Coming Soon Trailers: Coco, The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Disney/Pixar owns the only wide release with the animated underworld romp Coco, but indie continue to thrive in November.
This month has been dominated by the giants such as super-hero flicks and Disney films at the top of the food chain, but it seems that plenty of scraps are winding up falling to smaller films. Victoria and Abdul, Lady Bird, and LBJ all had solid weekends up against the earth-shattering battles of the comic book world. This week Pixar is understandably looking to be the big noise with its latest animated offering, Coco, while in limited release we get another Scrooge story and Denzel Washinton looks to hoard his Oscar gold.
On the rental market we have the usual cast of characters: a horror movie, a documentary, and a relationship drama. We’re just missing a Danny Trejo or Dolph Lundgren action flick to round out our VOD bingo card!
Young Miguel wants to follow in the musical footsteps of his idol Ernesto De La Cruz, but his family has forbidden music. Miguel decides to run away, but winds up going a bit too far from home…all the way to the land of the dead! Guided by a trickster spirit, Miguel must explore the spirit world in order to discover his family’s troubled history with music, hone his talents, and hopefully wind up back among the living!
See It?: Yes.
Our review for this film beat our preview to the punch, so you can get the full run down here. The short story is that Pixar has created another gem that delights in exploring Mexican pop culture and social customs with their trademark stellar visuals and soundtrack. Just realize you have to sit through 20 minutes of a Frozen featurette first!
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Roman Israel is a defense attorney with a strong sense of scruples. He often defends the weak and downtrodden, receiving little in the way of gratitude from the people he helps. When the senior partner of a high priced firm dies suddenly, Roman is offered the chance to cash in. Struggling with his morals while also feeling like its time to do some good for himself, he sets up an explosive confrontation with some of his former clients.
See It?: Yes.
I like the period style of this piece, and Denzel is always capable of bringing a big character to life. With a solid support cast and an unconventional plot, I like this one to be a sleeper surprise.
The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Deep in debt and in trouble with his publishers, Charles Dickens is desperate for another hit story. Taking the people around him and blending them with his wild imagination, he soon hits upon the story of a miser who hates the holidays – creating the most famous Christmas story in history and the worlds best loved humbug, Ebenezer Scrooge.
See It?: Maybe.
I think this will be fine for families, though it’s begging for sentimental support so hard I’m worried that its going to be all nostalgia and little substance. Christopher Plummer is usually excellent and Dan Stevens brings an eccentricity to Dickens that is refreshing. I’m quietly hopeful this will be a Christmas present better than novelty socks.
Video On Demand.
A disgraced detective is convinced that a string of brutal murders in his backwater town is the work of a supernatural monster.
See It?: Sure.
This looks like your fairly typical SAW-esque torture killer flick. There’s just enough flavor to overcome the so-so acting and make this interesting. If you like the genre, this might be a nice holiday treat.
Above Ground Level: Dubfire.
A documentary exploring the personal and professional life of Ali Shirzasinia, the Iranian-American DJ and producer known as Dubfire.
See It?: Netflix it.
Netflix is for documentaries™
After 15 years, Boris and Marie decide to separate. Despite trying to put on a brave face for their two daughters, the separation becomes nasty when Boris uses his inability to afford to move out as a wedge to try to force himself back into the marriage.
See It?: Yes.
The description really doesn’t do justice to how tense and creepy this drama is. Boris is obviously using every trick in the book to undercut and stockholme syndrome his way back into this marriage.
Malcolm and Lily wanted to take NYC by storm after graduating, but wound up getting soaked. They are forced to retreat to Malcolm’s grandparents home, a managed “Active Adult” living community. There, the two young grads realize that they have more in common with their elders than they ever expected.
See It?: Maybe.
While this gets a touch cute in the beginning, it starts to show its teeth towards the end. A novel observation about society runs through it: the current generation has their claws on the levers of power so totally that the young AND the old are left marginalized. The comedy varies from mordant to obvious, so this really is going to rest on if the film can manage to say something interesting about its premise.
A wealthy man dies in a suspicious manner, but his family does not want to involve the police lest they discover some unsavory personal secrets. A former spy now turned private detective is called in to solve the crime, but must first navigate the thorny relationships between the man’s young widow, an eccentric actress, and the matriarch of the family.
See It?: Yes.
Based on the resurgent library of Agatha Christie, this film is packed with talent and sports some excellent cinematography. Hopefully the mystery bears out a bit better than Murder on the Orient Express, but at least you can be sure that the performances will be solid.