Week #3 (1/17-1/19/2020) for wide opening films at the theater and time for me to pick the wide opening movie of the week to recommend.
On one hand we’ve got talking animals and a children’s classic for soft reboot live action vs. the third movie in a buddy cop series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back together again. Neither film is earth shaking good, let me get that out of the way right now before picking …
Not too much suspense, as the title graphic is a giveaway, but sometimes I play around and put up a different title graphic than the top wide release film of the week.
This film is simply more fun than Doolittle. It’s also a little better than the second film in the series, which, like the original, was also directed by Michael Bay. There wasn’t enough in the budget for all three to return for this film, so famous action frenzy director Bay was not chaired. The new directors are the team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Don’t know who these people are, but they did a competent job for the franchise and made another entertaining Bad Boys film.
No, it’s nothing groundbreaking and you can watch my just left the theater review and read the starred review (just click the title) for more specific thoughts, but it is entertaining enough to take this week’s watched in the theater #1 crown. And, more importantly, it joins the list of recommended movies to watch.
This brings us to the other wide opening film this week:
Honestly, I had mixed emotions going into this one. I’d seen the low star rating reviews and some very unflattering and negative headlines for reviews. Here is a video that explains my thoughts going into this film and similar films where the early critics have panned the film.
Now here is my actual review of the film after watching it.
This apprehension before viewing and then relief afterwards is similar to my feelings regarding Little Women, although that movie was worlds better than both of these (that was one of my top 5 favorite films of 2019).
I don’t make a habit of doing both on the way to theater videos to accompany the just left the theaters that have been done for every wide opening film (and a few that weren’t even wide screenings) since Lion King (2019) on October 5, 2019. The times I do shoot videos on the way to theaters are when there is something else noteworthy about the moviegoer experience prior to seeing the film.
In the case of Doolittle, it’s seeing numerous negative critic reviews. The audience reviews so far, however, at Rotten Tomatoes are more positive. This remains one of my early telling barometers for how likely I’ll be entertained by a movie. No offense to the critics pool, but they haven’t been as accurate a gauge to my movie tastes.
Again, neither of these films are rewatchable to me and my recommendation is selective, at best. Those who like the Bad Boys franchise will likely be interested in the new movie and animal lovers will at least be entertained by Doolittle.
Both are toward the bottom of the movies playing in theaters that I’d recommend seeing. Go see 1917 or Little Women if you haven’t seen those yet. Much, much, much better movies.
Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?
Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (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 we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.
The first two weeks, save for the awesome wide release of 1917⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, have been underwhelming. I’m reading others saying it’s important to dial down movie expectations in January. This is not the month for good movies to be released. It’s hard for me to go into movies knowing that the filmmakers and/or studio saw them as substandard.
It’s like biting into a rotten apple and thinking it will taste good.
Then again, maybe the two wide movies we have to choose from will both blow us away this week?
Robert Downey Jr. has been in several really good movies. I’m more fan than not of his work. He’s taken off the Iron Man mask and shed his Playboy Tony Starkness so he can talk to animals. Will admit this showing up in dump month January is making me nervous.
Also, the trailer on rewatches is underwhelming. My anticipation is waning. Please be better than I think it will be!
Oh Will Smith, what will you do this time? Martin Lawrence, I know you’ll make me laugh but your buddy cop partner? What will he do? Maybe he’ll be as good as he was in the first Bad Boys. Love the COPS theme (it’s playing in my head as I write this) … “bad boys, bad boys … what you gonna do when they come for you!”
Am thinking this will be the better of the two wide releases. All the wondering is over, it’s time for this to start screening starting tomorrow. I’m ready to see what it’s like watching a film in this franchise without Michael Bay. That sounds like it should be a recipe for success, given Bay’s notable excesses — but Bay did a good job with this franchise. At least the first one. I need to rewatch the second one, it’s been awhile.
Don’t let me down, Bad Boys.
ANTICIPATION for Week #3: 1/16/20 MOVIES
How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 1-16-2020 movies? Those marked with asterisk are not available in our area this week, so will carryover in future weeks until available to watch in our area.
Bad Boys For Life – 4/10
Doolittle – 3/10
Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?
Both movies are wide screenings and available at theaters in our area so will be watched, rated and reviewed. Probably will watch one on Thursday, and the other Friday. Saw in our area that both have early showings (Bad Boys For Life is showing starting at 4pm, Doolittle at 5pm PST).
The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in January 2020. If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is updated throughout the year).
The list below does not include independent films and/or streaming original films from Netflix and Amazon. I would like to keep track of those as well, but trying to target specifically wide theater releases (or what appear to be wide releases) so most readers can see these films worldwide in a major chain theater (hopefully) near your home. New streaming films being released will be handled separately based on the service, most likely, as already doing for Shudder.
SIDENOTE: I have nothing against small, independent theaters (we have a good one called The Grand Cinema close by), but am trying to focus on the films I have the greatest likelihood to see, review and rate each month. Obviously, with release schedules that change based on location, sharing any kind of coming soon movie list is not an exact science. Any errors and/or omissions are mine.
Movie release dates are subject to change by the studios, so it’s possible within the next 45 days or so one or more of the movies profiled below will have its release date moved.
As of this posting, there are 11 movies scheduled, presented in order of scheduled opening date below. 10 of the 11 have trailers, so I’ve added my anticipation (10 = most excited as possible to see, 0 = not interested at all). Can’t promise I’ll do this every month, but am going to try and do so, probably posted sometime around the middle of each month for the next month.
This is a reference for FIRST LOOK and PREVIEW posts. I try and FIRST LOOK and/or PREVIEW films that either we’re personally most interested in seeing and/or have very popular interest by others.
This one looks like it might be scary. I’ve never seen any of the original Grudge movies and not sure I’ll be doing so before this comes out in a few weeks. I look more forward to seeing truly scary horror films over horror-comedy films and this looks like the former.
Have seen this trailer as preview in the theater more than any other in this list of January 2020 movie releases. I’m sort of luke warm to cool on what’s happening here. I don’t find anything Tiffany Haddish has starred in as funny. Her voice is grating on me. The plot seems not very interesting to me either, what little we know from the trailer. The trailer didn’t even make me smile, although admittedly some have laughed at the goat milk spit out scene.
Got to wipe away Kirsten Stewart from my mind in Charlie’s Angels and any movie deep on the bottom of the ocean is off to a good start. We don’t know what is living down there and while this has been explored in several other stories, it’s an interesting and often scary place. All that pressure under miles of water. Yes, I’m interested.
Anticipation for Underwater: 6/10
The Informer RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 10, 2020 to March 13, 2020 (LIMITED)
Seems like standard fare thriller from the trailer. Nothing stands out as super creative or amazingly fresh to me. Could be how the trailer is cut. Not that excited by this trailer.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as buddy cops for this third entry in the franchise. I found the first two to be funny in parts. They have good chemistry together, but aren’t as fun as say Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours. Haven’t been many buddy cop trilogies that I was clamoring to see the third one. Martin Lawrence is my favorite of the two by far in this comedy team. I just don’t find Will Smith that special. Yes, he has been in some good films.
The trailer barely grabs my interest, except for the fact that Robert Downey, Jr is starring. Not sure about his accent, kinda reminds me a bit of the one he used in Tropic Thunder (!). He makes just about every film he is in better. I’m worried about this being a terrible and unnecessary reboot movie about a man who talks to animals. Have seen the story told several times before and Downey Jr. isn’t a comedian, so not sure if his potentially(?) serious/ironic take on Doctor Doolittle will be exciting. Very apprehensive about this one, but, again, interested because of the main star. I heard he was paid $20 million for top bill in this one. Will see next month if it was worth it. Worried.
Like the mystery/detective vibe, but wonder if it’s more thriller? Not feeling super compelled toward this one as a thriller, but more interested in a mystery. Can’t decide based on trailer which it is. Do like Matthew McConaughey, so that bumps up curiosity a little.
January 2020 will be the first time I’ve ever paid that attention to everything being released. Already noticing that there are more horror movies being released than other types of movies. January could be an October-like month for me as I like horror movies. As for this one? Has a V.C Andrews groove to it. What’s with the children? Yeah, sign me up for this one!
Anticipation for The Turning: 5/10
Nowhere (trailer yet) to Run?
Run RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 24 to May 8, 2020
…is a thriller starring Sarah Paulson and is scheduled to open in theaters January 24, 2020 (UPDATE 1/18/2020: Release date has changed to May 8, 2020). No official trailer has been released by Lionsgate as of this writing.
Oooo another spooky one! Seems odd to title it backwards (do the kids eat the adults in this one? Now that sort of reverse cannibalism would make heads turn). If it’s pure horror and not comedy horror than it gets at least a 4 from me. Fairy tales can be cool, especially the grim variety. Will pump it up one more for that. Hoping it’s not too cliched, but fearing that almost as much as the potential subject matter.
Read the FIRST LOOK that is linked above to see my detailed comments on this one. Of all 12 films being released in January 2020, I’m most looking forward to seeing this one.
Anticipation for The Rhythm Section: 7/10
Ranking the January 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)
Keep in mind that my anticipation for a film can change daily, even hourly, based on new information that I read about the film or see in a video. Therefore, the anticipation is merely a number I’m applying to my feelings today, right now, and it is very subject to change. In the next post, tweet, video or an hour from now. Only here for comparison purposes as I do this with the Opening Week posts. Those numbers are within a couple days of seeing the movies.
The Rhythm Section – 7 / 10
Underwater – 6 / 10
Gretel & Hansel – 5 / 10
The Turning – 5 / 10
Doolittle – 3 / 10
The Gentlemen – 3 / 10
The Grudge – 3 / 10
Like A Boss – 3 / 10
Bad Boys for Life – 3 / 10
The Informer – 2 / 10 (release date changed to March 13, 2020)
Run – No Rating (release date changed to May 8, 2020)
What movies in January 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?