NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Call Of The Wild (2020), Brahms: The Boy II

Week #8 of 2020 (2/20-2/23/2020) has two movies with main characters that are not human, animal or alive: Buck the CGI dog and Brahms the creepy doll. A weekend of new movies dealing with, yes, imaginary friends.

It’s still pretty easy choosing the top wide release from these two, not even a close dog fight, really ….

… #1…

The Call Of The Wild (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This dog sorta hunts. The movie is more endearing once/if you can get past the fact that it’s just a bunch of whiz bang computer effects tricking us into thinking it’s a real dog. Don’t look around Buck’s dog collar because that’s where it looks the most fake. Just floating in space as a lifeless thing the collar just doesn’t belong.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) reaction to The Call of the Wild (2020)

And you’ll have to forgive me for wanting more Harrison Ford, despite the fact that he’s billed as a supporting actor. I get that the main character is Buck, but to get only half or less of the movie involving Ford made the film less entertaining. Also, I thought seeing Ford in a beard, weathered and old would be a sad experience (He’s Han freaking Solo!), but it wasn’t. He was good in this role. He showed up, did his thing, so pay the legendary actor already.

The million dollar question is whether or not Buck is more dog than computer? Suppose it’s done good enough but there are several places a real dog — that shelter dog Buck is based on, in fact — could have been safely used. I guess if we want that, then we need to go back to watching a prior adaptation. The dog being beaten bloody with a wooden stick in the older version scars the mind, so I’m OK with CGI for stuff like that.

Buck’s story is less compelling in CGI. I know, I know, there are animated movies and those don’t use real actors/actresses, but there is something missing in this movie not including a real dog like there was in The Art of Racing in The Rain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This movie is on the streaming / rental circuit, so check that out and compare. Both are based on books, the latter on Garth Stein’s, the former Jack London’s.

Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️

Dolls, dolls, dolls. Oh, those creepy dolls you find buried in the woods. Yeah, taking that home, cleaning it up, dressing it like your young son is going to work out — not! I did like the name, Brahms and his child friend, Jude (Hey Jude!), but it’s an overall anemic effort.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) review of Brahms: The Boy II

None of the horror movies released so far in 2020 — including this one — have been good. I’m hoping this all changes when we get to A Quiet Place: Part II next month or maybe Blumhouse’s take on The Invisible Man next weekend(?). My favorite genre has been lacking, sadly, but it’s early in the year so far. October is when the big guns start firing. I’m ready, bring it!

Sonic is not going to have much trouble leading box office sales for a second week (Actually after Friday’s numbers, the race is tighter). Another CGI character, but at least one that was never real to begin with.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  10. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

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