20+ The Hunt Reviews – Not as politically charged, but not that good either

The Hunt ⭐️⭐️

Like other moviegoers, I was intrigued by the controversy surrounding the movie’s initial release and subsequent pull and delay.

After seeing it, the hype wasn’t deserved. It wasn’t a bad film, but it wasn’t as politically offensive as charged. Really, that’s my biggest beef with the film, or pork, rather, since a pig is on the box art.

Despite the controversy that was led by people who hadn’t even seen his movie, Zobel says he supported Universal’s decision to shelve the film out of respect for the victims of the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. As much as the film’s principals wanted to defend their movie against the false narrative around it, Zobel and Co. opted to take the high road and not push back.

Why ‘The Hunt’ Director Decided Not to Push Back Against Critics | Hollywood Reporter

Time to dig into my critique, which will contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen The Hunt and want to, then you might want to bookmark this post and come back after seeing the movie. Don’t want to ruin it for you.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS AHEAD ….

Political satire that panders to both sides is a difficult sell

Really, this movie would have been better if it went all in on either side of the politics. Instead, the main character is more centrist in behavior and actions, which leaves either extreme political side, right or left, sort of hanging.

If you’re hellbent on making a movie about killing “deplorables” based on a tweet, then why hold back?

This movie felt like it kept wanting to pull back on being extreme — except in the case of the violence. A mistake.

The controversy surrounding the movie raised my expectations to a level that didn’t deliver. It’s like the movie Faces of Death promising to be the most shocking, gruesome thing I ever saw and it was “banned in 50 countries.” All that hype led me to a certain expectation.

This movie failed to deliver on being as extreme as it wanted to be.

Before you can have a message or agenda or subtext, you need an entertaining movie

The basic premise of the movie has been done before — and better. People waking up in an unfamiliar situation and facing death. Go see Cube or Saw. Much better movies about people waking up in strange, perilous circumstances.

As for people being hunted for sport? How about The Running Man or Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target.

Reviews by Others

Let’s see what others are saying about The Hunt.

Recommended

  1. Cookie N Screen: “…is enjoyable in places but heavily misguided. It feels too much like a gaggle of writers got together and frothed at the mouth to provide the internet with something to get angry about. It’s just – if you are going there, go the whole hog.”
  2. Danielle Vanderstock: “I went in with a pretty good idea of what I would see and I had a good time. Mostly I just enjoyed Betty Gilpin’s brilliant acting and want to see her in more stuff immediately.”
  3. Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “This is a wonderful satire that will get laughs that will make you think about who you word things in your own life, with a outstanding leading performance from Betty Gilpin.”
  4. Full Circle Cinema / Cleve Barber Jr: “This film is an absolute blast for fans of thriller films. But The Hunt takes things to another level in its final stretch, connecting its story to the classic work Animal Farm. Its incorporation into the film is magnificently brilliant, putting a through line between two works of political satire.”
  5. Nick Bartlett / critical popcorn (3/5): “Everyone is a caricature, from the overly woke liberals who happily murder people but balk at harming an animal, to the immigrant hating fanatics. If anything, the irreverence shown to both sides makes it less controversial”
  6. Nikko Soto (8/10): “Overall, I really enjoyed watching The Hunt and I’m grateful that the film was actually released.”
  7. No But Listen: “The Hunt, with its sharp wit, great action, and propulsive central performance from Betty Gilpin, is worth far more than just the controversy that surrounds it.”
  8. Stan The Man Movie Reviews (4/5): “While the movie has a less than original story arc, like horror films featuring a “last girl,” “The Hunt” approaches the toxic political climate with equal doses of humor and exaggeration. Liberals and conservatives alike should find things to love and hate in the film and, to me, that means it must be doing something right, annoying good people on both sides.”
  9. victorsmyname (3.5/5): “I would love to say that The Hunt, on the contrary, is saying more about human flaws than what an idealogue (who needs the world to function in a black-and-white manner, lest they sacrifice agenda for objectivity) can comprehend. But I don’t wanna make the movie seem too smart. It’s fun, though.”

Not Recommended (or undecided/unspecified)

  1. Amused in the Dark: “…a muddled mess with mildly entertaining death scenes that Spinal Tap would give the thumps up to. I am pretty sure the movie wasn’t taking itself too seriously, but then I go why not? If you are going to make this – take it seriously. If you aren’t going to take it seriously, make it funny. You have to pick…one. At least one.”
  2. Bringin the Juice: “…this is your typical Blumhouse affair, and I am not usually a huge fan of their stuff so you can imagine how I feel here. There are some fun action moments but overall the story and the lessons here just did not do it for me.”
  3. Daniel’s Dunkings: “…as a social satire it’s completely, utterly, magnificently toothless when it should have been tearing lumps out of both sides or even (whisper it) picked a side. But no, instead it’s a shell, a shadow, a pale imitation of the film it could have been.”
  4. David Crow / Den of Geek: “The Hunt so clearly wants to be Get Out and check its target audiences’ privilege. But in the end, it just feels like it spent 90 minutes saying, “I would’ve voted for Obama a third time if I could.”
  5. Halloween Year Round: “Among the stylized killing and dark sense of humor, the film equally pokes fun at liberal and conservative alike, spouting talking points, and discussing commonly debated issues (gun control, immigration, climate change, gender/race equality, etc.).”
  6. In Their Own League (2.5/5): “…is nothing more than an action-filled movie full of stereotypes that missed the opportunity to deliver a powerful message. This film is the live-action depiction of a social media post where both parties are attacking one another.”
  7. Just A Little Bit Random: “While some action works there’s a lot that focuses too much that dwells on blood and gore rather than the action. This is a film for fans of high gore horror, but not a great deal of others.”
  8. Matthew Liedke on Film (1.5/5): “…gives a feeling that it’s just trying too hard. The dark humor here is more eye-roll inducing than laugh producing, the characters aren’t all that great and the movie runs too long considering how simple of a story this is.”
  9. screenaddictreviews (6/10): “the new generation Hunger Games with real world controversy and minor jokes about racism and a whole lot of girl on girl fighting.”
  10. Society Reviews (1/5): “There is no messaging or propaganda in this movie, the writers aren’t smart enough to inject it so what you get is a hollow mess that makes you indifference for anyone who engages in politics.”
  11. The Game of Nerds (2.5/5): “…succeeds broadly, but loses itself in the details. Perhaps the complexity of today’s political conflicts require misfires like this, so that a better film can come along and truly nail it. In that sense, The Hunt may be remembered as the prototype for the film that adeptly satirizes the modern world. It’s the first film I can recall where the conflict centers squarely on a Twitter beef, but it won’t be the last.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

About 5% of China Theaters Reopening

Hey, it might only be 5%, but it’s a start.

State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.

China Theaters Begin to Reopen as Coronavirus Threat Recedes – Variety

If we look at the timeline, China closed theaters first, about 45 days ago, so if they are starting to reopen as the virus recedes, then we’re about 45 days out in the United States from seeing the same situation occur here.

Meanwhile, in Washington state where we reside, they just put a two-week order for people in non-essential businesses to stay at home. Both of our regular jobs are considered essential, so this will have no impact on us, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

45 days. It gets better. Theaters reopening anywhere sounds like life starting to return to normal.

Collapsing Theatrical Windows Are Not The End Of Cinema Life As We Know It

A lot of doomsday news out there right now and it’s getting tougher to avoid and stay positive. I’ve been saying almost since this blog started that the theatrical window needed to be reduced (see: It’s Time To Shrink Theatrical Window To 30 Days). 90 days is too long to wait for streaming. We’re in a “now, now, now!” society and any business that doesn’t adapt will die.

I didn’t write about this in October with any vision that there would be this coronavirus forcing hands, but if the movie theater chains would have been more receptive to streaming six months ago, they’d better be able to sell streaming as an alternative viewing option now. Remember how they dug in and wouldn’t let The Irishman screen in theaters because Netflix wasn’t honoring the all-too-sacred theatrical window?

What comes around goes around.

Vudu is advertising movies as “theater at home” I like that graphic (see top of post), but don’t care as much for the slogan. It’s not theater at home and can’t be unless you have a decent sized room with theater seating, a giant TV screen and superb sound quality.

Some people do. Most of them are wealthy. For the rest of the world, these are merely movies that were meant to be in the theaters, but currently are available at home because there is no where else to show them.

Studios are trying to ring some cash register anywhere during the current virus climate.

While the on-demand model may work or at least mitigate the damage for some movies that are shut out of theaters due to the virus, Greenfield says,“the math really doesn’t work” for big films. For low-budget or mid-range movies, releasing them on demand remains a gamble — an exercise in trying to solve an equation when variables are unknown.

Coronavirus Forces Movie Studios to Reckon With Collapsing Theatrical Windows | Hollywood Reporter

I tend to agree that for films with budgets exceeding $100 million it’s not likely to be as profitable, which is why when theaters can reopen they will and the big tentpole movies will encourage people to return to theaters.

Speaking from my own point of view, I want the theatrical window to shrink so more new movies that aren’t wide releases can be available sooner. There are dozens of movies that don’t even show up in local theaters that we’re unable to see. A few of them I’ve profiled here that I really wanted to see — but couldn’t (yet). If those movies launched simultaneously in limited screenings and on demand streaming, I could see more of these new movies.

Will admit again, as have done several times before, that we aren’t average moviegoers. We’re extreme moviegoers. We’ve seen around 100 new movies in theaters in the last six months, when the average moviegoer sees 3-4 movies in theaters a year. We’re not the norm.

The bigger problem than the theatrical window is film budgets. Studios need to go back to being more penny-pinching with film budgets. This will make it easier to turn a profit no matter how they decide to release films. Simultaneously releases for say movies with $10 million and less budgets will allow studios to explore new income opportunites.

And theater chains needs to get with the program. AMC has an on-demand streaming division, but it seems to be left out of their current gloom and doom conversations. Why aren’t they getting more creative about these options right now, actively and excitedly promoting them?

AMC is promoting on their website “theater on demand” which is their version of VUDU’s Video On Demand rental service (you can buy Onward from Disney for $20). Personally, I don’t see as much value in a rental for $20, but do see buying the movie for $20 as worthwhile. Heck, throw in bonus and behind the scenes and it makes for an at home price even more attractive.

Instead, AMC, is out there moaning and groaning about all their fixed costs and $0 revenue coming in and how they need a loan to keep their business afloat.

Aren’t they making any money from their (“new”) streaming? Must be greater than $0. Something isn’t adding up here.

Regal Closes All US Theaters, Suspends Billing for Unlimited Pass Customers

This is a sad day for movie theater fans. Finding a movie to play in a theater — any theater — in any United States city? Difficult, perhaps soon to be impossible. AMC and Regal Cinemas have closed all their U.S theaters.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter they expect most, if not all, cinemas in the U.S. to follow suit and go dark in the coming days, much as in Europe and parts of Asia. Regal is the first U.S. circuit to make a blanket announcement.

Regal to Close All U.S. Theaters Indefinitely Amid Coronavirus Pandemic | Hollywood Reporter

We’re down in Las Vegas right now and yesterday we caught — literally — the last showing of The Hunt ⭐️⭐️ at 4:30pm at the Boulder Station casino in Las Vegas. We then tried to go down to the Palace Station for the Cinebarre and it was already closed (see sign above).

We received a note from our Regal Unlimited app that they are suspending billing temporarily. We were both wondering if we’d be billed $42 USD for the month when there were no movies we could see, even if we wanted. Turns out that Regal already has planned this out. Good for them. We wish the theaters were still open, but appreciate not being charged for something we are now unable to use.

Unconfirmed as of this writing, but I believe Cinemark theaters in Las Vegas are still open — they are showing movie times as of moments ago — so movies can still be seen in those theaters, but who knows how much longer they’ll hold out.

MGM has closed down their 14 properties on the strip in Vegas, and that alone feels weird. Even during 9/11, which by the way, we were also in Las Vegas, everything stayed open.

How long will these theater closures last? We tried asking questions but even the employees we spoke to were told nothing. Only that they needed to close and there were no answers as to when the theaters would reopen.

Sad, sad days.

10 Movie Releases Pushed Back, Some Simply “TBA” – New Movie Review Rationing

The Outbreak continues … schools closing in the Seattle and surrounding areas for a month

Who else is bummed out by all these new movie releases being pushed back? I know, I know, public safety! I wanted to see these new movies.

Wish they would give us an opportunity to pay and stream them at home somehow. Doesn’t appear like Hollywood wants anything to do with that idea, but I can always dream.

After No Time To Die went from April to November, it was a clear sign more titles would be pushed back. Not that I’m Nostradamus or anything, but I predicted which titles to watch for (Mulan and F9 – but also keep your eyes on Black Widow) and, sure enough, some mentioned have already been pushed back, see: Even James Bond isn’t immune to coronavirus, No Time to Die pushed back to November

Forbes has a list of 10 new movies, including one that was scheduled for next week that I was hugely looking forward to seeing: A Quiet Place Part II.

No Time To Die: Release moved from April 10 to November 25
My Spy: Release moved from March 13 to April 17
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway: Release moved from April 3 to August 7
A Quiet Place Part II: Release moved from March 18, new release date TBA
Fast Furious: F9: Release moved from May 22, 2020 to April 2, 2021
The Lovebirds: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Blue Story: Release moved from March 20, new release date TBA
Mulan: Release moved from March 27, new release date TBA
The New Mutants: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Antlers: Release moved from April 17, new release date TBA

Hollywood Braces For Coronavirus Slump: The Movie Releases Pushed Back So Far

New Movie Rationing in Progress

Tonight I saw Bloodshot (review pending), but have decided to wait on watching and reviewing the other new movies until next week. I’m on vacation in Las Vegas and it appears right now like no new movies will be widely released next week in theaters — A Quiet Place Part II was scheduled, but as mentioned above, that’s now been pushed back — so we’ll catch up with The Hunt, I Still Believe, Emma and whatever else is out there playing next week.

I’m real curious what the movie theaters are going to be showing. This could provide some serious leg power to existing movies to stay playing in the theaters longer than they normally would because nothing new will be pushing them out.

The theater for a Thursday was spooky empty tonight.

As for opening wide and now playing reviews posts that we do weekly? Have to stay tuned on what happens there. Our coming soon lists are going to be all jacked up now, too, thanks to all these release date changes. If there is any silver lining to this, there should be a lot of new movies in a few months, when all this virus stuff blows over — and hopefully it does.

In the meantime, if this drought of new movies being released continues, I might need to turn to older movies and good TV shows to profile and cover in the meantime.

This virus stuff will sort itself out at some point, but keep seeing more and more movies getting canceled, moved, put on hiatus and “TBA.”

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Onward, The Way Back

Week #10 of 2020 (3/5-3/8/2020) sees the first Disney/Pixar animated film of the year about a brotherly quest to bring back their father for one magical day and Ben Affleck wrestling sobriety demons and coaching a losing basketball team.

Although I didn’t verify, but I believe this is the first week with multiple movies playing in 2020 that both movies have been recommended.

The coronavirus continues to dominate the news with wide impact in international markets, including the news that Bond #25 No Time To Die has been pushed back from April to November 2020. Hopefully a vaccine will be created/discovered before too much longer or flu season will end the widespread concerns.

Back to a brighter topic, which movie this week takes the crown?

#1 is ….

Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

The is a heartwarming, teen brotherly story with the right touch of humor and substance. The story is quirky and unusual, which is why we liked it so much.

UPDATE 8:19am PST: Just remembered when checking out other reviews from those I subscribe to at Letterboxd that before Onward played, there was a new Simpsons animated short featuring a romance for Maggie called Playdate with Destiny ⭐️⭐️½  Got to see this twice because of a theater screw-up (see my Onward review for details), but it’s not a very memorable or fun Simpsons short. Cute, though.

The Way Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Although Ben Affleck has had dramatic acting roles, this serious story really pits him against himself and the parallels in his personal life and his character’s life are profound. I think he really gets into his character better, drawing on his own well publicized issue of his break-up with Jennifer Garner and struggles with sobriety. It’s the best acting I’ve seen from him in quite some time.

The story is a little cliched and runs long in parts, but it’s a very meaty role for Affleck and he delivers.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (current week) 
  3. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. The Way Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (current week)
  6. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

February 2020 – 9 Movies Ranked MOST to LEAST Entertaining

Am a little tardy getting this posted due to being on vacation, but February 2020 for movies in theaters was an improvement over January with one movie really standing out.

An unexpected bright sign, in fact, for our movie of the month: The Invisible Man and that speedy blue hedgehog Sonic was both fast and fun.

February 2020 – movies in theater ranked MOST to LEAST Entertaining
2020: JANUARY | FEBRUARY
2019: AUGUST SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER | 
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
Click title to read a no-spoilers review.
VR = Video Review

  1. The Invisible Man (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  2. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  3. Impractical Jokers: The Movie ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  4. The Call of the Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  5. Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey ⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  6. The Photograph ⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  7. Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  8. Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  9. Downhill ⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK

February 2020 – Movie Theater Expenses
$90 – for movie theater snacks & food ($15 x 6, we received 3 movie popcorn and sodas using our Regal Crown Club points)
$44 for movie tickets (unlimited price for both wife & I)
$45 – 9 movies x $5 average gas/travel expense
= $179 / 12 movies = $14.92 for both of us movie theater entertainment expense per visit, even with the “free” unlimited movies.

= $403 for 2020 Total YTD Expenses (Jan: $224)

Pleasant Surprise

As mentioned, The Invisible Man so far is the highlight of 2020, especially for horror movies. It wasn’t without issues, but it was far better than any of the other horror offerings so far this year. Sonic The Hedgehog wasn’t amazing, but for a videogame movie it ranks up there with the best we’ve ever seen (keep in mind, most videogame movies are terrible).

Met Expectations

From the trailer and the clips seen of Impractical Jokers: The Movie, it delivered. A bit cheesy and not all of the pranks landed, but enough laughs to justify a good time.

The Call of The Wild CGI Buck wasn’t as bad as some were saying. The movie was OK, albeit very sanitized over the 1972 version (expected for Disney). Not sure I’m ready for Harrison Ford in another Indiana Jones, especially with news that Steven Spielberg isn’t directing.

The Photograph was a little underwhelming, but pretty much met expectations for a Valentine’s Day romance.

Disappointments

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey wasn’t as good as expected. The animated series, meanwhile, remains one of the best adult animated series I’ve ever seen. Maybe after Suicide Squad 2, we’ll get another Harley movie that is just Harley and not her with the Birds of Prey. It’s not a bad movie, it was just upstaged by the animated TV show. I liked Margot Robbie as Harley, and if you do too maybe that is enough to check this one out.

Brahms: The Boy II and Downhill were both lousy movies. With Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the latter should have been at least a little funny (it wasn’t). The doll in Brahms is all that it had going for it. Wouldn’t waste your time streaming either of these.

Fantasy Island was the biggest disappointment of the month. Could have been so much more and yet was less. A convoluted story that if you took away the opening scene and the fact that it was on an island where fantasies come true is about the only thing that lives up to the title. Luckily, for Blumhouse they rebounded in a big way at the end of the month with The Invisible Man.

What did you think of February 2020 movies? Any favorites or standouts? It’s OK if we disagree on movies. Let’s discuss how the month went in the comments.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Call Of The Wild (2020), Brahms: The Boy II

Week #8 of 2020 (2/20-2/23/2020) has two movies with main characters that are not human, animal or alive: Buck the CGI dog and Brahms the creepy doll. A weekend of new movies dealing with, yes, imaginary friends.

It’s still pretty easy choosing the top wide release from these two, not even a close dog fight, really ….

… #1…

The Call Of The Wild (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This dog sorta hunts. The movie is more endearing once/if you can get past the fact that it’s just a bunch of whiz bang computer effects tricking us into thinking it’s a real dog. Don’t look around Buck’s dog collar because that’s where it looks the most fake. Just floating in space as a lifeless thing the collar just doesn’t belong.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) reaction to The Call of the Wild (2020)

And you’ll have to forgive me for wanting more Harrison Ford, despite the fact that he’s billed as a supporting actor. I get that the main character is Buck, but to get only half or less of the movie involving Ford made the film less entertaining. Also, I thought seeing Ford in a beard, weathered and old would be a sad experience (He’s Han freaking Solo!), but it wasn’t. He was good in this role. He showed up, did his thing, so pay the legendary actor already.

The million dollar question is whether or not Buck is more dog than computer? Suppose it’s done good enough but there are several places a real dog — that shelter dog Buck is based on, in fact — could have been safely used. I guess if we want that, then we need to go back to watching a prior adaptation. The dog being beaten bloody with a wooden stick in the older version scars the mind, so I’m OK with CGI for stuff like that.

Buck’s story is less compelling in CGI. I know, I know, there are animated movies and those don’t use real actors/actresses, but there is something missing in this movie not including a real dog like there was in The Art of Racing in The Rain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This movie is on the streaming / rental circuit, so check that out and compare. Both are based on books, the latter on Garth Stein’s, the former Jack London’s.

Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️

Dolls, dolls, dolls. Oh, those creepy dolls you find buried in the woods. Yeah, taking that home, cleaning it up, dressing it like your young son is going to work out — not! I did like the name, Brahms and his child friend, Jude (Hey Jude!), but it’s an overall anemic effort.

Just leaving the theater (no spoilers) review of Brahms: The Boy II

None of the horror movies released so far in 2020 — including this one — have been good. I’m hoping this all changes when we get to A Quiet Place: Part II next month or maybe Blumhouse’s take on The Invisible Man next weekend(?). My favorite genre has been lacking, sadly, but it’s early in the year so far. October is when the big guns start firing. I’m ready, bring it!

Sonic is not going to have much trouble leading box office sales for a second week (Actually after Friday’s numbers, the race is tighter). Another CGI character, but at least one that was never real to begin with.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  10. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Sonic The Hedgehog, The Photograph, Fantasy Island, Downhill

Week #7 of 2020 (2/13-2/16) sees four very different films: a videogame movie about a supersonic blue alien, a romance involving a couple researching her mother who just died, a remake of a 70s TV show and a dramedy involving a family of four not enjoying a skiing trip.

Only one is sticking out and recommended, racing ahead of the others ….

… #1 …

Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I somewhat expected Jim Carrey to steal the show in this videogame adaptation, but he’s actually one of the underwhelming features.

This Hedgehog will definitely bring back SEGA Genesis memories — gamers unite!

The speedy little alien has sort of an E.T type storyline that works. It’s a faithful recreation from the SE-GA! game to big screen. The animation is good and it’s an entertaining film that deserves to do good numbers at the box office. Oh, and bonus: check out the super cool 8-bit gaming end credits.

The Photograph ⭐️⭐️½

#2 pick of the Valentine’s Day weekend is the sole wide release romance. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for based on the trailer.

I expected more intrigue and mystery around the photograph, but there is some decent chemistry between the two leads. Not quite a recommendation, but close.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ (2020)

Not the Fantasy Island I was looking very forward to seeing and very much deserving of Blumhouse in front of the title, but this might appeal to viewers who like every single little thing explained ad nauseum.

Downhill⭐️½

It’s all downhill from here, pun intended.

Open to debate who had a worse time: the family portrayed on the skiing vacation or the viewers slogging through this unfunny, mostly cold, dry movie. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss and Will Ferrell have some of the worst ever chemistry of any married couple portrayed on screen that I’ve seen. Sure, they are having marital problems in the film, but I can’t really see how they ever had any happy times. What a great example of when to seek a divorce.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  9. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

Welcome to #2 of 4 Worst Weekends for Theater Attendance

Apparently, this coming week historically is one of the four worst weekends for movie theater attendance. There is only one wide release planned, Birds of Prey.

Every year, distributors must navigate four dead-zone weekends: post-New Years, Super Bowl Sunday, Labor Day, and the first in December. Historically, these are the periods with the lowest theater attendance, although studios now have their strategies; some slots have become a good time for horror titles, for example. But early December still resists tactics, with a graveyard of films that braved the date.

With Playmobil Only Wide Release, Welcome to the Box Office Dead Zone | IndieWire

Week #1 of 2020 featured The Grudge⭐️⭐️ and this week should go much better. And next week there are a bunch of new films coming out to celebrate Valentine’s Day which must be one of the better weekends, at least for couples.

Some people complain that going to movies is becoming too expensive. They would rather stay home. The streaming markets are growing and taking down the traditional TV model, which is great to see. It gives movie and TV fans a wide variety of choices at more affordable prices.

But creating movie and TV for streaming isn’t an inexpensive proposition for the streaming channels. Take HBO Max which launches in May 2020, and plans to have 31 original TV shows by the end of 2020:

On top of its Max Originals, AT&T is stepping up the budget for HBO. The content budget will rise to $2.5 billion in 2020, up about $500 million from 2018 and 2019. It’s not clear whether management includes that number in its definition of incremental investments, but considering everything available on HBO will also be on HBO Max, and its plans to get all of its legacy HBO subscribers onto HBO Max, it very well should count.

HBO Max Has Already Cost AT&T $1.2 Billion

Am sure we’ll be checking out HBO Max when it launches. In the meantime, we’re going to keep enjoying the unlimited movie theater plan and existing streaming choices. It’s a great time to be a movie and TV lover!