Opening 3-12-2020 in Theaters: Bloodshot, The Hunt, I Still Believe

Wednesday! Week #11 of 2020 (3/12-3/15/2020). We get the 7-11 store equivalent of a Big Gulp of wide release movies this week.

Vin Diesel starring as Valiant Comics superhero Bloodshot, the only non-Disney/Marvel and non-DC movie based on a comic book character. A movie that was dropped from release in 2019 for being too politically incorrect about hunting people. Another movie, this one faith-based, from a true story about a popular country singer-songwriter who falls in love and has his faith challenged by tragic illness.

Bloodshot
[FIRST LOOK]

I’m intrigued by the trailer and Vin Diesel in an adaptation of a comic book character. This seems like a darker story, not Joker-dark, but somewhere between Batman and Joker.

Anticipation: 7/10

The Hunt
[FIRST LOOK]

Don’t know why I enjoy stories about humans being hunted in a safari-like setting, but this premise is appealing to me. My concerns are more about how much politics play into this. The President made this movie out to be a political hit job on conservatives. I will be bummed out if this goes down some preachy path.

For that reason alone, I’m slightly less interested in this than Bloodshot.

Anticipation: 6/10

I Still Believe
[FIRST LOOK]

Regal Cinemas sent me an early screening in IMAX offer for this one. I kind of wish this would have been released in/around Valentine’s Day. Some might be turned off by the religious undertones, but I think that could be a powerful part of the picture. Ready the tissues, this could be a real tear-jerker.

Anticipation: 4/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #11: 3/12/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 3-12-2020 movies?

  1. Bloodshot – 7/10
  2. The Hunt – 6/10
  3. I Still Believe – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

The movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 3/12/20. As mentioned above, I Still Believe has one advance IMAX showing tonight at 7pm. That is a conflict with my work schedule, so not sure I’ll be able to make it, but am interested. Also, not sure why IMAX would be necessary for the film, but maybe it would be worth seeing. All will be watched, rated and reviewed.

Opening 3-5-2020 in Theaters: Onward, The Way Back, First Cow

Wednesday! Week #10 of 2020 (3/5-3/8/2020).

This week we get an animated treat from Pixar involving a search for the top half of their father so they can spend one day with him, a basketball coach tries to rehabilitate his drinking problem and his team, and a movie about — and don’t have one (who knows where that comes from: “Don’t have a cow, man.”?) — a cow.

Yes, a cow.

But, first, let’s go …

Onward
[FIRST LOOK]

Onward official trailer #1
Onward official trailer #2

First and foremost we want to be entertained and Pixar has a proven track record of producing entertaining films. The story here seems quirky and offbeat, but not cliched. Looking very forward to watching this one.

Anticipation for Onward: 7/10

The Way Back
[FIRST LOOK]

The Way Back official trailer #1
The Way Back official trailer #2

Ben Affleck has been in some good movies and he’s got the acting chops, but this alcoholic former basketball player turned coach story could go either way for me. It doesn’t look like the team is going to have the personality or comedy of The Bad News Bears and this doesn’t seem like Hoosiers either.

Anticipation for The Way Back: 5/10

First Cow
[FIRST LOOK]

When I wrote the COMING SOON for this movie, my anticipation was 0/10. I find the whole idea of watching a movie about a cow similar to watching paint dry, however, I’ve been wrong about movies I’ve expected to strongly dislike, so I’m bumping my anticipation up from zero to one. Surprise me, cow. MOoove me. Yeah, yeah, stop throwing the rotten banana peels.

Anticipation for First Cow: 1/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #10: 3/5/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 3-5-2020 movies?

  1. Onward – 7/10
  2. The Way Back – 5/10
  3. First Cow – 1/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

We’re going to be in Las Vegas this week, not our home area, so we’ll be checking out screenings there. We’re planning on seeing Onward in 4DX + 3D and The Way Back in standard 2D format, but have not found if First Cow is playing anywhere nearby. At least two of the three will be watched, rated and reviewed.

Opening 2-28-2020 in Theaters: The Invisible Man (2020)

Wednesday, week #9 of 2020 (2/27-2/29/2020), is the third weekend with only one wide screen release of the year so far. The first was week #1 with The Grudge, followed by the beginning of this month week #5 with Birds of Prey.

These one movie only weekends feel strange to me. Why aren’t studios releasing more movies? Of all the studios making movies, how/why can there only be one movie being wide released? And yet if you look at the streaming world, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Would be lying if I wrote that I’m looking that forward to see what Blumhouse has done with …

The Invisible Man (2020)
[FIRST LOOK]

Blumhouse visibly imagines The Invisible Man, opening wide in 3,500+ screens on 2/27/2020

The original The Invisible Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(1933) is one of my favorite Universal Monsters movies. Black and white, Claude Rains, it’s more than just a classic, read my review by clicking the title. So, how do you remake a movie that was essentially perfect? You can’t.

I suspect what will be done is to tell a similar story, taking the essence of the original and spinning it a new way. This is the formula that Blumhouse has done with other familiar IP. In some cases it’s sort of worked and most others, at least for me, it hasn’t. Their formula appears to be business savvy in the current moviegoer climate: lower budget (single digit millions), remake/reboot familiar IP, often incorporating social themes.

This leaves my anticipation for this film pretty low overall. I’m not close-minded to it being entertaining, I hope that every film I see — regardless of the director, producers, actors involved, trailer or story info — is something I’ll enjoy.

Anticipation: 2/10

Are you looking forward to seeing The Invisible Man (2020)? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

There is one other bonus movie screening, LIMITED release, that I haven’t profiled here yet, Impractical Jokers: The Movie. I’m planning on seeing this, although i really know nothing about it. It’s from TruTV and Funny or Die and sort of just dropped in. It’s only showing in two local Regal Cinemas theaters near us. Anybody else reading seen this movie? What do you know about it?

Next week, there are three movies according to Box Office Mojo being wide released: Onward [FIRST LOOK], The Way Back [FIRST LOOK] and First Cow from A24. We will be in Las Vegas and screening Onward, hopefully, in 4DX.

Opening 2-20-2020 in Theaters: The Call Of The Wild, Brahms: The Boy II

Wednesday, here we are! Week #8 (2/20 – 2/23/2020) where we get to see Harrison Ford kicking it with a CGI dog in an adaptation of a classic novel and horror movie sequel involving a creepy doll.

The Call Of The Wild
[FIRST LOOK]

I’m going back and forth with how interested in this movie I am. On one side, I like Harrison Ford and most movies he’s in. On the other, I’m not that crazy about a CGI dog, other than if it looks fake or real. I’d rather see a real dog, although of course I don’t want a real dog put in harm’s way. Just seems to me there could have been some way to have been CGI stunt dog and real dog used in the film. Then again, I haven’t seen the movie to know just how many dangerous scenes there are.

That all said, I don’t remember the book very well that I read some 40 years ago, so my interest in older books adapted into movies is minimal. I’m in the camp that favors adapting new works (books that have never been adapted before) over yet another adaptation of an older work. Clearly, this adaptation is trying for a creative angle, but that just seems a waste to me when there are plenty of great stories out there the deserve to have a movie made one.

Then again, I’m not the one investing in the picture. You’ve got Harrison Ford, that’s a draw, I’m sure. And a dog. Even if it’s a CGI dog. We love dogs, so it might be a huge hit. In my little tiny corner of the web, this film is very popular here. Whether or not that means the film will do well at the box office, I don’t know.

Bottom line: I’m going in looking somewhat forward to seeing it. Being completely honest, I’m not sure my interest is in the story more than the curiosity around the technology and that Harrison Ford is starring in it.

Anticipation: 5/10

Brahms: The Boy II
[FIRST LOOK]

I didn’t see the first film in this series. Up until I started watching all new wide releases, I resisted watching sequels until I’ve seen the first film. Not sure how that impacts my interest in this one, but probably a little negatively. I can’t compare it to the original because I won’t have seen it first. Maybe I’ll like this one a lot and it will encourage me to go back and see if the original is even better (which is how it usually works for me with sequels).

I’m just lukewarm on this one. Hope it surprises me and is a really entertaining film.

Anticipation: 3/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #8: 2/20/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 2-20-2020 movies?

  1. The Call of The Wild – 5/10
  2. Brahms: The Boy 2 – 3/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

Both movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 2/20/20. Both will be watched, rated and reviewed probably one on Thursday, the other Friday.

Opening 2-13-2020 in Theaters: Sonic The Hedgehog, Fantasy Island, The Photograph, Downhill

Wednesday! Week #7 (2/13-2/16/2020) which includes perhaps the biggest date night for couples of the year.

Dinner and a movie, or maybe just a movie. We have date night every Thursday and there are several movies to choose from. A romance, two comedies and a horror film based on an iconic 70s TV show.

First up, that speedy little guy in blue that goes by the name of …

Sonic The Hedgehog
[FIRST LOOK]

SE-GA!

Mario from Nintendo has always had competition from platform game Sonic. It was always about speed in the Sonic game as the blue hedgehog would run through the zones collecting rings. Don’t ask me to tell you what the point of the rings were, but I’m sure the movie will re-educate me. Dr. Robotnik is played by Jim Carrey.

Videogame movies have a brutally bad track record. Not just in my opinion, but among many. Am hoping this one is good and looking as much as or more forward to watching this than any other videogame movie I’ve seen in the past.

Anticipation: 7/10

Fantasy Island
[FIRST LOOK]

Travel in the elevator down to the lower level and begin your fantasy
Fantasy Island final trailer

I have mixed emotions going into this one. Definitely interested in seeing, but feel like it’s probably not going to capture the primary essence and soul of the 70s TV show which sort of bordered on irony involving the fantasies. Sometimes it was dark, but it never was a horror anthology series. Sort of like a cross between Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories with Mr. Roarke and Tattoo keeping it grounded. I think without Tattoo we’re not going to have the comedic elements, which were crucial to grounding the series.

Also, I remain curious why the need for Blumhouse to brand their own name to this (see: Why is Blumhouse adding their name in FRONT of Fantasy Island?) Does this have any real impact on anticipation for the movie? Not really. I already knew Blumhouse was involved and they have an above average record with making profitable movies on small budgets. I’m a fan of returning to smaller budget filmmaking and applaud what Blumhouse is doing. I may not enjoy all of their films, but they are building a studio name and brand.

When I first heard about this movie, it was one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 for me. That interest has waned somewhat, but it’s the film I’m most looking forward to watching this weekend.

Anticipation: 8/10

The Photograph
[FIRST LOOK]

This has the distinction of being the featured new romance movie. It doesn’t seem to be a rom-com, more like a dramatic love story. Am interested, but am not sure we’ll be watching this first. I’m letting Kara decide which one we see first, so maybe she’ll pick this one, who knows?

Anticipation: 3/10

Downhill
[FIRST LOOK]

Will Ferrell has been very hit and miss in movies with me. He’s a funny guy, but a bit formulaic at times. I like that Julia Louise-Dreyfus is starring opposite Ferrell. She was great in Seinfeld and I haven’t seen in her awhile. I hope this has many LOL moments. We’ll see.

Anticipation: 5/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #7: 2/13/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 2-13-2020 movies?

  1. Fantasy Island – 8/10
  2. Sonic The Hedgehog – 7/10
  3. Downhill – 5/10
  4. The Photograph – 3/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

All four movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 2/13/20. All will be watched, rated and reviewed.

Opening 2-6-2020 in Theaters: Birds of Prey

Wednesday hump day week #6 in 2020 (2/6-2/9/2020) with one movie about birds flying over the horizon. Rather, comic book birds, a group of antiheroes taking on an even worse villainous character in Black Mask.

Birds of Prey
[FIRST LOOK]

My anticipation couldn’t be any higher for this movie. As readers know, I’ve been reviewing all episodes every Friday of season one Harley Quinn the adult animated TV series. Only three more left for the first season and then a break, followed by 13 more episodes later in 2020 hopefully.

And official trailer #2

In the meantime, we’re going to be treated by the lone wide release this week. Does Birds of Prey take down Bad Boys for Life? Yes, it will. How it does beyond this weekend, however, will all depend on what the audience thinks. If the word of mouth is even remotely as positive as it was for Joker, then expect these birds to be circling over the theaters for many weeks to come.

Anticipation: 10/10

Will have plenty more to say after watching it on Thursday 2/6/20. Will this be one that I want to rewatch in the theaters?

Opening 1-30-2020 in Theaters: Gretel and Hansel, The Rhythm Section

Wednesday! Week #5 (1/30 – 2/2/2020) is upon us. The final assault, er, unveiling of new movies in January carrying over into February involving a new take on a very old Brothers Grimm tale and Blake Lively going into revenge mode (think Jennifer Garner in Peppermint?).

Before getting to my final thoughts on these two films, I’m going to be glad to see January 2020 gone. There have been some truly awful films this month. The studios are thinking wrong by not putting up better films in January. If this is the competition, it should be really easy to put up a great film and be on top for multiple weeks on the box office. I don’t get the logic behind dumping films they don’t have as much faith in this month.

I do understand that Oscar hopefuls don’t likely happen in January, but they should be chasing box office revenue more than gold statues. Just saying.

Gretel and Hansel
[FIRST LOOK]

These past two months the studios seem to be mining stories from the 1800s. Little Women in December, The Turning (based on The Turn of the Screw) and now Gretel & Hansel (based on the 1812 Grimm Fairy Tale). Sure, these were good stories in the 1800s, but why aren’t we making adaptations of more modern stories? It seems that studios think the gold is in the already adapted vs. first time adaptations. It’s like give us another Spider-man instead of exploring a different superhero or antihero.

That said, any horror tale with cannibalism in there has the chance to be disturbing. I’m also curious why the title was inverted? Was it to differentiate somehow from Hansel & Gretel? Like the title change as I’d be less interested if it was the traditional way.

Movie titles are important to me when I don’t know much else. The trailer isn’t blowing me away with the story. Where this all leads is mild anticipation for seeing this film this week.

Anticipation: 4/10

The Rhythm Section
[FIRST LOOK]

My initial and ongoing interest in this film is Blake Lively. I keep saying she is ready for a breakout role in something. Based on the trailer I’m not sure this is going to be that vehicle. Revenge flicks don’t get much Oscar love, but this is a different type of role than I’ve seen her in, so maybe if she has a strong performance here and gives her momentum for a more ambitious next film.

I keep mentioning Peppermint starring Jennifer Garner, because this reminds me a bit of that film. It’s a different story, perhaps not as brutal and action-oriented and more thought-provoking. A plane crash that wasn’t accidental wiping out her family and her character seeks revenge upon those who caused it. Clearly from the trailer, Lively’s character isn’t seeing passive means to enact revenge. Am curious where this will lead?

This is the film other than 1917, of course, that I’ve most looked forward to seeing in January 2020. Hope it delivers. Will find out very soon.

Anticipation: 7/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #5: 1/30/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 1-23-2020 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.

  1. The Rhythm Section – 7/10
  2. Gretel & Hansel – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

Both movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area so will be watched, rated and reviewed.  Probably one on Thursday 1/30, the other on Friday 1/31.

Upcoming Friday FIRST LOOK

This Friday 1/31/2020 will be FIRST LOOK for several comic books/superhero movies coming in 2020. There are 8 comics/superhero movies being released in 2020 with the first being Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) [FIRST LOOK] next week. Two are based on DC Comics, Five based on Marvel and one on Valiant.