Incredible flights of fancy (and hands running through grass and or wheat) highlight this week’s new releases.
1. Disney’s Christopher Robin (Disney, 3,602 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated PG for some action, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 67% Fresh [109 Reviews]): Everyone likes Winnie the Pooh, right? I mean, I’ve never seen anyone go on a hate filled rant over the character. And even people who do not have all that much exposure to the character still regard it with fondness.
But there are people out there who love Pooh. It is an indelible part of their childhoods, a building block of the foundation of their lives. The character is sacrosanct to them. They know the Winnie the Pooh they want and beware anyone who does not give it to them.
That’s the fanbase this film has to please, while being entertaining to new audiences. The trailer has the characters being slightly more slapstick than I remember. If this comes at the expense of the property’s warmth and charm, there might be a riot.
2. The Darkest Minds (Fox, 3,127 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG – 13 for violence including disturbing images, and thematic elements, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 19% Fresh [63 Reviews]): This film features a bunch of young people under the age of 20 who through a strange quick of the genetic lottery are gived with superpowers. These powers caused them to be feared and hunted by the rest of humanit—wait! I didn’t think Fox had an X-Men film coming out this summer!?!
They don’t. This film is based on a young adult novel that appears to be waaaay too similar to Marvel’s mutants for anyone except Fox to be making a film out of it.
The question then rises: why watch this film when you can watch any X-Men film on video. Heck, even X-Men: The Last Stand was better reviewed. Save your time and money.
3. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Lionsgate, 3,111 Theaters, 116 Minutes, Rated R for violence, language throughout, some crude sexual material and graphic nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 37% Fresh [91 Reviews]): Audrey (Mila Kunis) is just turning 30 and complains about the lack of excitement in her life. This is no longer a problem when her ex-boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) shows up and brings his business to her and her roommate Morgan’s (Kate McKinnon) doorstep.
The bad part is that Drew’s business is being a spy. Soon, Audrey and Morgan are on the run for their lives as they try to escape assassins and save the world at the same time.
That isn’t a good Tomatometer score up there. But the film does have the charming Mila Kunis and always funny Kate McKinnon in it, so there’s got to be something going for it.
4. Death of a Nation (Quality Flix, 1,005 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for strong thematic material including violence/disturbing images, some language and brief drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 0% Fresh [10 Reviews]): If you saw that poster to the left with Trump’s head prominently on display and flames and chaos beneath him, and considering the title you might think that this is a hatchet job against 45.
But if you look closer, you’d see the film is by Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing propagandist who never met a fact he couldn’t omit, a truth he couldn’t twist, to serve his far right agenda. Thisis more of a cinematic fluffing of Trump, who pardoned D’Souza earlier this year over the latter’s campaign finance violations.
I always thought that D’Souza’s films were basically preaching to the converted–selling conspiracy theories about the left to the right-wingers who would most believe them. But that poster, and the way the D’Souza’s supporters have ganged up on the comments sections of the resoundingly negative reviews, make me believe he intended this one to go out to all the snowflakes so D’Souza can bring them into the fold with his excellent filmmaking.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go see it. All I am saying that you will get two hours of D’Souza making the case that Trump is essentially the same as Abraham Lincoln and that the Democrats are racists and Nazis. Don’t be mistaken that you will be seeing anything fair or balanced. If you love Trump, you’ll like the film. If you don’t, it’s probably not worth seeing.
Next week, the new releases bring us two different types of scares–wet and dry. Join us then.