1. Office Christmas Party (Paramount, 3,210 theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 44% Fresh [86 reviews]): When his sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) wants to close his branch, Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) throws an awesome Christmas party for his office and invites a client he wants to impress. Things get quickly out of hand and Clay needs to work fast to save everyone’s jobs.
Let’s face it. You don’t have to work in big business to know that’s not how big business works. That’s not how any business works. But it’s a comedy and I guess we should just roll with it.
The reviews are lukewarm but I am still interested in seeing this. I’ve paid good money to see almost every member of the cast on their lonesome. Seeing them all work together has to be better than the reviews indicate.
2. Miss Sloane (Opening Wide, EuropaCorp, 1,598 Theaters, 132 Minutes, Rated R for language and some sexuality, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 65% Fresh [77 reviews]): I thought it would take a lot to make a cinematic hero out of a lobbyist, but I guess having them take on the gun lobby is one way to go. And that is what this film does.
Jessica Chastain plays an uberlobbyist, one that gets whatever she wants by whatever means necessary. However, she gets more than she can handle when the 2nd Amendment people. It’s the irresistible force versus the immovable object. And this is one fight Miss Sloane might not win.
This is an Oscar caliber leading lady paired with an Oscar caliber director (John Madden). Taking that into consideration, you’d expect that the reviews would have been better. But there is Oscar buzz about Chastain’s performance. Oscar watchers, this one might be worth a look.