This Week in Theaters: January 11th, 2019

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Welcome to week two of 2019! After the light week last time, with only one movie Escape Room; which we were surprised how much we liked it – we have several this time – a likely bad Sci-Fi movie, a remake of a French hit, and a dog-awful dog-movie. Let’s jump in shall we?

Before we start – FREE SOLOone of the best documentaries of last year – read my review here– returns to theatres this weekend in IMAX. The movies below may be iffy – but Free Solo needs to be seen now.

Replicas, Sci-fi Narrative, Written by Chad St John, Directed by Jefferey Nachmanoff, 107 minutes

Keanu Reeves stars in a mad-scientist-type flick, as a scientist who brings back his family from the dead. The trailer keeps saying clones, but there seems to be robots too? The robots keep smacking people around – so are they are a different plots or just interchanging the words? (I see you Stepford Wives remake with changing what is what continually). There are moments about “what is really alive?” so I expect some messiness and awful lines in relation to that. I expect a butt ton of dumb. But I’ll be in the seat anyway!

There is ONE review so far, between Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. It’s positive. So that’s something…


The Upside, drama true-story narrative, written by Jon Hartmere, directed by Neil Berger. Starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Heart, Nicole Kidman. 125 minutes.

The Upside is a remake of The Intouchables, a massive hit in its native France and a solid hit throughout the rest of the world. The Intouchables is a film I’m torn on. As a watch, it’s incredibly good with great chemistry between the quadriplegic rich white man and his poor black immigrant helper. It’s well written, well paced, and has messages galore – learning to love life again, find footing. But it’s insidious as the changes made from the true story create a little different message. See, the true story isn’t a black immigrant, but Arab. Those involved in making it know a black man would go down easier than an Arabian man. But that’s neither here nor there but notable in the English version, with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, keeps the black man instead of the true story. So what we get again is another story in which a black man needs a white person to break him from poverty, and a white person needs an underprivedged POC to learn to live. BlindsideDriving Miss Daisy, whatever reference you pull, it’s been done. Why not keep the true story -with a President ranting and raving about Muslims, keep that to give a positive message. Don’t use Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart tells me this movie is going to go very broad in it’s humor as he relates to haveing to care for Cranston.
Also, this is coming out in January. The plot screams Prestige Awards but this isn’t an expansion from December. This is the first release. That doesn’t bode well.

The reviews at Metacritic sit at “50”; focusing on stating much of the same – good performances in a cliched message movie.

A Dog’s Way Home, drama narrative, W. Bruce Cameron & Caythern Michon. Directed by Charles Martin Smith. 96 minutes.

Here’s we I lose readers, all three of you! I’m not a dog person and I HATE cutsey dog movies like this. I am so not the audience for this. I enjoy a lighthearted easy movie, but this type always come off incredibly manufactured and as saccharin as a made for Hallmark movie. The sing-songy voice over going for ALL THE CUTE. So, this time we have a dog that gets lost and has to find. gasp. it’s way home (title!). She meets people, brightens their life, and moves on. She even runs across a mass of CGI in the woods masquerading as a  mountain lion! And, according to the trailer, she makes it home. This trailer annoys me as it seems to be a cliff notes of the entire film. It may not be, but sure looks like it. We all know she will, but doesn’t it deflate any sense of wonder?

Not that it matters to the audience this caters to, but the Metacritic reads 45 from seven reviews. Notable as no reviews code green (positive), just 5 average and 2 negative, ranging from 60 to 25. The Rotten tomatoes aggregates 64%, fresh.

A quick run down of the limited releases

The Aspern Papers, written by Jean Pavans & Julian Landias. Directed by Julian Landias. 90 minutes

Johnathan Rhys Meyers leads a dramatic thriller narrative of a man trying to steal the letter a poet wrote to his wife.. from the wife who won’t give them to him. What a hero.  Awful voice over in that trailer.  This looks ridicous, people speaking in whisper threats as it sounds more dramatic? Meyer and Vanessa Redgrave are better than this, but hey we all need checks.  Metacritic is at 27.

Perfect Strangers, comedy narrative, written and directed by Alex De La Inglesia

Not the 1986 sitcom. Sorry Cousin Balki. Alex De La Inglesia? I’m in for that alone. Seven friends at dinner set it up so all their incoming messages are seen by everyone. For regular people, this likely isn’t an issue just conversation. I’m guessing these people have all sorts of secrets and lies ready to be displayed for all. Seems convenient that all would happen in those 90 minutes of dinner, but heh it’s a movie. ALso a remake of an Italian film from 2016. I couldn’t find a subtitled trailer for Alex’s but did watch the Italian one. I expect De La Inglesia’s to be darker and meaner than the Italian film which looks light despite the secrets.

Nothing on metacritic.

Sgt Gardner, drama narrative, written and directed by Max Martini, 125 minutes

The writer-director is the titular character, a Iraq war vet and to reunite with his son. Looks cheesy and forced. Blah. There is one review on Metacritic. It’s a 25. somehow this has Gary Senice and Lily Rabe.

The Untold Story, comedy narrative, written by Lee and Shane Stanley, directed by Shane Stanley, 104 minutes

At 64 a writer hits rock bottom and moves into a tiny apartment. That’s based on IMDB description. There is no trailer or listing on metacritc. The link to the movies facebook is a dead link. So I got as much as you do. Gage Creed from the first Pet Sematary is in it…

That’s it. See you next week for Glass. Go see Free Solo. 

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