The Eagle’s Weekly Movie Preview
They’ll be nearly 130 films opening between now and the end of the year. These weekly previews don’t cover all of them – rather, we just cut the fat and went right to the movies with the best chance of not stinking up the multiplex. We’re pretty sure that nothing will make more money – and be more of a blast – than Stars Wars: The Last Jedi. But until that one comes out, here’s what’s worth your movie money!
As a weekly movie-goer, I’ve decided to cut the list up into sections, and post a week-by-week preview of what’s out, what’s hot and what’s…well…not so hot.
Out This Weekend (Oct. 13th):
‘The Foreigner’ (Oct. 13th)
Martial-arts icon Jackie Chan is 63. Too old to kick ass? Like hell. In Martin Campbell’s revenge thriller, Chan plays Quan, a father avenging the murder of his teen daughter in a London bombing organized by terrorists. The despairing dad, who has a secret past, demands payback, much to the annoyance of a government official (Pierce Brosnan) who underestimates Quan at his peril. Yes, Chan can’t move quite the way he used to, but age has deepened his acting prowess, making this that rare action thriller that doesn’t hide the face of pain.
Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.
If you enjoyed the 1990 version, with Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts and William Baldwin, then this over-the-top re-boot will make you happy. Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev are all solid craftsmen and the low budget of $20 million means most of them did the flick because they wanted to.
‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ (Oct. 13th)
Who says Adam Sandler can’t get respect? He can here. In Noah Baumbach’s comedy-drama, Sandler plays the neglected son (Ben Stiller plays the favored one) of a semi-famous New York scultptor (a fine, flinty Dustin Hoffman). In his best performance since Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 Punch-Drunk Love, the comedian shows there’s a real actor behind the clown act he’s turned into a successful industry. So bravo to Sandler and a funny, touching and vital film that gets the details right.
In Theaters Now:
Amarillo! We finally got:
‘Battle of the Sexes’
Emma Stone and Steve Carell dive right into the awards race by bringing 1973 sports history to life. The Oscar-winning actress is Billie Jean King, the tennis star who takes on male chauvinism in the person of Wimbledon triple-winner Bobbie Riggs (Carell) – a clownish blowhard who thinks women belong in the kitchen or the bedroom. Their exhibition match drew a TV audience of 90 million. Working from a script by Simon Beaufoy, co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (Little Miss Sunshine) allow yesterday’s sexism, i.e. women are paid less and bullied more, resonate powerfully for today.
So far, I’ve seen:
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ (Sep. 22nd)
Who needs Bond when we have the Kingsman franchise? This hugely entertaining sequel to Matthew Vaughn‘s surprise 2015 smash reunites street-kid spy Eggsy (Taron Egerton) with Harry (Colin Firth), the Bond-ish mentor who only seemed to die in the first movie. (That’s Hollywood for you, folks). Kingsman is the name of a swank tailoring shop on Saville Row that fronts for the British agents. Or at least, it was: When things go boom, the spies need to rely on Statesman, a spy group headed by Jeff Bridges. The evil Golden Circle, led by Julianne Moore as a psycho with a nonstop smile, aims to take both organizations down. Fat chance. And don’t get us started on Channing Tatum as an electric-lasso wielding cowboy.
‘American Made‘ (Sept. 29th)
Tom Cruise plays ‘Barry Seal,” a real former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal approached United States government officials and served as an informant for the DEA. Lots of action…and lots of cliche’ dialogue. Tom Cruise actually seems loose and ‘real’ in this flick…which makes me wonder if he could’ve been doing work like this all along, but just chose Big Money Roles over anything with substance. At any rate, it’s surprising to see Cruise delivering the goods in a way that’s not as stiff or predictable as his “Mission Impossible” work. (Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed all the ‘MI’ movies. But I don’t watch ’em to see Tom Cruise act, any more than I watched the ‘Die Hard’ movies to see Bruce Willis win Oscars).
(Peter Travers for “RollingStone.com”)
(Johnny Black for “1009TheEagle.com”)