MARKETPLACE CINEMAS (Henderson) through Thursday, November 30, 2017 — see their website for times:
Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it is still the holiday season for movies at the Marketplace (all the way through the New Year !) And So, in alphabetical order, this week’s sensational selections are:
Coco. Rated PG (for “thematic elements”). 128 minutes. In this Pixar/Disney computer-animated musical fantasy, based on traditions of the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), 12-year-old Miguel longs to be a musician like his recently deceased idol Ernesto de la Cruz, but his dreams are frustrated by his family’s strict, but unexplained, ban on all music. After the boy steals a guitar that once belonged to Cruz, he has the power to cross into the land of the dead, where he meets some relatives and learns about their musical past. The voice cast includes well-known Latin actors like Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Gabriel Iglesias and Edward James Olmos; and in spite of its rather grim-sounding premise, The Buzz for this animated feature is all good ! Coco (the name of Miguel’s grandmother) opened in Mexico on the weekend before this year’s Day of the Dead holiday, and the $28 million for the first two weeks was the best-ever non-summer opening for an animated feature ! The Rotten Tomato Critics are 95% “fresh,” agreeing that “rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly . . . approach to questions of culture, family, life and death.” Metacritic gave it a 79 of 100, but we have no box office figures because the official US opening was for the mid-week holiday — 11/22. A good bet for school-aged kids and their parents.
Daddy’s Home 2. Rated PG-13 (for suggestive material and language). 100 minutes. In this sequel to 2015’s very successful Daddy’s Home, Will Ferrell returns as Brad, the mild-mannered, nice-guy stepfather of two kids. Linda Cardellini also returns as Sara, Brad’s wife and the mother of the kids. Rounding out the triangle is “Marky” Mark Walberg, reprising his role as Dusty Mayron, the oh-so-cool, free spirit ex-husband of Sara and the father of the children. The screenwriters and the director from the first film are also back, and the cast is sweetened with veteran stars John Lithgow as Brad’s father, and Mel Gibson as Dusty’s dad. What’s the Buzz ? Ferrell and Walberg are a proven hit team: Their first pairing, in the action cop comedy The Other Guys (2010), was a hit with critics and grossed over $170 million at the box office; and the original Daddy’s Home earned over $240 million worldwide, becoming Ferrell’s highest-grossing live-action film. But the critics were not crazy about the first Daddy, and they like the second chapter even less — it has an 18% “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes. The public has been nicer, though, with RT users granting the sequel a 62%, and the first weekend audiences polled by CinemaScore graded it at A- (better than the original’s B+).
Justice League. Rated PG-13 (for intense sci-fi action and violence — well, duh !). 119 minutes. Superhero expert Zack Snyder directed this long-awaited big-screen and big-budget ($300 million) adaptation of the Justice League of America, DC comics’ superhero superteam that was created in print several year’s before Marvel’s Avengers. As director of Man of Steel, the 2013 Superman reboot, and its follow-up Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Snyder has been instrumental in creating the “DC Extended Universe,” and with the release of Wonder Woman this past summer, all the characters (and actors) were in place for this big team-up. At the end of Dawn of Justice Superman (Henry Clavill) sacrificed his life to save humanity, which inspires Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to unite a team of superhumans to fight off an attack by an army of parademons from the planet Apokolips. The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg (think six million dollar man or Robocop) also sign up, and a number of characters from the previous four films in the DC universe, played by their original actors, also appear. What’s the Super Buzz ? Justice League had its world premiere in Beijing, China on October 26, and opened in the US last weekend, with projections of $150 million in the domestic box office. BUT the super team failed to generate super ticket sales – “only” $96 million; AND the reviews are NOT super, with Rotten Tomatoes Critics giving League a 41% “not so fresh” grade and Metacritic totaled up a 46 out of 100. The US audiences for the opening weekend gave it a B+ grade through CinemaScore. RT users are 84% positive, though, with some saying to ignore the critics and just have fun with this latest visit to the DC Universe !
The Star. Rated PG (for some “thematic elements”). 86 minutes. In this Sony pictures musical animated film, based on the nativity of Jesus, a brave little donkey goes on the adventure of his dreams and encounters other animals who become unlikely heroes in the Greatest Story Ever Told. With help from Brian and Lisa Henson (of The Muppet’s Jim Henson Company), and with Oscar-nominated Director Timothy Reckert at the wheel, this family-friendly Christmas tale should be perfect for the upcoming holidays. With the voices of Steven Yeun (the late, lamented “Glenn” from TV’s The Walking Dead), Gina Rodriguez (TV’s Jane the Virgin and the upcoming Ferdinand animated film), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele and lots more), Aidy Bryant (SNL), Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, etc, etc. The Heavenly Buzz ? The Star opened on 3,000 movie screens in the US last Friday, and it has been about as well received as a family-friendly Christian-themed feature can be. Rotten Tomatoes Critics were 61% positive and RT users were 75%. CinemaScore audiences gave it an “A” grade, and the film delivered on its expected $10 million take its first weekend.
Thor: Ragnarok. Rated PG-13 (for intense sci-fi and fantasy violence and action (I should hope so !) and brief suggestive material). Chris Hemsworth appears for the fifth time as the Norse god and comic book hero Thor, joined by returning cast mates Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Idris Elba as Heimdall the gatekeeper (in a much larger and cooler role), and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. Adding star power are Cate Blanchett as “evil” goddess Hela and Jeff Goldblum as the immortal Grandmaster, one of the “Elders of the Universe.” Mark Ruffalo adds punch as The Hulk, and a few more characters from the Marvel universe pop up here and there. The Immortal Buzz: With the success of Marvel’s two Guardians of the Universe films, which showcased humor along with all the action, the creators of Thor: Ragnarok wanted more humor and less darkness in the characters and their adventures; and the critics at Rotten Tomatoes love the emphasis on funner action. RT has given this one a 96% “Certified Fresh” seal of approval, the film has earned Just under $500 million worldwide. JLJ sez: If you like the Marvel movies, go see this one — everyone else is, and I might see you there !
Wonder. Rated PG (for possibly disturbing images). 113 minutes. Based on a popular 2012 novel by R. J. Palacio, and starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay (a Critics’ Choice award winner for his 2015 role in Room), this film follows a young boy with severe deformities of his face and head caused by a genetic disorder as he tries to fit in at a new elementary school. What’s The Buzz ? Very positive vibes ! Rotten Tomatoes critics have giving this unusual film an 86% “Certified Fresh” rating, and RT users are in line with a 91% grade. Metacritic has given the film a 65 out of 100 rating. CinemaScore’s first weekend audiences, a majority of whom were women over 25, awarded Wonder a rare “A+”, and the box office was beyond expectation: $27.5 million for the first weekend, good enough for 2nd place behind Justice League. Apparently this is a well made feel-good movie, requiring at least one hanky per customer.
HEY, EVERYBODY — LET’S TAKE IN A HOLIDAY MOVIE !