My rant today begins with deceptive trailers. Google is filled with stories about movie trailers that lied to audiences for various reasons–mostly about money, i.e., to get you into the theaters. I recently downgraded Battle of the Sexes for the deceptive trailer. Beware–Suburbicon is doing the same thing. What is being sold is a man works for the mob, steals from the mob, attacked by the mob, and takes steps to protect his family from the mob. It is a mob story, right? Actually, in a nice white 1950’s suburb, the first black family moves in. The carnage that results from the mob is blamed on them. The movie currently has lots of strikes against it. First, the Coen Brothers are involved and you either like them or not. Second, Rotten Tomatoes currently sits at 49%. Tone deaf and just not funny sum up the reviews. Third, it is easier to sell a mob movie than a race relations movie. On 9/1/17, this movie was projected to make $14 million opening weekend, so it will be interesting to watch the numbers.
Now, it is time to turn to the movies coming up in November.
A Bad Mom’s Christmas — Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, joined by Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon as their undoubtedly overbearing mothers. Nice actresses in an undoubtedly forgettable movie.
Thor: Ragnarok — The continuation of the Marvel series with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins. A Gladiatorial duel between Thor and The Hulk–what’s not to like?
LBJ — Woody Harrelson as LBJ is impressive in the trailers. Directed by Rob Reiner, my guess is this will be entertaining. Jennifer Jason Leigh is Lady Bird and Jeffrey Donovan is John F. Kennedy.
Murder on the Orient Express — It’s almost easier to list who’s not in this movie, but a sample includes Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s been done before but what hasn’t? Besides, who doesn’t like a good mystery?
Daddy’s Home 2 — Did they copy a Bad Mom’s Christmas? Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are joined by their own problem daddies, John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. While the trailer gives me some hope about this film, I am concerned that those clips may be the best part.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — With a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating, a People’s Choice award in Toronto, and one great trailer, keep your eye on this one. Frances McDormand’s daughter is murdered and she uses the billboards to shame the police into action. The cast also includes Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Peter Dinklage.
Wonder — Augie has had 17 operations on his face; how will he fit into fifth grade, his first attempt at a mainstream school? Jacob Tremblay is Augie and is impressive in the trailers. His mom is Julia Roberts; his dad is Owen Wilson. They would seem to be an odd pairing, but it works in the trailer. This movie is based on a best seller so hopefully it does justice to the book.
Justice League — The long awaited appearance of Wonder Woman with Superman, Aquaman, Batman, and Flash. The cast includes Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ben Affleck, and Ezra Miller, with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Connie Neilsen, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, and Jesse Eisenberg. As you can see, these movies are highly sought after by actors for their repeat paychecks. Get your tickets early or you may sit in the front row! Prediction–they will save the world once again!
Molly’s Game — The always fascinating Jessica Chastain is Molly based on a true story of a 26 year old Olympic-class skier who runs an exclusive high stakes poker game for celebrities, athletes, tycoons and the Russian mob. When the FBI targets her, the real games begin! Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame is the writer and director, so you can rest assured that the quips will come fast and furious. The cast includes Idris Elba as her lawyer and Kevin Costner as her father. This should be a good Thanksgiving movie with a still early 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Coco — Pixar and Disney again take us to the Land of the Dead, although the Book of Life was by a different studio. I am skeptical but who can resist a musically-inclined 12 year old with a cute dog in a movie made by Pixar? It wouldn’t be opening on this date unless Disney thought it was going to make boatloads of money.
Darkest Hour — Yet another movie made about Winston Churchill, this time starring Gary Oldman and focused on the four weeks in 1940 when he must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or rally the nation. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Clementine and Ben Mendelsohn plays King George VI. Oldman is getting rave reviews for his performance, but is the audience ready for another movie of this type so soon after Dunkirk?