Going in Style, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

No formal “In Theaters” Column This Week

Alec Baldwin, The Boss Baby

I’m on the road this week, so no formal “In Theaters” column, but a quick check in.  Could all of my readers who took their urchins to The Boss Baby last week and made it $50 million dollars please raise their right hands?  Ok, I just used telekinetic powers to slice off those hands which I feel is proportional punishment for inflicting us with a puppy hating, suit wearing, ankle biter who is now-as we speak-getting a sequel put into development.  NO I AM NOT BITTER YOU RUINED MY WINNING STREAK!  Yes, I am bitter.  And I think the stupid thing will edge out Beauty and the Beast over this weekend again (though the latter will probably pass the $1 billion mark  globally later this week).  The new releases this weekend: The Case for Christ, Smurfs 3….5….18…frankly I lost track, and Going in Style won’t challenge either of them.  So smug baby Jack Donaghy will win again.  Evil triumphs.  Hope fades.  Never have I been so happy that a Fast and the Furious movie was on the horizon.

7 thoughts on “No formal “In Theaters” Column This Week”

  1. Dave, I’m not trying to blaspheme, I’m really not, but Beauty and the Beast is superior to the original in almost every respect. It also stands on its own quite well.

    I had no problem with the CGI on the Beast. I was not taken out of the movie once. Maybe that just means I’ve become inured to CGI and its limitations. But on the whole, I loved the balance between the technology and the timelessness. Be Our Guest was incredible and magical, and could only be realized digitally; “Belle” and “Gaston” were equally wonderful, yet could have been choreographed and shot back in the golden age of Hollywood.

    The additions to the story all enhance it. The expanded backstories given to Belle and the Beast serve to give the two of them a common trauma, and the extra material brings them together in a way that’s a bit more believable. Also, it helps that now there’s a reason for the servants to have been punished, too. And when Belle learns the truth about what happened to her mother, that closes the door on her past, and she realizes you can’t go home again, but must move forward. And the wonderful, touching presence of Kevin Kline’s Maurice explains why she’s the way she is.

    The washing machine scene was fine. The machine was completely and utterly superfluous, since Belle was teaching a girl to read in that same scene, which would have been reason enough for the townsfolk to turn against her, but it was still a nice, dramatic visual touch, with the barrel and the donkey, so I’m not complaining.

    I was unprepared for how much I would enjoy Josh Gad as LeFou, because in the original he was just a nondescript comic minion. Yes, it was pretty obvious throughout the remake that he was gay, but while his big musical number really had him acting flamboyant, I thought that otherwise, the part was extremely well-written and acted. I do, however, wonder why Disney chose THIS character to be transgressive with, because he’s pretty loathsome. He does show small signs of a conscience throughout, but even at the end he does not really find redemption, he just turns against Gaston because Gaston leaves him to die. Anyway the controversy is ridiculous, children are not even going to pick up on it.

    Everyone who says Emma Watson’s voice is weak is crazy. She might not be Broadway caliber, but she’s close. Also the costumes and sets appeared to be authentic to the period, and the verisimilitude enhanced the movie.

    My only complaints? Ewan MacGregor, bless his soul, is an incredible actor, but his French accent is beyond horrible in this movie. And he had Jerry Orbach’s indelible performance to live up to. I thought the new songs were all forgettable. The lyrics by Tim Rice were fine, but the great Alan Menken is capable of better compositions. Even the song “Forevermore,” which is so memorably staged, instantly slipped out of my mind. The stage musical adaptation from the 1990’s had some wonderful additional songs. I wish some of those had been used. Menken and Rice needed to write one Oscar-bait song, and stop.

    Also, that crude gag at the end involving the dog actually upset me. It was completely out of place. It was like they couldn’t resist themselves; they couldn’t leave well enough alone. They had made a timeless movie free from crassness. Why? Why? Why?

    Anyway, this is a wonderful film, pure magic, pure escapism. Another home run from Disney. After this and the Jungle Book, I’m sold. I’m really looking forward to Tim Burton”s Dumbo BTW. Burton gets so much garbage heaped on him, yet his output from the past decade or so is simply uneven. He’ll be shooting Dumbo for the same studio as Alice, and it will follow the same template. Disney would not have hired Burton if he had told them he wanted to make a disturbing film. The original is sadly obscure these days, at least as far as Disney classics go. It was almost made to be remade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you liked it for completely different reasons but the three new songs are certainly not forgettable. Without the addition of the Beast number I would have knocked a point off the film. Also it was the transitioning between practical effects and cgi that caused the problem. But I am glad you liked it. Mulan is next. My health has prevented me from writing much which has been frustrating. Still need to review Logan and Kong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dave go online and listen to three songs from the stage production: If I Can’t Love Her, Human Again, and Home. And I think you will see what I mean about the new songs in the movie. I loved the Forevermore scene beyond love, but the song just did not do it.


      2. Ive heard them and we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Human Again really didn’t go with their ending a wtf with the pissing dog? Idiot note on what was overall a really outstanding telling of the tale.


  2. Get Out was a pure joy from start to finish. Scary, smart, and satirical without being preachy. That last part is important. Few satirists know how to do that. I loved it so much I’m planning to catch it again soon, while it is still in theaters. I am suddenly Peele’s biggest fan and I pray he turns down Akira and makes another original film. Akira would be a no win situation for any genuinely talented filmmaker. Peeled hardly needs to deal with all that.


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