This Week in Theaters: December 12, 2018

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Greetings True Believers!

After a week of no wide releases – and thus no column – we return with a very crowded week of new movies at your local theater!  Let’s just swing right in shall we?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Animated Superhero Action Narrative; written by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman. Based on Spider-Man created by Steve Dikto & Stan Lee. Miles Morales created by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli. Also credited for characters: David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky. Directed by Bob Persichelli, Rodney Rothman, & Peter Ramsey, 119 minutes

Here’s your movie of the week. Of the rest of the month. Heck, right now it’s a second viewing away from being my Best of the Year. (review). You may scoff at another Spider-Man movie when there was one last year, he was in Infinity War, and will be seen at least twice next year. Not to mention long-time villain Venom in his own movie earlier this year, sans the webcrawler (review). That’s a lot of Spider-Man. And Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse brings even more Spider-Men onto the screens. (cue “Too Many Spider-Men from Kimmy Schmidt). But trust me. It’s worth it.  See it now.

Metacritic agrees with my assessment – 43 reviews average at 87, the 33rd highest of the year. Only one is anything less than positive. On Rotten Tomatoes, a 98 average! Strong words!

Mortal Engines

Distopian Young Adult Sci-Fi Narrative; Written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh & Phillipa Boyens. From the book by Philip Reeve; Directed by Christian Rivers; 128 minutes.

Oh boy. This looks like a train wreck. Or more of it – a London-on-tank-treads wreck. When this films has been brought up in conversation since the trailers premiered, it’s usually been met by “what movie?.. oh that. Yeah, sure.”  Coming long after dystopian future young adult adaptations have got out of vogue we have what seems to be a a whole bunch of stupid ideas.  What’s its about? In the future, cities now roam the landscape on giant tanks fighting each other for resources. There is the special person, here being a young woman with a facial scar. Hugo Weaving is the bad guy so that’s awesome. How this will sustain 128 minutes I dunno. I want to enjoy the sheer ridiculousness, but I expect mostly exasperated sighs and eye rolls.

Metacritic sits at 45, so mostly midrange, better than I expected! RottenTomatoes at 27% with a 5/10 average.

The Mule

Drama Narative based on a true story. Written by Nick Schneck, inspired on the New  York Times article by Sam Dolnick. Directed by Clint Eastwood. 116 minutes.

I’ll be honest. I have zero interest in this movie, the latest from Clint Eastwood; in both as an actor and director.  Other people I know are very excited but… I felt like I’ve seen this all before. high drama of a man who made bad choices earlier over his head. I expect a reborn connection, a noble sacrifice, cold authority figures and some low key racism in the bad guys. The trailer is leaning had on “hey looks it’s Clint Eastwood” to bring in the older man crowd, because all our dads love Clint right? If it gets some nominations, I’ll check it out, otherwise I’ll just skip it.

On Metacritic, it just passes at positive at an average of 60. Over at RT, we see 68%.


So this is just a little cheat. You’ve seen this already as Deadpool 2. Now in PG-13 version, with a wee bit of the money going to Fuck Cancer charity. I like the idea of adding in Fred Savage for some Princess Bride style goodness. It came out Wedsday and runs until Christmas Eve. The responses on my facebook have been a kinda shrug. Interesting for the Savage scenes, but the PG-13 cut of the movie itself is lacking. I was mixed on Deadpool 2 myself, finding it trying a little too hard and rather disjointed.

Limited and expanding releases

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimas returns after The Lobster and Killing of A Sacred Deer with his most accessible film yet.  I’ve seen it, expect a short review posted soon (maybe right after this?).  It’s a wickedly funny take on power structures and reversed gender expectations. In 1710 or so, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) pits two favorites against each other: cousins Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Mascham (Emma Stone). It’s incredibly inconvential with it’s approach, performances, and camera-work. I highly recommend it. Metacritic backs me up – average 91! That’s tenth highest of 2018.

Vox Lux, is a highly stylized musical about the rise of popstar starring Natalie Portman and Jude Law. I somehow missed hearing anything about it until it exploded into my feeds last week. I’ve been told by many I would Love it. So I’m avoiding looking it up to fill in the details here. Including this trailer. I do note the photos I’ve seen look like the design of The Apple.Hey hey hey Bims on the way. If you are stating “whats the Apple?” go watch it now. You’ll love to hate it. It’s the best worst movie people have forgotten about.

The average score at metacritic is a 70. But I didn’t go down to see how it comes out.

The Golden Globe nominated Capernaum comes to three theaters. It’s a Lebanese movie about a 12 year old in jail sues his parents for neglect. The headline at AV CLUB wasn’t kind, rating a C-, but overall at metacritic we see 72.

I’m looking forward to the James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Can Talk but it doesn’t hit Seattle until Dec 25 so I’m delaying talking about it.

The same goes for Lars Von Trier’s The House Jack Built. Gotta wait to get destroyed.


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