Updated: 11/21/2018 4:26 PM | Print Story |  Email

11/21 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul's Trip to the Movies talks about three new theatrical releases.

INSTANT FAMILY (theatrical release)
 
Pete and Ellie have a great life with a successful business flipping houses. The only thing they feel is missing is having children. They debate if they are too old, but decide that adoption will be the best choice for them after seeing the heartbreaking videos on an adoption website. They meet with a local adoption agency and after meeting with a few foster kids, they decide to adopt fifteen-year-old Lizzie and her younger brother and sister. The first few days seem easy for them approaching parenting with a cheerful and easy attitude. After the honeymoon phase wears off, they realize how hard parenting is and what it can be like to foster kids who come in with their own backgrounds and issues. 
 
-Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Julie Hagerty, Margo Martindale
 
-Written/directed by Sean Anders who based it on his own experiences with adoption, which makes the film a little more personal and accurate than other comedies like this. He met with a variety of social workers and foster kids to ensure they got this story right
 
-Pete and Ellie struggle with wanting a child but figuring out what is right choice for where they’re at in life.
 
-Accurately depicts the awkward and painful conversations they have with family and friends about adoption. Anders isn’t afraid to showcase the negative attitudes adoptive parents can experience when going through the process.
 
-Instant Family garners some big laughs as the comedy comes from the different parenting styles and mishaps Pete and Ellie find themselves in. They experience the ups and downs of raising kids that anyone can relate to as well as that feeling of hopelessness that you’re always losing. 
 
-There’s more heart to the movie than screwball comedy hijinks. Anders wants us to try to find humor to get through the hard times.
 
-I appreciate when Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne appear in comedies as it reminds us of how funny both of them can be in movies. Both are parents in real life, which adds to the personal touch the film has.
 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Wholesome movie good for the whole family
 
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
 
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (theatrical release)
 
Johnny Depp surprised audiences by popping up at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as the powerful dark wizard, Grindelwald. He’s been imprisoned by the American Ministry of Magic but escapes after being transported to another facility. He aims to reign supreme over the wizarding world drawing a divide between them and non-wizards. He sets off for Paris where the young Credence may the person who can help him carry out his mission. Newt Scamander, the awkward magi-zoologist, is brought back into the fold to stop Grindelwald thanks to his former professor Albus Dumbledore who personally cannot stop him given their history together.
 
-Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Katherine Waterston
 
-Directed by David Yates who returns after directing the first one and four of the Harry Potter movies.
 
-Even though it’s not adapted from a book series, J.K. Rowling wrote the film’s script continuing on with characters she mentioned in the Harry Potter books. 
 
-I’m continually plagued by not caring for these characters as much as I do the ones in Harry Potter. There are almost too many extraneous characters without distinct personalities adding in unnecessary runtime as Rowling tries to give them something to do.
 
-Newt’s beasts and magical creatures are more fun and creative than a majority of the characters. 
 
-The special effects and set pieces are pretty impressive providing a needed sense of escapism from heavier movies or real life headlines.
 
-Johnny Depp seems to be underperforming as the film’s title villain. He’s lacking the fun and devilishly wicked demeanor of what’s needed for a J.K. Rowling villain. 
 
-Jude Law is one of the film’s highlights playing a young Dumbledore. I can easily see him aging into the character we’ve come to cherish. This film charts the friendship and supposed relationship he had with Grindelwald.
 
-The climax is strong enough to save a slower first half as it really sets the stage for this franchise to really kick into high gear for the next movie.
 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Prequels are exceptionally hard to get right, but this is a slight improvement over the first one.
 
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS 
 
WIDOWS (theatrical release)
 
Viola Davis is back on the big screen and she is not to be messed with. She plays a mourning wife whose husband (Liam Neeson) is killed when a heist goes horribly wrong killing him and his crew. To make matters a bit more complicated, she is now threatened for the two million dollars that was promised as part of that heist. After going through her late husband’s belongings, she finds the blueprints of their next heist. She decides to take matters into her own hands and gathers the rest of the widows to settle of some unfinished business.
 
-Starring: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya
 
-Directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) who co-wrote the script with Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects)
 
-Don’t be late as the film is all set up at the beginning with the heist that goes wrong. 
 
-Unlike other heist movies of recent as McQueen and Flynn open up this story to the systemic corruption in Chicago and how these stories interweave with each other. Colin Farrell plays a politician carrying on in the powerful footsteps of his father (Duvall) and he’s pitted against Brian Tyree Henry’s character who’s also running for office. Robert Duvall is superb as the racist curmudgeon in the movie always looming over his son. He represents that old way of thinking and living not willing to adapt to new cultures and a changing society.
 
-The city of Chicago felt like a vital character of the movie in the way that our environment and status plays a part in how we make certain choices in life given our backgrounds.
 
-Viola Davis leads the charge of a fine group of actresses playing the widows. We see each of the women grieving, struggling with how to move on, and what it means to pick themselves up again. 
 
-The movie comes with those third act twists we have come to expect from Gillian Flynn. They will keep you guessing, as there are plenty of layers to the mess at hand.
 
-Given the complexity and ensemble nature of the movie, there are a lot of moving parts for director Steve McQueen. Any small mishap for these characters have severe consequences.
 
-Hans Zimmer’s pulsating score is that extra icing on that cake that carries the film’s steady drive. 
 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Widows is a nail-biter and suspenseful until the very ending. After it was over, I wanted to experience that ride all over again
 
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS. One of the best of the year