This Week in Theaters; March 15, 2019

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Captain Marvel just lit up the box office last week. Her movie is solid work, although not the top of MCU. But there is nothing wrong with that. She’s still gonna kick ass this upcoming weekend, but there are a few competitors for the number two spot. Let’s take a look at them. As always, check out our Seasonal preview podcast.

Wide Release

Captive State

Sci-fi; Written Erica Beany & Rupert Wyatt; Directed by Rupert Wyatt; Starring John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, James Rathbone. PG-13; 109 minutes.

I’m cautious, but excited. Looking at an invasion ten years down the line is a welcome change to the “as-it-happens” common narrative. It could be nice to explore what has changed, what hasn’t, how how people are affected. If this is well written, the film could explore gray areas of these changes- good for some, but not for others? Are things better on the whole but there are those who will fight no matter what? Or is it a big metaphor for occupational forces (cough, US and … so many places). I’m sure books have explored this, but it’s rarer in films (don’t even mention The Host from Stephanie Meyers here. Yes, I’ve read it and saw the film). With this cast, I expect good things. John Goodman picks strong projects, as does Vera Farmiga. Funny that both of them are in the the new Godzilla/Kong series. Hell, I’d be in for Kevin O’Connor. Director Rupert Wyatt surprised everyone with the strength of Rise of the Planet of the Apes as well. The sudden release date and minimal marketing (that first trailer feels like a Purge movie for a while too. Feels meant to be) do concern me however.

No reviews yet (3/13)

 

Five Feet Apart

Drama; written by Mikki Daugherty, Tobias Iacondis; Directed by Justin Baldoni. Starring Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson; PG-13.

Blegh. Disease romance porn. Looks overwraught and forced weapy. Why isn’t this direct to Lifetime? I’m sure it has it’s fans and people looking forward to it – there are pre-screening “fan events” Wedsnesay before it’s release, but this looks just awful. Look, I really like the book The Fault in Our Stars – movie is a shrug, so I’m not against this type of story. But this feels forced with little nuance.  Pass.

No reviews as of 3/13.

Wonder Park

Animated Family Adventure; Written by Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec; Directed by technically no-one.. Dylan Brown left halfway in… and no one replaced him; PG; 85 minutes.

Another that looks cloying and basic. Sure the kids will be wowed by it, but seems lackluster to me. The humor in the trailer lands with a dull thud with obvious jokes. The animation looks rote and meh. Yeah, this has done nothing for me so far. The character humor in the previews seem to be “here’s a trait. And now a joke about said trait.” John Oliver, why are you here?

One review so far, a 75. That’s a good sign. Maybe it’ll be good. If I hear back good things, maybe I’ll see it.

 

Limited Release

There are a whole bunch so forgive me for speeding through.

The Aftermath. 

Historical Drama; Starring Keira Knightly, Jason Clarke, Alexander Skarsgard. Written Joe Shrapel, Anna Waterhouse, Rhidan Brook (from Brook’s novel); Directed by James Kent. R, 108 minutes.

Another I have no interest in. Man, I hate everything this week. I’ve seen the trailer a bunch of times, and it’s a trailer which gives away the whole of the film. After WWII Knightly and Clark’s from the West move into Hamberg mansion with the previous German owner still around. Tenstions and passion ensue. People yell, people fight, people fuck. No one has a good time.

11 reviews on Metacritic start at 60 and go down from there, averaging at 41 saying its a stuffy slog.

Ash is Purish White

Drama; Written and directed by Zhangke Jia; Unrated; 136 minutes.

From China. A sprawling gangster epic based around a woman torn between two gangs. Reviews are solid, several 100s, averaging to 79.

Chimera Strain

Sci-fi; Written and Directed by Maurice Haems; Starring Katherine Quinlan, Henry Ian Cusick; R; 80 minutes.

Mad-science cure the disease sci-fi flick that throws everything against the walls. Looks like they threw more ideas in than Replicas did earlier this year. Such over-acting! So many characters and plots brought up in the over-long trailer. This could be a trash-terpiece. Yeah, I’ll watch this and hopefully enjoy the crazy. Doesn’t look good, but looks fun.

No reviews yet

Combat Obsura

War Documentary; Directed By Miles Lagoze; 70 minutes.

A Marine culls the B-roll footage he shot as as a Combat Camera. Originally shot for recuitment videos, he uses what he has left to give a portrayal of the daily life of a Marine in Afghanistan; the hardships they go through and aftermath. It’s meant to strip away the government filted hero myths of the Marines. Could be interesting. The three reviews at Metacritc average to high 60s.

Eyes of Orson Welles; 

A documentary on Orson Welles writted and directed by Mark Cousins. There is no listing on Metacritic, but user reviews on IMDB say the look at Welles is alright, but Cousin’s narration is god awful. 1h55 Min

Faith, Hope, & Love;

Comedy Drama, written and directed by Robert Krantz.

A recent divorcee starts a dance contest to save her studio and starts to fall in love again. From the GOD highlighted in the tag line, a religious version of Gloria Bell? … I watched the trailer. Not quite – this looks cheesy and awful. Take away the religious aspect, Kim may like it as a bad Hallmark movie? M. Emmet Walsh must have a house payment to make. No reviews.

The Hummingbird Project

Comedy?Drama Written and directed by Kim Nguyen; Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, Salma Hayek. R. 110 minutes.

Per IMDB “A pair of high-frequency traders go up against their old boss in an effort to make millions in a fiber-optic cable deal.” Could be interesting with that cast. The three reviews at Metacrtic are very wide – 90, 50, 38. Wow.

Iceman

Martial Arts; From China. Starring Donnie Yen; Directed by Wai Man Yip.

Donnie Yen plays a guardsman attacked by three other guards. They get frozen and awake 400 years later and continue their fight. Whoo on Donnie Yen. No metacritic but the IMDb reviews are all awful. Damn.

The Mustang

Drama; Written by Mona Fatvold and Brock Norman Brock; Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre; Starring Matthias Schoenaerts

A convict if involved in a rehabilitation program based around training horses. I suppose breaking wild horses will be a metaphor for fixing himself. Reviews are solid at 77 over 12 reviews.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Family Mystery; Written by Nina Fiore and John Herrera (from the Nancy Drew book series); Directed by Katt Shea; Starring Sophia Lillis, Sam Trammel; PG

Sophia Lillis (young Bev in IT) is a great choice for a Nancy Drew update. Reviews are right down the center, coming around 50s.

Off Season

Drama; Written by Erik Leiblien; Directed by Robert Cole. 86 minutes

An adult woman working at vineyard meets a 10 year old girl; and dark secrets from her past return. No reviews yet. Not based on the Jack Ketchum book.

 

WOW so many movies. Sorry to get quick at the end but no more time!

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