Coming Soon Trailers: Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, Sing.

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Coming Soon Trailers: Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, Sing.

There’s a present under the tree for lovers of every movie type this week.

We certainly will have no shortage of films to choose from this holiday week:  we have four wide releases, three of which hit theaters yesterday, and we have a last minute scramble from many smaller movies with Oscar aspirations to make it to the cinemaplex in order to be considered.  On the VOD homefront, we only get one new release on HBO.  Looks like our fortunes lie at the theater this weekend.

Coming Soon Trailers: Assassin's Creed, Passengers, Sing.
Lots to see.

Wide Release

Assassin’s Creed

A convict is given a second chance by a shadowy group that has the power to implant his consciousness into the mind of his ancestors.  They hope that be reliving the exploits of his legendary assassin forebear, they can find a magical item he stole that has the power to change life as we know it.

See It?:  Skip It.

The early reviews are not very positive, and the faint praise has it pretty much as a mindless action flick with an convoluted and over-long plot.  Video game adaptations are risky business, and tend to either gloss the source material or bog down on all of the ludicrous details.  This one seems to be the latter.

Passengers

An Ark ship carrying humans to a distant star experiences a malfunction, waking two passengers from cryogenic sleep decades ahead of schedule.  The two realize that this is a death sentence, as they will grow old and die long before they reach their destination.  As they unravel the malfunction that has stranded them in time, they find that they may be all the stands between the sleeping crew and destruction.

See It?:  Rent it.

I’m going to advise a rental here, as the film has just failed to distinguish itself.  The trailers look both tedious and overwrought, and I don’t feel any chemistry between Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, both of whom can handle a Sci-Fi film but really tend to shine in ensembles.  That being said, I’m a sucker for Science Fiction and will probably review it anyway.

Sing

A singing contest gives hope to a group of unlikely animated animals, each with dreams of finding their voice and making the big time.

See It?:  Yes.

This movie just looks all sorts of charming and has a tremendous amount of talent in the voice department.  I’m not a huge fan of the talent show genre, but this one has the music and the charisma to make me interested.  Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions) is definitely putting their stamp on animation lately.

Why Him?

A normal middle class dad finds out that his daughter is dating an eccentric millionaire with a penchant for wild living.  When he meets the counter-culture icon, he vows to stop relationship any way he can.

See It?:  Skip It.

Bryan Cranston needs to find some better scripts.  Godzilla was a bust for him, Power Rangers is dubious, and this generic generational clash looks like complete dreck.  James Franco just needs to stop making movies.  Period.  His constant millenial riff on James Dean is getting old, fast.

Expanding

Fences

An African-American father who feels that he’s running out of opportunities tries to instill a drive for success into his son during the 1950’s, but his authoritative and driven parenting style threatens to tear apart his family.

See It?:  Yes.

This piece feels more suited to the stage than the screen, but Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are two powerhouses that should make this drama pop.

Limited Release

Dangal

A young man in India with a dream to wrestle in the Olympics has to shelve his dream in order to start a family.  He hopes to have a son to carry on his ambition, but has four daughters instead.  After his two eldest beat up some boys who were harassing them, the father realizes his fighting spirit is alive in his daughters, and trains them to compete.

See It?:  Yes.

This has been a strong year for films from India making their way to the US and finding an audience, and this story seems to be another contender for a Bollywood breakout.  It is a bit odd that the biggest films to come from India these days are all about Olympic wrestling…

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

A father and son who work in a corners office get a mysterious body without identification…or apparently a cause of death.  As they search for clues, they discover a horrifying mystery.

See It?:  Rent It.

The initial premise is captivating, a murder mystery in reverse…but then the standard horror movie stuff starts to take over the trailer.  I hope it’s just a hook to entice fans of the genre and that it plays with the creepy detective elements longer than the trailer implies.

Silence

A pair of Jesuit missionaries head to Japan to discover they whereabouts of their mentor in the order, who has gone missing.  In the 17th century, foreigners are distrusted, and religious missionaries are illegal, making the journey for the two young priests all the more perilous.

See It?:  Yes.

I can’t wait for this one to expand.  Martin Scorsese adapting an award winning Japanese novel with a lush historical setting and a talented young cast (James Garfield and Adam Driver)?  Yes, please.

A Monster Calls

A young boy trying to navigate his mother’s terminal illness, his emotionally cold grandmother, and a vicious school bully finds an unlikely friend in a monstrous living tree that visits his window and tells him fantastic stories.

See It?:  Yes.

A stellar cast and interesting premise should make this film resonate.  The film is gorgeous, and should at the very least be a visual treat.

Video On Demand

Risky Drinking

A documentary takes a look at the culture of “casual” drinking that leads four people to experience all sorts of problems due to alcohol abuse.

See It?:  Maybe.

This documentary comes from two very prominent film makers, but I am wary for a couple of reasons.  One, it is sponsored by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, so is going to be slanted towards anti-drinking.  Two, four anecdotes are great for making an emotional connection but lousy for illustrating a scientifically meaningful message.  This film is going to have to back up its stories with numbers and hopefully address both sides of the issue if it doesn’t want to become just another polemic documentary.

 

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