Two sequels and an adaptation compose the new releases this week.
1. The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (Open Road Films, 4,003 Theaters, 91 Theaters, Rated PG for action and some rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 20% Fresh [15 reviews]): So, I saw The Nut Job in theaters. It was one of the first movies I took my daughter to. I remember where I saw it–we saw it at the AMC Theaters in the Palisades Center in West Nyack, New York. I remember there was someone dressed up as one of the Penguins of Madagascar in the lobby and my daughter had her picture taken with it. There was a cardboard display advertising Captain America: The Winter Soldier where you stepped into it and it looked like you were holding Cap’s shield. Got pictures with that too.
The movie? I have absolutely no recollection of the movie at all. You could tell me is was a kid-friendly adaptation of Game of Thrones starring animated rodents and I would have to take your word for it. My only take away from the film that it wasn’t very good, but, apparently, not bad enough for it to be memorable.
Imagine my surprise as I see that the imminently forgettable film had done well enough at the box office to garner a sequel. I’d go see it so I could forget this one too, but my daughter doesn’t remember the film either so I’m off the hook for that waste of time.
2. Annabelle: Creation (Warner Brothers/New Line, 3,502 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated R for horror violence and terror, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 69% Fresh [72 reviews]): Evil dolls are not born, but made, as we find out in this new entry in The Conjuring shared universe.
In this prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, we find out why the demonic doll was created. It was made by grieving parents Sam and Esther Mullins to use as a vessel to hold the ghost of their deceased daughter. Well, something went wrong in the transfer, and the doll took on an evil life of its own. When the Mullins open their house to an orphanage, the doll has a fresh slate of victims to terrorize.
The film features well-worn tropes and raises irksome questions (like, why would you invite an orphanage in when you have a demonic doll on the premises?), but despite all that, the trailer was pretty darn scary. If you like horror in general or this franchise in particular, it might be worth a look.
3. The Glass Castle (Lionsgate, 1,461 Theaters, 127 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 48% Fresh [58 reviews]): Jeanette Walls was a gossip columnist for New York Magazine, USA Today and MSNBC. She exuded a glamour that rivaled that of the celebrities she covered. But it hid an unorthodox nomadic upbringing from parents who where as wild and quirky as they were damaged and damaging.
Walls detailed her life story in the 2005 memoir on which this film was based. The book stayed on the New York Times best seller list for 261 weeks. selling over 2.7 million copies. Needless to say, this film was anticipated by a great number of people.
However, word has it that the film we got cannot match the quality of the book or the story the latter tells. That’s a shame because the cast is first rate, full of Oscar favorites.
Next week’s new releases bring us a pair of action comedies with some real fire power.