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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jan 082020
 

January 7

  • Joker

    photo for Joker Director Todd Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story that explores the psyche of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study. Vitals: Director: Todd Phillips. Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Drama, Box office gross: $133.035 million, Warner. Extras: “Joker: Vision & Fury,” “Becoming Joker,” “Please Welcome… Joker!,” “Joker: A Chronicle of Chaos.” 4 stars

  • The Lighthouse

    photo for The Lighthouse Hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. As an approaching storm threatens to sweep them from the rock and strange apparitions emerge from the fog, each man begins to suspect that the other has become dangerously unmoored. Vitals: Director: Robert Eggers. Stars: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $10.392 million, Lionsgate. Extras: “The Lighthouse: A Dark & Stormy Tale” featurette, audio Commentary with co-writer & director Robert Eggers, deleted scenes. 2 stars

 

January 14

  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    photo for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent” carries on the story of Disney’s most iconic villain. The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. Their relationship, born of heartbreak, revenge and ultimately love, has flourished. Yet hatred between man and the fairies still exists. Aurora’s impending marriage to Prince Philip is cause for celebration as the wedding serves to unite the Kingdom of Ulstead and the neighboring Moors. But, when an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be a family. Vitals: Director: Joachim Rønning. Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Harris Dickinson, Sam Riley, Chiwetel Ejiofor. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 118 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $111.615 million, Disney. Extras: Extended scenes, “Origins of the Fey” featurette, “Aurora’s Wedding ” featurette, “If You Had Wings” visual effects featurette, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” VFX reel, outtakes,” “You Can’t Stop The Girl” music video performed by Bebe Rexha. 3 stars

  • Gemini Man

    photo for >Gemini Man Will Smith stars as retired hitman Henry Brogan, forced on the run by a young, highly skilled operative — a clone of his younger self — who will stop at nothing to eliminate his target. Now on a race around the globe, Henry must outsmart the mysterious assassin at every step. Vitals: Director: Ang Lee. Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 117 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $48.546 million, Paramount. Extras: Alternate opening, deleted scenes, “The Genesis of Gemini Man,” “Facing Your Younger Self,” The Future Is Now,” “Setting the Action,” “Next Level Detail,” “The Vision of Ang Lee.” 2 stars

 

January 21

  • Pain and Glory

    photo for Pain and Glory Drawing on his own life, director Pedro Almodóvar tells a series of re-encounters experienced by Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered: his childhood in the 60s, when he emigrated with his parents to a village in Valencia in search of prosperity, the first desire, his first adult love in the Madrid of the 80s, the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense, writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the void, the infinite void that creates the incapacity to keep on making films. In recovering his past, Salvador finds the urgent need to recount it, and in that need he also finds his salvation. Vitals: Director: Pedro Almodóvar. Stars: Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Nora Navas, Julieta Serrano, Penélope Cruz. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.606 million, Sony. Extras: Q&A with Almodóvar and Banderas, “Pedro Almodóvar: In His Own Words” featurette. 3 stars

  • Zombieland: Double Tap

    photo for Zombieland: Double Tap Set one decade after the events of the first film, this sequel finds Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and Wichita (Emma Stone) working together as a well-oiled, zombie-killing machine with a new home in the now-vacant White House. These four slayers must face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. But most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family. Vitals: Director: Ruben Fleischer. Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia, Thomas Middleditch. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Horror Comedy, Box office gross: $72.224 million, Sony. Extras: Extended bloopers & outtakes; alternate & extended scenes; “The Doppelgangers”: In-depth piece breaks down doppelgangers Flagstaff and Albuquerque and comes complete with interviews, demonstrations, and multiple cameras to snag all the action in their wild scenes; “The Rides of Zombieland” featurette; “Rules of Making a Zombie Film”; “Making Babylon”; “New Blood”; “Single Take Doppelganger Fight”; commentary with director Ruben Fleischer; “Zombieland Ad Council.” 3 stars

  • The Addams Family

    photo for The Addams Family Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family — Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma — are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realizes that the Addams’ eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighborhood. The very first full-length animated film about the eccentric and unconventional family, based on the beloved characters created by Charles Addams. Vitals: Director: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. Stars: Voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler And Allison Janney. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 86 min., Animated Comedy, Box office gross: $96.416 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, “Welcome to the Family” making of/character profiles, “Life of a Scene” storyboards, “Charades with Thing,” “Addams Family Throwback,” “Haunted Heart” lyric video performed by Christina Aguilera, “My Family” lyric video performed by Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia & Snoop Dogg. 3 stars

 

January 28

  • Parasite

    photo for Parasite Meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, Parasite showcases a modern master at the top of his game. Vitals: Director: Bong Joon-ho. Stars: Kang Ho Song, Sun Kyun Lee, Yeo Jeong Cho, Woo Shik Choi, So Dam Park Directors: Joon Ho Bong. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 132 min., Drama, Box office gross: $20.350 million, Universal. Extras: TBA. 4 stars

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    photo for Terminator: Dark Fate Decades after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”), a lethal new Terminator is sent to eliminate the future leader of the resistance. In a fight to save mankind, battle-hardened Sarah teams up with an unexpected ally (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and an enhanced super soldier to stop the deadliest Terminator yet while humanity’s fate hangs in the balance. Vitals: Director: Tim Miler. Stars: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 128 min., Sci Fi Action, Box office gross: $62.093 million, Paramount. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, “A Legend Reforged,” “World Builders,” “Dam Busters: The Final Showdown,” “VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly.” 3 stars

  • Harriet

    photo for Harriet Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter. Tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Haunted by memories of those she left behind, Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) ventures back into dangerous territory on a mission to lead others to freedom. With allies like abolitionist William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.) and the entrepreneurial Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monáe), Harriet risks capture and death to guide hundreds to safety as one of the most prominent conductors of the Underground Railroad. Witness the story of a woman who defied impossible odds to change the course of her life and the fate of the nation. Vitals: Director: Kasi Lemmons. Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Janelle Monáe. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 124 min., Drama, Box office gross: $42.778 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted scenes, “Her Story” behind-the-scenes featurette, “Becoming Harriet” featurette, commentary with Co-writer and Director Kasi Lemmons. 3 stars

  • Motherless Brooklyn

    photo for Motherless Brooklyn Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation. Vitals: Director: Edward Norton. Stars: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Mann, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Ethan Suplee, Alec Baldwin, Dallas Roberts, Michael Kenneth Williams, Fisher Stevens, Cherry Jones. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 144 min., Crime Drama, Box office gross: $9.277 million, Warner. 2 stars

 Posted by on January 8, 2020  Add comments

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