More January dumps, but the first likely box office hit of the year, starring everyone’s favorite Chinese bear.
That would be Po of Kung Fu Panda 3 (65), which will be the destination of many families this weekend, especially after those on the East Coast were cooped up last weekend because of the snowstorm. I’ve seen both of the Kung Fu Panda movies on DVD–I’ve found the animation to be excellent but the story telling a tad hyper. But then again, I’m also a member of AARP. Lou Lumenick: “The stunning visuals in DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 surpass the high standards set by its predecessors, but storywise, the latest adventures of goofy Po the panda break no new ground.”
The Wayans’ are still making parodies, and the new one is Fifty Shades of Black (31), a take-off on Fifty Shades of Grey, which wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, but I suppose is ripe for parody. I don’t see these kind of movies (I’ve never been a Scary Movie fan) but I suppose they fit a need. Scott Tobias: “At a minimum, a parody should be funnier than the film it’s sending up, but Fifty Shades of Black, a quick-and-dirty riff on last year’s S&M romance “Fifty Shades of Grey,” falls a laugh or two short of even that low standard.”
After spending years in development hell and then on the shelf for a few more, Jane Got a Gun (46) has finally been released. It’s interesting that since her Oscar (and her baby), Natalie Portman has put out nothing but dreck. I will probably catch up with this on DVD. And I will be humming the Aerosmith song all the way through. The script was on the Blacklist. Chris Nashawaty: “Since the film’s last-minute rewrites, casting switcheroos, and musical chairs behind the camera are irrelevant to the actual quality of the movie, I’ll avoid rehashing them here, save to say that the disarray shows on screen.”
Most reviews are commenting on the old-fashionedness of The Finest Hours (58), when white guys were men and their women loved them. Republicans will probably like it, and maybe some liberals who are into rescue dramas and/or weather porn. Stephen Holden: “The Finest Hours is a moderately gripping whoosh of nostalgia that shamelessly recycles the ’50s cliché of the squeaky-clean all-American hero.”