Monday, January 22, 2018
Movies

10 new movies to look forward to in 2018

OPENING FRIDAY: INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY

Don’t worry, the first wide release of 2018 isn’t a sign of things to come.

It’s the horror sequel Insidious: The Last Key (PG-13), Chapter 4 in the paranormal activity franchise that went downhill after St. Pete’s own Patrick Wilson left.

Lin Shaye’s parapsychologist is the last original character left, chasing ghosts in her own home. You know a series is DOA when it can’t even whip up a decent haunted house.

2018 GETS BETTER

Think happy thoughts of much better movies ahead, starting with these 10 to mark on your calendar:

A WRINKLE IN TIME (MARCH 9)

2018 is packed with movies by, for and about women, led by Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s fantasy novel. The cast of otherworldly characters includes Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and (drum roll, please) OPRAH!

ISLE OF DOGS (MARCH 23)

Say the title fast then ask yourself: Don’t we all? Wes Anderson’s first stop-motion animated movie since Fantastic Mr. Fox is set on a garbage island inhabited by dogs. A litter of celebrity voices includes Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig and Bryan Cranston.

READY PLAYER ONE (MARCH 30)

Steven Spielberg makes his overdue return to fantasy filmmaking, shaping a virtual reality world inhabited by 1980s pop culture icons. Tye Sheridan is one game player racing many to discover an Easter Egg fortune. You know E.T. will sneak in somewhere.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (MAY 25)

Ever wonder how Han Solo met Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian? Well, Ron Howard will tell us in another Star Wars standalone movie. Alden Eisenreich (Hail, Caesar!, Rules Don’t Apply) plays young Han while Donald Glover is Billy Dee Williams personified. Someone tall plays Chewie.

OCEAN’S 8 (JUNE 8)

Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock) has her own gang and splashy heist in mind, at New York’s Met Gala. Her accomplices include Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Sarah Paulson. Just stay out of it, Matt Damon.

BOY ERASED (SEPT. 28)

True story of a Baptist preacher’s gay son forced into church-sponsored conversion therapy. The teenager is played by Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird), his parents by Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. Directed by Joel Edgerton, based on Garrard Conley’s memoir.

FIRST MAN (OCT. 12)

Ryan Gosling stars as astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to step onto the moon’s surface. Director Damien Chazelle follows his Oscar winning work on La La Land with the year’s most anticipated biopic, a companion piece of sorts to The Right Stuff.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (DEC. 25)

The long-awaited Freddie Mercury biography starring Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek as Queen’s flamboyant frontman. Former director Bryan Singer is banging his head after being fired after sexual misconduct allegations, replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle).

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (DEC. 25)

Step in time to Disney’s sequel starring Emily Blunt as the magical nanny. Mary’s back in the lives of her now-adult charges (Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer), joined by a new busker-pal (Lin-Manuel Miranda). Meryl Streep and Colin Firth are here, plus a spot for Mary’s former dance partner Dick Van Dyke.

BLACK KLANSMAN (TBA)

Spike Lee’s next joint tells the true story of a black policeman (John David Washington, Denzel’s son) who infiltrated a Colorado chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, eventually becoming its leader. Adam Driver and Topher Grace co-star in what sounds like Lee’s most vital movie in years.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Shape of Water: Nominated for seven Golden Globes including best drama.

2 I, Tonya: Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding skating on thin ice.

3 The Greatest Showman: An original musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.

4 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: One of 2017’s best films.

5 Lady Bird: Saoirse Ronan shines in Greta Gerwig’s directing debut.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Jan. 12: The Post; The Commuter; Proud Mary; Paddington 2

Jan. 19: Call Me By Your Name; Phantom Thread; Hostiles; 12 Strong; Den of Thieves; Forever My Girl

Jan. 26: White Boy Rick; Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Comments
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than 12 Strong

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than 12 Strong

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
Whats in theaters this week: Call Me by Your Name, Phantom Thread, 12 Strong

Whats in theaters this week: Call Me by Your Name, Phantom Thread, 12 Strong

OPENING FRIDAY:CALL ME BY YOUR NAMEAnother young mans summer hell never forget is the core of Call Me By Your Name, a movie to likewise treasure. Luca Guadagninos coming out-of-age drama is a rare exception to familiar romantic rules.This films s...
Published: 01/17/18
Why Phantom Thread is a bad fit as Daniel Day-Lewis final movie

Why Phantom Thread is a bad fit as Daniel Day-Lewis final movie

Paul Thomas Andersons Phantom Thread is passionless window-shop cinema, each static tableau lovingly arranged for display and easy dusting. Its centerpiece is a mannequin, albeit played by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose gift for keeping anything interestin...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Coming-of-age love story Call Me By Your Name is a rare treasure

Coming-of-age love story Call Me By Your Name is a rare treasure

Another young mans summer hell never forget is the core of Call Me By Your Name, a movie to likewise treasure. Luca Guadagninos coming out-of-age drama is a rare exception to familiar romantic rules.This films same-sex summer fling shared by a te...
Published: 01/16/18
Liam Neesons The Commuter is terribly pedestrian action

Liam Neesons The Commuter is terribly pedestrian action

Liam Neesons transportation troubles continue in The Commuter, ironically one of his more pedestrian action efforts.This time Neesons misshapen nose for danger leads him onto a train, after Non-Stop air travel, Run(ning) All Night and automobiles (...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/12/18
‘The Post’ lacks urgency in favor of saintly typecasting for Streep and Hanks

‘The Post’ lacks urgency in favor of saintly typecasting for Streep and Hanks

Steven Spielberg’s The Post is a fake news movie, a true story told phony to further an agenda. Some viewers won’t notice since Spielberg’s agenda includes defending First Amendment rights, celebrating female empowerment and sticki...
Published: 01/08/18
Heres what Oscar voters will be looking at after the Golden Globes

Heres what Oscar voters will be looking at after the Golden Globes

A fashion blackout and stirring calls to end sexism made afterthoughts of Sunday nights Golden Globe winners. Just when the Hollywood Foreign Press Associations choices mean more than they have in years.Timing is everything during movie awards seas...
Published: 01/08/18
Whats in theaters this week: The Commuter, Proud Mary, Paddington 2, The Post

Whats in theaters this week: The Commuter, Proud Mary, Paddington 2, The Post

OPENING FRIDAY:THE COMMUTERLiam Neeson has a particular set of MTA tickets in The Commuter (PG-13), tickets he acquired over a very long career selling insurance in New York. Tickets making rush hour a nightmare for people like him. This seat is Take...
Published: 01/03/18
Updated: 01/10/18
10 new movies to look forward to in 2018

10 new movies to look forward to in 2018

OPENING FRIDAY: INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY Don’t worry, the first wide release of 2018 isn’t a sign of things to come. It’s the horror sequel Insidious: The Last Key (PG-13), Chapter 4 in the paranormal activity franchise that went d...
Updated one month ago
I, Tonya nails the landing on Tonya Hardings rough and tumble story

I, Tonya nails the landing on Tonya Hardings rough and tumble story

Tonya Harding was Americas sweathog in a sport preferring sweethearts, an Olympic skater always competing on thin ice.Craig Gillespies hysterically accurate biopic I, Tonya sets up the punchline she became. Hardings spiteful rise and spectacular f...
Updated one month ago