Top of the list to see is ZOOTOPIA. In a city of anthropomorphic animals (i.e., animals who act like humans), a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy. ZOOTOPIA is getting high ratings with general viewers and critics. Movie Nation’s Roger Moore says, ‘The movie's message about tolerance and not pre-judging others sings, and the many chases, interrogations (a weasel ably voiced by Alan Tudyk) and narrow escapes pay off.’ It’s showing in 2D and 3D … so off to the cinema we go!
OTHERS TO SEE
THE WITCH is also rating well. It’s about a family in 1630s New England which is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. That description might suggest this is just another horror film. But The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman suggests that, ‘This movie may be too slow and verbose to be the next breakout horror hit, but its focus on themes over plot is what elevates it to something near greatness.’ Before heading to the cinema to see this one, you might like to read Hoffman’s full review (among others). You can find it at this link: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jan/23/the-witch-review-robert-eggers-sundance-festival-2015
THE DAUGHTER is another Australian movie — and it’s brilliant. The story follows a man who returns home to discover a long-buried family secret, and whose attempts to put things right threaten the lives of those he left home years before. Variety’s Eddie Cockrell describes THE DAUGHTER as, ‘Deeply involving and emotionally searing, [it reps a confident and profoundly moving bigscreen debut for established theater director Simon Stone.’ I loved this movie and will post my review shortly.
There are two movies that, for me, are on the maybe/maybe not list. The first is LONDON HAS FALLEN in which Mike Banning, in in London for the Prime Minister's funeral, discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders. General viewers are rating this as average but critics are not impressed. Variety’s Guy Lodge complains that, ‘For all the slicing and dicing of the editing, narrative momentum grinds to a trudge after the synthetic spectacle of the capital's undoing.’
Finally, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN is, according to Sony Pictures, based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter's healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.’ It’s worth noting that this movie is based on ‘the incredible true story’. So who knows how far from the truth it strays. Given that claims of a miracle are central to the story, I would suggest that some seriously healthy skepticism be part of one’s viewing. If I get to see this one (and it is low on the list), I’ll let you know what I think.
That's it for this week. See you at the movies!
NOTE Movie summaries are adaptations of movie summary on IMDB. Opinions are mine unless credited. These updates are written from an Australian perspective so openings of the movies in cinemas may vary in other parts of the world.