Films That Opened in America December 1-3 & 8-10, 2017

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The Disaster Artist (IMDB 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes 92%) – Sure, the clips I’ve watched of ‘The Room’ but the obsession with it leading to this film I find rather baffling. As someone on Twitter observed, why is this film singled out as a particular low point when there is so much bombastic, big-budget dreck made so often on an annual basis? The film’s gotten a lot of critical praise (and received a generally favourable review by our Jackrabbit Slim) but this feels like a pointless film made for hipsters; naturally James Franco is directing and starring in it.

The Shape of Water (8.1, 94%) – Very well-received sci-fi film that has an intriguing premise (a mute janitor in a 1960s research facility discovers a mysterious underwater creature). May be worth seeking out, especially as I’ve never seen a Guillermo Del Toro film.

I, Tonya (7.8, 90%) – Even in the pre-Internet, pre-social media early 1990s, the Tonya Harding saga became a major news event not just in the USA, but here in Australia and I remember it quite well. Has been getting very good reviews and star Margot Robbie is definitely being talked up as an Oscar contender.

Wonder Wheel (6.3, 30%) – Woody Allen’s latest got a favourable review from our Jackrabbit Slim but going by Rotten Tomatoes, seems to be close to the worst film Allen has been associated with. Heck, even the notorious misfire he acted in ‘Scenes From A Mall’ has a better RT rating. Can the film really be that bad? I can’t help but wonder what’s happened in Hollywood post-Weinstein in the last few months (and the refocus on Allen’s past personal troubles) has led to critics subconsciously treat the film harsher than they otherwise would have.

Just Getting Started (3.8, 5%) – A Ron Shelton film starring Rene Russo, Tommy Lee Jones and Rene Russo surely will be one of the most anticipated films of the month… if it were 1992. As it’s not, this film sank without trace and judging by its RT score deserved to. Judging by its trailer full of broad and inept comedy it deserved to. Also in the cast is Glenne Headley in one of her final film roles.

Titanic Re-Release 20th Anniversary (IMDB 7.8, RT 88%) – I actually didn’t realise this film got a re-release until checking Box Office Mojo. I guess all that I want to say in the film can be found on a 2007 article I wrote on here looking at 10 years since the film’s release (and it’s still the only film on it’s initial release I’ve been to the cinema to see multiple times).

The Polar Express re-release (6.6, 55%) – Why this film is getting a re-release is a mystery to me. Wasn’t this largely derided and considered a particularly awkward example of that live-action animated trend which seems to have mercifully gone out of style.

The Swindlers (6.2, 40%) – South Korean heist film

The Other Side Of Hope (7.3, 91%) – Well-reviewed drama from Finland looking at the refugee crisis

Big Time (6.5, 91%) – Looks at a famed Danish architect and the challenges around designing one of the buildings that will replace the World Trade Centre buildings. Based on the trailer, seems pretty thin material to base a cinema documentary on.

Naples ’44 (6.5, 57%) – Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the documentation of the thoughts of a British solider who arrived in the famed Italian town late in WW2 and how the town survived and prospered afterwards

Quest (7.5, 100%) – This documentary of the struggles of a working-class family in Philadelphia over many years has gotten universal praise from 43 critics on RT so obviously is quality, yet seems to have not broken out amongst audiences as yet even by documentary standards

Another Wolfcop (4.4, 60%) – The title says it all, it’s about a… wolf that’s a cop. Canadian-made comedy is a sequel to a 2014 film and this film seems most notable for having a movie poster parodying the one from Sylvester Stallone’s Cobra.

Brotherhood of Blades II: The Internal Battlefield (6.9, no RT score) – Chinese action film set in medieval times

Shadowman (7.3, 92%) – Doco on a famed street artist whose destroyed by personal demons but has a chance of a comeback decades later

Tad The Lost Explorer and the King Of Midas (6.4, no RT score) – Animated Spanish film.

Badsville (8.5, no RT score) – According to its IMDB page it’s about “A violent greaser gang is ripped apart when their leader finds love and is determined to leave Badsville – a town where love doesn’t exist.” !?!

Oro (5.5, no RT Score) – Spainish adventure drama about the search for gold in the 16th century

Kepler’s Dream (6.2, 50%) – American film about an 11 year old girl’s search for a rare book that hopefully will explain the troubles in her family. Holland Taylor & Kelly Lynch are amongst the adult members of the cast.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes (5.3, 67%) – Family drama set in California. Jennifer Garner is one of the stars.

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