Welcome to the BRAG’s weekly rundown of what’s hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Those of you with a taste for the macabre should be making their way to Dendy Newtown’s fiendish festival of fear, A Night Of Horror, which kicks off on Thursday. Would you like to know more? (Link NSFW)
As for the majors, this week sees the return of a working class hero, celebrity arthouse, bios on liars and schmaltzy Christmas dreck. Let’s get into it.
No stranger to the underdog story, Michael B. Jordan now steps into the largest shoes he’s ever had to fill – those of his fictional padre, Apollo Creed. After a youth spent in and out of prison, Creed Jr. is gifted with a mentor in and out of the ring, none other than former world heavyweight champion of the world, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
Boxing films tend to all be very similar, but this one has the added drama of seeing the great Rocky brought low by his failing body. My only hope for this film is that it will make me forget the steaming pile of protein packed turd that was Southpaw. And it might help Jordan forget this.
tl;dr Let’s hope he goes better than the last guy.
BY THE SEA
The pun here is a gimme, so I’mma let you run that on your own. In her fourth directorial outing (and second as writer), Angelina Jolie Pitt teams up with IRL husband Brad Pitt to recreate what the trailers paint as a two-hour-long domestic. But in France! In the ’70s!
Despite a clear sense of style, and two fine lead actors, it’s been poorly received by critics who complain of its “narrative inertia“. But if you’re in the mood to watch a celebrity couple slowly destroy each other in a delightful coastal setting, maybe it’s your jam?
tl;dr Imagine Mr. & Mrs. Smith but without the guns (read: fun).
“It’s just this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true.”
If you raged at Oprah’s tell-all interview with cyclist and doper Lance Armstrong, you weren’t alone. Journalist David Walsh was there from the start, convinced that everything that took Lance to the top was pumped into his veins, and it’s his book that provides the basis for this docudrama.
Ben Foster – in a career-enhancing performance for which he went very method – portrays Armstrong as almost entirely villainous, but it’s an engaging tale nonetheless. And hey, Chris O’Dowd.
tl;dr Once again, the abuse of science gets Foster flying.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
I don’t want to be that guy who shits on family films. Really, I don’t. Sony Animations, however, has always had a wildly hit-and-miss output, and the painfully unfunny trailers for both of the Hotel Transylvania films make this seem like one purely for the littl’uns.
It has Adam Sandler in it, and no-one needs that. Plus the reviews thus far have called it “better than the first, which is not saying much”.
Save your popcorn money, buy any DVD by Pixar, Ghibli or Henry Selick and actually enjoy your quality family time.
tl;dr MAKE ONE MORE STAKE GAG SANDLER I DARE YOU I DOUBLE DARE YOU
LOVE THE COOPERS
No matter how great the actor, errbody gots to get paid. Diane Keaton, John Goodman and Alan Arkin are all after that sweet Christmas bonus in a flick that’s bound to make box office before permanently vanishing from memory.
You want to get in the Christmas spirit? Try The Nightmare Before Christmas, Die Hard, Home Alone, It’s A Wonderful Life, Gremlins, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or the incredible Invader Zim Christmas special. And watch this space to find out when the potentially amazing Krampus hits our screens…
tl;dr ‘Tis the season once again to bow down before the power of Santa.
And now for THE VERDICT – maybe you only get the chance to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don’t wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please…
Man, tough week. Though Creed looks like it could be a contender, I’m putting my money on the Tour de Lance for its rage-inducing intrigues and stellar performances. The Program earned this victory fair and square.
Until next week!