The Oscar Project
With a spread of big opening films, I doubt that any one will take over the box office this weekend. There is a little something for everyone from horror, to historical drama, to rom-coms, and even a family comedy.
The limited release list has a few gems in it as well, including Christmas stories from Netflix and Disney+ that you will be able to stream on those services later this month.
Ewan McGregor stars as Dan Torrance, better known as Danny from Stanley Kubrick's classic horror film The Shining. All grown up now, Dan returns to the Overlook Hotel and befriends a young girl in town who can hear the voices in her head, much as he could as a boy.
While nothing will top Kubrick's original from 1980 along with Jack Nicholson's iconic performance, this looks like it is a decent call back to the previous film and will undoubtedly contain many references for fans of The Shining.
Now that she's done with her stint as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke can turn her sights to other screen ventures. Here she stars as Kate, a young woman working in a Christmas shop who runs into Tom (Henry Golding) and learns to fall in love again after undergoing a near-death experience a few years earlier.
This feels like a classic holiday romantic comedy, with a slightly new twist of the almost dying thrown into the mix. The fact that it made it to the big screen and didn't end up as a Netflix or Hulu release probably speaks more to Clarke and Golding's name recognition after Thrones and Crazy Rich Asians than it does to the level of the film itself.
If you know the story of the Battle of Midway, you'll know how the film goes. Much like Pearl Harbor, Midway was a small outpost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Despite its small size, Midway was seen as a strategic location by the Japanese from which they would be able to expand their influence in the Pacific and perhaps make their way to the United States mainland at some point.
The Americans were able to decipher Japanese communications about the planned attack and created their own ambush in response leading to the sinking of four Japanese aircraft carriers as well as other support ships and hundreds of aircraft being destroyed.
The film looks like it is a stylistic successor to the 2001 Ben Affleck film Pearl Harbor, despite having no connections in terms of cast, director, or writers. The images of the actual battle itself seem to draw heavily from the images many are familiar with from that film.
Playing with Fire
Probably the most fun film releasing this weekend features John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, and John Leguizamo as a group of fire fighters/smoke jumpers who have to rescue and deal with a bunch of kids who appear to cause nothing but mayhem.
The problem with films like this is that they are usually either great, or they're terrible, and I fear that despite a few laughs, this one will fall into the latter category. Kids will flock to it because of the wrestling superstar (Cena) and adults may find some humor in Key and Leguizamo's performances, but that is usually as far as things go.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?