Only one major new movie launched over Thanksgiving. Considering that it wasn’t a game-changer that other releases would need to stay away from, it’s odd that nothing big opens this weekend to challenge it. Instead, we’re only talking about indie flicks in limited release. Boy do we have some great titles to talk about.
In alphabetical order, we start with ‘The Disaster Artist‘. Tommy Wiseau’s notoriously terrible film ‘The Room’ is known as one of the best worst movies ever made. The writers of ‘(500) Days of Summer’ adapted the story about its making from a book co-written by a guy who was there from beginning to end. Although James Franco’s previous directing credits haven’t garnered much attention, ‘The Disaster Artist’ is the perfect opposite. Franco not only directed a hell of a film, he stars as Wiseau, the mysterious man who conceived, wrote, directed, starred in and personally financed ‘The Room’. Dave Franco co-headlines as actor and Tommy’s only friend Greg Sestero. The hilarious and well-made film co-stars a long list of notables, including Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor and many, many others. Don’t be surprised if you see James Franco score an Oscar nomination or two.
With the word “masterpiece” getting thrown around quite a bit, it’s nice to see another original Guillermo del Toro film hitting theaters. It will be even nicer when it expands wide. ‘The Shape of Water‘ appears to take the visionary director back into the fairy tale territory of his ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Set in the early 1960s, the story follows a curious woman (Sally Hawkins) who works in a top secret government facility. Things get strange when she discovers that one of the lab’s biggest secrets is a merman. As stupid as that sounds, I have several friends who claim the film will win Best Picture. The cast includes Octavia Spencer, Doug Jones (of course), and a few of my favorite supporting actors: Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg. With a screener of the film sitting on a shelf in my man-cave, I’m currently debating whether to watch it now or wait until the local theatrical screening on Dec. 11th. I have a feeling that I’ll watch it at home this weekend.
You can always tell that it’s Oscar season when Woody Allen pumps out another movie that nobody talks about. This year’s is titled ‘Wonder Wheel‘. (Does anyone else find it odd that there are now four 2017 films with the word “wonder” in the title?) The ensemble drama is set in 1950s New York City. As much as I’d love to tell you about the story, both the studio synopsis and the official trailers give no clear indication about what the movie is about. Marked women? Gangsters? Who knows? The cast include Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.
With less than one month left in the Oscar race, Warner Bros. and Disney want to take a moment to remind you of their big movies that opened earlier in the year. Disney is re-releasing the live-action remake of ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ and Warner Bros. is filling some IMAX ‘Justice League’ spots with showings of ‘Dunkirk‘. Knowing that I’ll likely never have the chance to see it on a screen of this size again, I already have plans to see ‘Dunkirk’ again this weekend.