This Week in Theaters: December 21st, 2018

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It’s getting close to Christmas! You know what that means! EVEN MORE MOVIES! So many new titles, films only weeks old are losing their screens.  See it all when you can! With so many to choose, from – check out our thoughts on what’s coming out! Bob has only seen one of the below, but as he sees them, it’ll be updated with reviews.

Oh yeah, I guess you can see your family and friends. Open presents. Eat candy. Argue with racist Uncle Lou. Ask how his 2000 Ford truck was reposssesed but some how he can give to wall GoFundMe.

Onto the movies.

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns; Family fantasy musical narrative; written by David Magee, from the PL Travers book series; directed by Rob Marshall; 130 minutes.

The Disney repeating and updating your childhood favorites train continues with the sequel to the 1964 original. Emily Blunt replaces Julie Andrews (who does not return in a cameo; Dick VanDyke does though) as the nanny who comes from the sky to help solve the problems of the Banks family. Michael and Jane are now grown up with their own issues including the foreclosure of the home they grew up in – now also populated by Michael’s three children. One would expect whimsy, songs, impressive mixes of animation and live-action and everything one liked the first time. The trailer – post here-didn’t wow me as much as others, although did spark more interest. I’ve seen it, but I’ll keep my thoughts in the review here. short version: I didn’t care for it.

Critics have enjoyed the film more than I have though. The average on Metacritic is 65 for both critics and audience scores, most vastly positive. The Rotten Tomatoe score is 77%, with the critic average about 7.3. They generally say it’s effective but lacking a little something.

Aquaman; Superhero action narrative. screenplay by WIll Beall & David Leslie Johnson Mc-Goldrick from the DC character created by MOrt Weisinger and Paul Norris; directed by James Wan. 143 minutes.

If Kim was writing this she’d just leave it as “Jason Momoa. Shirtless.” She’s not so I’ll elaborate. We all know the DCEU has been, if we’re being kind, a mixed bag. And Aquaman was, for those who don’t read his comics, a joke due to his uselessness in the “Justice League” cartoon from Hanna-Barbara. The comic version is a hulking badass with incredible stories and a hook hand. I’ve not read many, but from good stuff. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (alias: Arthur Curry) is more akin the latter – minus the hook hand (or is it non-minus hand. Eh) made a… splash with his brief intro scene in BvS and stole the show in Justice League. So from that I’m excited for the film. It has a great director, so that’s going for it. A great cast: Moma, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman! (Amber Heard too, I guess). The trailers look fun, but also scream a big showy mess.

Despite the 55 on Metacric The buzz has been strong from friends I know (and the audience score is 7.9/10) who have seen it; and it’s due to win the weekend so solid stuff there. Rotten Tomatoes is alright, just over positive at 63%.

Kim and Bob are seeing it Sunday afternoon. Expect reviews soon.


Bumblebee: action narrative; written by Christina Hodson. Directed by Travis Knight, 113 minutes

After the pure awful of The Last Night, coming after one decent and 3 other awful movies bombed at the box-office, it was time to make a change to the Transformers franchise. If you ask me, it should just stop. But they make some sort of money – usually over seas- so here we are again. At least this time Michael Bay has stepped away in favor of Travis Knight. He made Kubo and the Two Strings and worked on other Laika projects so that’s awesome. I still can’t get myself to be too enthused, but I do like they are looking to make more of a boy (or girl, as we have Hailee Steinfeld) and his dog story rather than a noisy cacophony of robots fighting.  I am saddened to learn the jet in the trailer is not Starscream – my favorite Transformers.

Call me surprised that the review for this have been rather solid – averaging 66 at Metacritic. Many of the headlines have been “the best of a crap series” essentially. Rotten Tomatoes has an incredible 96% good reviews. It’s worth noting the average of those reviews is a 7.1/10. A different conversation for a different time, but that’s an issue of Rotten Tomatoes. Cody and Bob are seeing this Saturday night, expect review to follow. Edit: Review here.

Second Act; Comedy/drama narrative written by Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. Directed by Peter Segal; 103 minutes.

I have absolutely no interest in this. But I’m not the target audience. Enjoy it with your aunts. Jennifer Lopez is a check-out clerk at a supermarket who is passed up for a promotion to assistant manager for a guy with an MBA (seems legit, honestly). So, some kids in her family create a fake resume and Facebook and get her an interview at a big firm. This firm apparently does not do any personal vetting at all and hires her as a VP. I expect fish out water stuff, a person with street smarts awakening a stodgy office culture, getting caught, but some reason the firm needs her for something and she gets the job back. Everyone learns a lesson. Your aunt raves about it. A coworker of mine said this has a magic element due to wishing on a cake or something? I’ve seen this trailer a zillion times but have never got the vibe of magic. Shrug. I’m not going to see it so I guess I’ll never know.

Reviews at Metacritic average at 49- ranging from 75 to a whopping zero! That zero is from Rex Reed, so take that with a grain of salt. The handful of audience reviews come to a more savage 3.0, with only 1 written review (a 9).

Welcome to Marwin; drama, true story, fantasy narrative; written by Robert Zemeckis & Caroline Thompson; directed by Robert Zemeckis.

The final wide release of this weekend, and I don’t know how to feel about it. Honestly, it looks like it could be a tonal mess. Trying to go straight to the heart, and also be clever with the doll scenes; but coming off very cynical and contrived. I’m feeling Downsizing vibes here.  Based on the true story of Mark Hogencamp (Steve Carrell). He was beaten into a coma by five men in 2000. Unable to afford therapy, he created a minuature WWII village instead using him and his friends as models. Those friends include Rihanna and Leslie Mann.

Reviews are not positive. Rotten Tomatoes is 25% positive; Metacritic at 40%.

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