Thursday, September 21, 2017

In Theaters Now - 9/22/17



(new releases in green)
  • Wind River      Grade: A+
  • Brad's Status      Grade A+
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle     Grade: A
  • The Big Sick      Grade: A
  • Wonder Woman      Grade: A
  • Home Again      Grade: A-
  • War for the Planet of the Apes     Grade: B+
  • Rebel in the Rye      Grade: B+
  • The Hitman's Bodyguard      Grade: B+
  • Good Time      Grade: B+
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming      Grade: B
  • It      Grade: B
  • Atomic Blonde      Grade: B
  • Dunkirk      Grade: B
  • Stronger      Grade: B-
  • mother!      Grade: C+
  • The Dark Tower      Grade: C

Additional Films Not Reviewed:

  • American Assassin
  • Annabelle: Creation
  • Columbus
  • Despicable Me 3
  • The Emoji Movie
  • Friend Request
  • Girls Trip
  • Leap!
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
  • Tulip Fever

Brad's Status

Brad's Status Poster

Ben Stiller might be schizophrenic.  That is to say there are two very distinct Stiller's on camera (and possibly off).  One is the Zoolander/Dodgeball shticky, goofy character actor, and the other is the more pensive, introspective Stiller.  I much prefer the latter, and as he ages it seems he does as well.  (While We're Young, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Greenberg all fall in that category.)  Brad's Status is his latest middle-aged, upper-middle class, white guy mid-life crisis film.  And I loved every minute of it.  To be fair, I fall nicely in that niche.  But, for me, this is a Top 10 film of 2017 hands down.  It's the perfect balance of funny, uncomfortable, and introspective, with a terrific cast, led by Stiller.  It may not be for you but it was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Grade: A+

Who is this movie for?  It's about a middle-aged, upper-middle class, white guy going through a mid-life crisis.  And that's probably the best audience for it.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Poster

The Kingsman are back to save the world yet again from yet another megalomaniac in this super fun follow-up to the 2015 original.  This time, instead of Samuel Jackson, it's Julianne Moore with the dastardly plan.  And it's up to Taron Egerton, (the always amazing) Mark Strong, and Colin Firth to stop her.  If you missed the first one, I highly recommend it.  It's a stylish send-up of James Bond flicks played straight but with just the right amount of comedy and action.  And the action is superb.  And the same goes for the sequel.  It does not disappoint in the least.

Grade: A

Who is this movie for?  Along with Baby Driver, this is the best action film of the year, with the perfect blend of comedy.  It's in my Top 10 of 2017.  And you should go see it.

Stronger

Stronger Poster

It must be fall because the "serious" pictures are starting to come out, fresh from Telluride, Venice, and Toronto.  And what would the awards season be like without at least one movie about someone seriously hurt, and their inspirational struggle to overcome it?

The always amazing Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff Bauman, a real man who tragically lost his legs during the terrorist bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  And we all know that attack was truly a tragedy for many people in Boston that day.  One can only imagine how hard it is to lose one's legs in an instant.  But thanks to Hollywood, and their limited arsenal of stories, one doesn't have to.  You can see Born on the Fourth of July, Coming Home, Forrest Gump, Me Before You, or probably any other number of films covering a similar story.  And that's the problem.  Been there, done that.  Not that I'm taking what happened to this man lightly, because I'm not.  I'm just reviewing this particular movie.  And this particular movie doesn't really bring anything fresh to the table other than another strong performance by Gyllenhaal and a love story with Tatiana Maslany from 'Orphan Black'.

Grade: B-

Who is this movie for?  If you're into inspirational true stories of people who overcome tremendous hardships, you will like it.  For me it felt like the Lifetime movie of the week, and a blatant attempt to score awards nominations.