Opening 4-30-2021 in Theaters: Separation, Walking With Herb, Limbo [all LIMITED]

Friday, week #18 of 2021 (4/30 – 5/2/2021).

A string of LIMITED releases this week, so some/all may or may not be available for viewing in theaters in your area. Regal Cinemas are open again in our area, so that has expanded the overall number of theaters. We decided to stay with AMC Stubs A-List vs. going back to the Regal Unlimited plan, at least for another month or so. There are more Regal cinemas in our area than AMC, but there are pros and cons for each monthly movie pass service.

Regal kind of nickels and dimes their members with fees for IMAX, convenience fees and the like but does offer an unlimited amount of movies watched as long as the same movie isn’t watched more than once per day. AMC limits to three movies in any format every week and no convenience fees for reserving online or using their app.

Let’s get to this weekend’s new movies available in theaters…

Separation
[LIMITED]

Creatures that walk with dislocated bones, ewww. Yeah, I get the feeling this creature feature might be in my wheelhouse, unless it spends more time on keeping the creature in the dark vs. letting it out and doing something with it besides making only making it scary.

We’ve all seen those type of horror films: where they think it’s scary knowing nothing about the monster or obsessing over its origins.

The trailer makes me think (hope!) that this will be one of those horror films that’s in the middle, that doesn’t rely too much on cheap jump scares. Will find out soon enough!

Anybody else interested in seeing this one in theaters? Or plan to wait and see it on streaming?

Anticipation: 5/10

Walking With Herb

An amateur golfer that is struggling with his faith. I have enjoyed watching some of these type films, so maybe will enjoy this one. Admittedly not among my top genres for films to watch, but also like seeing something different and uncommon. The problems is a lot of these stories, despite the genre, are formulaic and a little too neatly put together. I sort of prefer a more real life roughness to the stories versus working non-organically toward the happy ending. Some happy endings are OK, but in general that seems too often to be an artificial goal. We don’t always need the HE to be entertained and if we’re looking for faith on real life situations, we should have real life uncertainty — sometimes, anyway.

Then again maybe Herb won’t have a completely happy ending?

Anticipation: 3/10

Limbo A

Another one of those the title a lot about what the movie is about.

Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request.

Via IMDB

Lukewarm interest on this one based on trailer and description, but as stated before on several other movies we don’t know much about, this could be a pleasant surprise.

Anticipation: 2/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you!

Mortal Kombat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mortal Kombat – R – 1 hr 50 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday April 23, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
21st new movie seen in theater in 2021

Subzero vs. Scorpion starts in the 1600s and moves to present day with a descendant learning what the strange mark on his arm means. A tournament is coming between good and evil and if the bad guys win, it’s game over for earth.

Looked forward to seeing this movie with a little skepticism because almost every movie based on a videogame is not what it could be. Here, the filmmakers paid homage the awesome fighting game. Fatalities are brutal, just as they were in the game and there are plenty of cool nods to the game.

As we left the theater and recorded the video below, it was refreshing to hear we both had similar feelings about this film. Good action, pacing, excellent fight scenes, an overall fun, exciting film that reminds of playing a videogame.

There were a lot of showings sold out which confirms our thoughts that this is going to have a good opening weekend. Maybe among the better openings of any film since the pandemic. Whether you can see it in theater or on streaming, this is recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  (Kara)

Opening 4-23-2021 in Theaters: Mortal Kombat, Together, Together, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train

Thursday, week #17 of 2021 (4/22 – 4/25/2021).

Three movies available this weekend, including the much awaited Mortal Kombat in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

Mortal Kombat
[FIRST LOOK]

For those with HBO Max you can watch the first few minutes of this already. I passed, as we already have reserved tickets for the first showing on Friday.

Anticipation: 7/10

Together, Together

This surrogate for a single dad story is only showing at one AMC theater nearby, so we might not get to see this one in the theater, but it’s opening this weekend as well. Think Kara might enjoy this premise anyway. I’m not that excited by the trailer above.

Anticipation: 2/10

Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train
[FIRST LOOK]

This anime film, I believe, is the highest grossing film in Japan of all time. This is putting me in an Akira frame of mind. Have been wanting to see this for months now. Kara has zero interest, so I’ll be seeing this one solo. Can’t wait! Yes, I”m actually looking more forward to seeing this than Mortal Kombat (and I’m really looking forward to that)

Dubbed and subbed, here we come!

Anticipation: 8/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you!

The Unholy ⭐️⭐️½

The Unholy – R – 1 hr 39 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Monday April 19, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
20th new movie seen in theater in 2021

The nude general antagonist from Die Hard 2 and Death from the Bill & Ted movies, grizzly-faced William Sadler, a priest uncle of a deaf girl who becomes the conduit to Mary, mother of Jesus. Or so the people believe. Even the skeptical banished journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), looking for the next great sensational story to get back on top.

Thought this would be another wannabe God vs. Satan cliched horror story, but it tries harder than that. Sure, the familiar tropes are there including Jesus statues bleeding from the eyes, burning crosses, misguided miracles and the like. It’s more of a mystery thriller with some horror undertones, but it’s not scary.

There are a couple of jump scares, but they are well placed and not overdone. The sounds are mostly stock, nothing too original or noteworthy. That’s really the biggest problem of this film: nothing stands out as fresh or new. Right down to the main character which seems ripped off from Jurassic Park’s Malcolm played by the incomparable Jeff Goldblum. Did the filmmakers pattern Gerry Finn after this character? Certainly the portrayal feels very inspired, or for the more negative types: outright ripped off. Did Goldblum turn down this film role, so they told Jeffrey Dean Morgan to play his best Jeff Goldblum for the role?

Just leaving the theater we recorded our non-spoiler review and I felt stronger about this movie than Kara.

In the end, it was entertaining enough most of the time. It wasn’t scary so for those who think they’ll see this and be scared you’re in for a major disappointment. No, we can’t recommend, but we’ve seen several worse films in 2021 so far.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️½  (Todd) ⭐️½  (Kara)

In The Earth ½

In The Earth – R – 1 hr 47 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday April 16, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
19th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Ever watched a movie thinking it would be about something, perhaps from the trailer and story info and then watching it and seeing something total unexpected? That’s this movie which we thought would be dealing with a pandemic and instead deals with people acting strangely in the woods.

But “strangely” doesn’t even describe it that well.

There is a guy that captures people, dresses them up in white clothes, blocking out out their eyes and snaps pictures of them. There’s his wife that is making some kind of talk to the plants audio-visual epileptic seizure inducing deafening show and then there are two people that inexplicably want to visit her.

Why?!

If that description is confusing, hey, join the club. Several times I wanted to walk out of this one and just should have. It should earn bonus points for a few cringe-worthy violent scenes with an axe, but no.

Worst movie we’ve seen since Cats. It’s not that bad, but it’s slow, weird and unwatchable. Seeing some others giving it somewhat decent reviews so maybe you might like this. I’m a fan of weird movies, but they have to make some kind of sense. This one? Um, no.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ½ (Todd) ½ (Kara)

Opening 4-16-2021 in Theaters: In The Earth

Thursday, week #16 of 2021 (4/16 – 4/18/2021).

As we work our way toward Mortal Kombat next weekend, we’re down to one new movie in theaters times again. This week a movie we haven’t seen much marketing for to date. Timely horror as it deals with a world ravaged by a pandemic.

In The Earth

Must admit some reluctance to see a movie about a pandemic in the middle of a pandemic. It’s like watching an airplane disaster movie while inflight. Then again, beggars can’t be choosers in these once again lean new release in theaters movie times.

That all aside, the trailer looks, well, watch it and judge yourselves. I like the inverted A in the title graphic.

Anticipation: 3/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you!

Voyagers⭐️⭐️½

Voyagers – PG-13 – 1 hr 48 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday April 8, 2021
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
18th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Earth’s natural resources have been ravaged and is dying, leading to a search for a planet nearby that could sustain human life. A planet if discovered, but it will take 86 years to travel there. A crew of 30 children is groomed, growing into teens by the time the flight takes off. One adult teacher joins the mission which hopes to have these teens grandchildren populate the distant planet, should they arrive.

This is almost entirely a story aboard a ship. Might have made a good play, but it’s a bit weak as a movie. Think Lord of The Flies in space and you kind of have something like what this reproduces.

Tye Sheridan who we last saw in Ready Player One is an actor with seemingly one dramatic expression. I don’t know if it’s wonder or dumfounded but it gets tiring after 30 minutes of this movie. He doesn’t strike me as a leader and unconvincingly plays one here.

The movie isn’t all bad. There are moments which kind of redeem it, like the whole issue of “taking the blue” a drug meant to subdue their inner desires. That was what I thought the movie would be about in the trailer, but that is only part of the tale. Like there would be some grand conspiracy.

Sat on this review for a few days, trying to see what this movie left behind. Like so many new movies we’ve seen since the pandemic begin, there just wasn’t a lot of soul there. Sure, we’ve seen a few good movies here and there. This isn’t one of them.

So, we left the theater, recording our non-spoiler video review and both agreed this movie was … just an OK experience. Not terrible, but not good. The box art teases that this might be a more raunchy space film than it is. Something like a hyper-sexed up Ammonite in space with a bunch of horny teens. Why couldn’t we get those Voyagers? No, not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️½ (Kara)

Opening 4-9-2021 in Theaters: Voyagers

Thursday, week #15 of 2021 (4/9 – 4/11/2021).

Talk about provocative box art. Not sure what to think from the trailer for this sci-fi film, but I like a good dose of sci-fi now and again. The last sci-fi film we saw in theaters was Chaos Walking, and I liked that one.

Voyagers

A science fiction film starring Tye Sheridan from Ready Player One. Sheridan was good the last time I saw him and haven’t seen him in much else, so good too see him again in this film.

Anticipation: 6/10

Wherever you are watching movies this weekend, happy watching to you

Raya And The Last Dragon⭐️⭐️⭐️

Raya And The Last Dragon – PG-13 – 1 hr 54 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday April 2, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
17th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Several kingdoms are protected by a giant gem that was forged by dragons in a pact to keep the water-fearing Druins away from turning people to stone. When the kingdoms can’t agree on who will control the gem, it breaks into five pieces.

Raya’s father casts her into the river to embark on a quest to reunite the kingdoms, piece back together the five gems and summon the final dragon to assist.

We took our grandchildren to see this in the theater, age 6 and 4 and surprisingly (to us anyway) they made it through the entire movie without bailing. This was a first. Apparently, they had seen this at their house several times, so must have been a premium buy through Disney+ for that. They liked it enough to stay with it, and it seemed a little more suited to young girls than boys, but hey, we were excited they watched it all the way through again (for them).

As for us? It was an entertaining movie. The kind that Disney knows how to crank out on an assembly line. It is lacking the music and songs that normally accompany movies like this. There’s like one moment, maybe two, where Raya starts to break into singing something, but it’s not a full song.

So, this becomes a quest movie with the goal pretty clear: try to retrieve all five gems so the dragon can help them reassemble into a single, big gem. This keeps viewers engaged, because we want to see what happens if/when they get all those gem pieces back. Along the way obstacles and conflicts are thrown in their way.

When we talked about the movie, Kara and I felt similarly toward it. Not bad, not amazing, just kind of an average Disney animated movie. Would we have paid $30 for this to see as part of Disney+ premium? Nope. Glad we saw it with our grandchildren. They had a good time.

No, we don’t recommend this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. It’s the kind of movie when it finally appears on Disney+ without the $30 fee that you might want to check out. Again, I think younger girls would be more interested in this movie than boys. Adults will not be bored by it, so that’s a win.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Godzilla vs. Kong⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Godzilla vs. Kong – PG-13 – 1 hr 53 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday April 1, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
16th new movie seen in theater in 2021

“Kong bows to no one.” This is one of the early-on quotes for this film and really sets up the giant hairy gorilla forced to be captive in a Truman-like sphere with fake jungle environment surroundings. Meanwhile, Godzilla is out there waiting for him to make an appearance so he can fight him to see who is the #1 Apex monster.

When I was growing up, watching those old Godzilla and Kong movies, I was amazed by how big the monsters were. In a versus movie like this, we want to see some major battling between the two. Eventually, we get this, but it takes a little while in the story.

There is an almost completely unnecessary substory involving a conspiracy theorist with a podcast, an ex-employee of Apex, which is playing the evil big company role and a girl. The only real human story of interest that matters, however, is Kong and the deaf girl that do sign language between each other. Let’s be honest, it’s the monsters facing off, perhaps smashing some giant cities in the process — that’s what we want to see here.

While leaving the movie theater, we talked in more depth about these types of movies. Kara has almost zero interest in these types of films. I make a mistake in our just left the theater calling a mcguffin and Mcguvyer lol, oh well.

What you really want to know is whether or not you should see this in the theater? On the big screen or on streaming? I’m saying no to streaming, but yes to on the big screen. We saw this in 3D but that was basically unused, so you don’t need to worry about 3D, just go see it while it’s in the theater if you can. If you like this type of movie and can get past the first act and into the second act, you’ll likely enjoy it.

However, if you’re like Kara, this not being your type of movie, then skip it. Nothing that new here.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  (Todd) NR (Kara)