This weekend’s new movie offerings include Disney’s poor attempt at re-telling a classic and Liam Neeson doing more of his gruff angry father schtick.
The biggest complaint that Disney received from last year’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ reboot ‘Maleficent‘ was that the movie veered way too far from the iconic animated version. As if pulling a drastic 180-degree decision to play it safe, the studio has only made two noteworthy changes with the new ‘Cinderella‘: All the joy from the original has been removed, and the run-time has been inflated from 74 minutes to a bloated 112 minutes. Kenneth Branagh’s valium-laced live-action telling stars some ‘Downton Abbey’ actors, some ‘Game of Thrones’ actors, a hammy Cate Blanchett and – of course – Helena Bonham Carter. Prepare your children for boredom, and be sure to wear your monocle and point your pinky in the air as you sip this pretentiously dull cup of tea. The only thing people will talk about after seeing the film is the wonderfully hilarious ‘Frozen’ short that plays before it.
For all the dads who don’t want to sit through ‘Cinderella’ with their children, Liam Neeson has yet another action movie where he must fight brutally and wisely in order to stay alive and save his child – only this time he’s doing it all for his son (as opposed to his daughter in the ‘Taken’ franchise). In ‘Run All Night‘, Neeson’s son (Joel Kinnaman) is to be executed by the son of a Mob boss. When Dad intervenes and kills the bad guy’s son, the villain (Ed Harris) vows to kill Kinnaman just to get back at Neeson. Apparently, this all has to happen over one night so that the movie can have a title. From the director of ‘Non-Stop‘ and ‘Unknown‘, I see no reason to have any faith in this generic thriller.
Very little is opening in limited release, but I can’t skip over the Cannes horror film ‘It Follows‘. Without any known stars, it tells the story of a girl who loses her virginity to a deceptive guy who only sleeps with her for one reason: to pass along a dark doom. During the act of sex, something that can only be described as a demonic STD gets transferred to her. Now, with the help of her friends, she must try to find out what this curse holds and how to get rid of it before it arrives.
A black comedy called ‘Home Sweet Hell‘ also debuts this weekend, but it doesn’t appear to hold any promise. Much like the plot of ‘The Other Woman‘, Patrick Wilson stars as a seemingly-perfect husband whose wife (Katherine Heigl) learns that he’s been cheating with a younger beautiful woman (Jordana Brewster). After making this discovery, she psychotically does whatever it takes to keep their family together. You probably lost interest as soon as I mentioned Katherine Heigl, didn’t you? Me too.