it. It has music, laughs and a whole lot of heart. Both the literal and the metaphorical. Absolute must see!)
Anna plays limited this week, and expands to wider release next week.
Over at metacritic, Anna has an incredible for concept 71, with only two reviews not in the “positive” end of the spectrum. Rotten Tomatoes scores at 86%, averaging 7.2.
Head Full of Honey/ drama narrative/ written by Til Schweiger and Jojo Moyes and Lo Malinke/ Directed by Til Schweiger
Adapted and directing an English remake of his own 2014 German film, Schweiger (best known in the US as Sgt Stiglitz in Inglorius Basterds) presents the story of a man with Alzheimer’s (Nick Nolte) on a road trip with his granddaughter. Honestly, looks Oscar baity. Could be heartwarming and sad though, and Schweigher is apparently a big time director in Germany so may be worth a see.
There are not reviews to base further thoughts on.
A Sicilian Ghost Story/ drama narrative (Italy)/ written and directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza/ 122 minutes
Ignore the “ghost” in the title, it seems more metaphoric – A Sicilian Ghost Story is a drama about a girl looking for a missing classmate of hers. I think. The trailer doesn’t really shine a light on the plot – I’m going based upon the marketing synopsis below the trailer on the YouTube page. There may be some dark fantasy elements, but shrug.
The film doesn’t have an entry at Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic has four reviews, ranging from 38 to 80, averaging at 56. The blurbs seem to say starts strong with interesting elements but drags by the end.