Theatrical Film Releases that don't need their own thread


I thought Upgrade took too long to get to its gimmick, but it’s a pretty cool gimmick. It’s a hard non-CGI R rating which is a positive. Tom Hardy-Green sure looks like Tom Hardy. I thought the acting kinda sucked. I’ll lay blame on the director and some of the casting decisions. I was thinking the movie was directed by the Saw director, but it was the Saw writer. His only other directing credit is Insipid: Chapter 3*. Script is stupid. Action is mostly pretty good. Intriguing sci-fi idea of the body going into autopilot mode is mostly wasted. Thumbs down from me, but I think many will enjoy it to varying degrees.

*Joke appears courtesy of Murawski Broadcast Corporation


I have not seen this yet as it was just released, so cannot recommend…however, it looks interesting:

Its an AMC release.


Saw it today, and it was so slow and boring, the last 20 minutes provided some decent fights but all in all it was a crap movie.


My wife and I saw Tag a few weeks ago, and I am still remembering it and chuckling. It’s a collection of Apatow-like middle-aged chums engaged in a game they’ve been playing since they were kids, based on a true story. The gang strains between cooperation and competition to Not Be It, and they especially strive to Tag one of their friends who has never, ever been Tagged. Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, and Jake Johnson play enhanced versions of their more famous TV roles: the Everyman with a hint of goofiness; the arrogant, talented, charismatic sonofabitch; the indolent loser with the heart of gold. Then there’s Hannibal Buress, who perhaps due to the listless writing, doesn’t really mesh well with the rest of the group, as if he doesn’t really have a reason to be there or a reason for the other guys to play tag with him. And finally, Jeremy Renner, trades in on his The Hawkeye Locker action movie background, as the world’s greatest tag artist. Oh, and there are some girls, too. You might recognize them.

This is the movie where in real life Renner broke both arms doing a stunt, and might be why he wasn’t in Infinity War. He does so much monkeying around in this movie, I couldn’t tell if they used that footage.

As this is based on a true story of arrested development, but more the “Tennessee” kind than the Bluth family, the movie is jam packed with references to the early and mid-90s, back when the kids started playing Tag. Finally, after being too young for the Brat Pack movies and too old for the late '90s teen movies, there is a movie pandering to my generation!

Because the game is so childish, the movie has low stakes. But I find that to be refreshing every once in a while, and was certainly charmed by the premise and the cast here.


My understanding is that Renner’s arms are mostly CGI in that movie. True story.


That article is hilarious. Thanks for sharing it.


So I did see Animal World, and the trailer is the first couple of minutes of the film, and all of the action in the film. He is just battling his inner demons.

Then when the movie really starts he spends the rest of the film calculating the odds of the next play in a life and death match of the card game of Rock, Paper, and Scissors. Seriously,


If you’re into mountain porn, then you have to see Mountain in the theater. Saw it last night. You could argue that there’s maybe a few too many swooping helicopter shots too many, but it remains breathtaking nonetheless. This is one of those movies where the difference between watching it on a huge screen and on a smartphone is, well, gigantic.


Well, this one isn’t a theaterical release recently, but it was on Hulu/HBO.

CHiPs was really way better than it had any right to be. Not only was the comedy decent, the action scenes with fast motorcycles were excellent. Recommended.


Has anyone heard of the Chinese blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2? Outside of The Force Awakens, it holds the record for the top grossing film in a single market. Superficially it looks like an American action film, except this time the Americans, or Frank Grillo, are the bad guys! It’s funny to think that in the past decade as the North American film industry tries desperately to appeal to China’s absurdly large theatrical market, even changing the the invading Chinese forces to North Koreans in Red Dawn in post-production or filming extra scenes for Iron Man 3 that specifically for that market, China’s not returning the favor.


I mean it’s fairly simple I think. For a long time the forces of colonialism have played the role of the bad guy in Chinese cinema. Be they British, Japanese, or American etc. and the fact is, from a studio perspective, Chinese cinema has a limited appeal for western and US audiences. Even an attempt to court the west, like placing Matt Damon in The Great Wall, has a crapshoot chance of succeeding. There isn’t a clearly defined manner of getting mass appeal here. So the studio makes the, entirely sensible, business decision not to try and cater in most cases.

US films have far stronger global brands, especially the Marvel type franchises. So for the IS studios there is more financial sense in making that shift. If you saw the latest Donnie Yen flicks routinely hitting hundred million marks at US theaters I bet you’d see Chinese studios making changes right quick to court them.

Edit: also there seems to be cultural appeal in having the colonial enemy, historical grievance and all, so any attempt to soften that for global audiences might backfire domestically.


Or all of the above, and Russians, as in Once Upon A Time In China III.


I mean, really, the villains in Chinese stories are either a) foreigners or b) eunuchs, and there just aren’t that many eunuchs around any more.


I’d have to do a little more research of exactly how the money is flowing on this, but I got the impression that with the last economic lull in the US, Chinese firms are putting quite a bit of the money in film investment, which is why you see a lot more Chinese oriented films with American stars and location shoots. It’s not that Hollywood is going after the Chinese market, its that the Chinese are. I also think a byproduct of this is you see less films that portray negative aspects of life in China.


It’s a bit of both, though the production/funding side has apparently reversed in the last year or so as China cracks down on overseas investments.

Also, I’m not sure how many films Hollywood made before the recent trend that portrayed any aspects of life in China, negative or otherwise.


Nepal was a huge topic for quite a while.


In, what, three movies?


Yeah just three movies. Nothing more.


Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum. (paywalled, alas) China’s most expensive movie ever has bombed.


Oh no! I went to school with the American guy in this (he’s the guy in the photo in the HR piece). I can’t believe they pulled it from the theater, he’s gotta be disappointed.