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Hammerle on ... No good movies

March 21, 2018

bob hammerle movie reviewsForgive me, but no meaningful reviews with this edition. While a trip to New Orleans for a nephew’s wedding kept me out of the theatres, the truth is that all the films released over the last several weeks are so placid that even a diehard fan like me couldn’t justify buying a ticket.

Let’s start with “Game Night” and “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” two films that I did see to my regret. With “Game Night,” Rachel McAdams and Jesse Plemons provide some funny moments, but the film devolves into a constant display of childish humor that will leave you shaking your head. I wanted “Film Stars” to succeed primarily because it starred Annette Bening. However, even she couldn’t save it. Dealing with an aging Hollywood actress fighting cancer and a fading career, you were left cursing yourself as you sat secretly hoping that she would embrace death with a bit of dignity, so you could leave the theatre.

As for other releases that I avoided, I still might make it to see Jennifer Lawrence in “Red Sparrow.”  While it must be far better than Lawrence’s God-awful contribution to last year’s wretched “Mother,” I fear that it will pale when compared with “Atomic Blond.” I keep thinking that it should have been titled “Dyed Atomic Blond.”

Though “A Wrinkle in Time” is based on a book that appealed to many, the trailers for the film reflect a movie with more style than substance. It leaves you understanding why this movie is dying at the box office. Maybe the film’s failure will make it easier for Oprah to run for president in two years.

As for “Death Wish,” what could possibly have motivated Bruce Willis to do a remake of a Charles Bronson film? Looking like it could challenge as one of the worst films of 2018, I suspect that the film’s title reflected the emotions most fans will be fighting on walking to their cars after this nightmare concludes.

Lastly, there is “Gringo”, a movie that stars four actors I like and admire — Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton and Sharlto Copley. They have all provided a great deal of cinematic pleasure over the years, but this time I strongly suspect that they get no cigar. Image and reputation alone wins nothing.

Let me end my moaning and groaning with a comment on the Oscars. Though I really wanted to see the tribute paid to the actors who died in 2017, I had to turn the TV off in disgust before reaching that point for the second year in a row. Was anyone else as annoyed as me with the need to focus time on unknown tourists? Last year they walked on stage while this time they sat in a movie theatre. What was the purpose in wasting the viewers’ time, not to mention making increasingly tired fans like me stay up a couple of extra hours?

My irritation wasn’t helped by the fact that a brilliant film like “Jane” was ignored in the documentary category or that “The Big Sick” failed to receive a best picture nomination. And will someone please explain to me how “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” could be nominated for best picture and best screenplay, not to mention awards to Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell for best actress and best supporting actor, yet Martin McDonagh was left out of the best director list?  Did they think that all this praised work was done with no effort by the director?

However, I finally reached the breaking point when the crowd stood up to applaud Kobe Bryant when his film was given the Oscar for best animated short film. Forgetting for a moment that several other nominated films were far better, let’s remember that last year’s best actor winner, Casey Affleck, was not invited because of sexual abuse allegations that haunted him. It was scandalous that the Oscar crowd ignored the damning allegations against Bryant that were swept under Hollywood’s rug years ago.

So there you have it. Decent movies are coming, and I hope that “Tomb Raider” with the talented Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft proves to be one of them. In the meantime, missing movies could be a hidden blessing. At least that’s one way to dodge potholes at night.

Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis. When he is not in the courtroom or the office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters watching and preparing to review the latest films. To read more of his reviews, visit www.bigmouthbobs.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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