film Jamie Foxx

January 13 Gives Us a Slew of New Movies

Friday, January 13, 2017 Rob Samuelson

This is the first busy weekend at the movies in 2017. Given that it’s January, this jam-packed weekend is probably due to Hollywood throwing a bunch of ideas at the wall to see if something might catch on with audiences. In other words, there’s probably a bunch of garbage. Be wary of that, I guess. Let’s see what potential land mines await!

Photo credit: The Bye Bye Man/Facebook

The Bye Bye Man
Director: Stacy Title
Writer: Jonathan Penner
Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas

I understand that the title of this movie is meant as a nod to the scary folklore told by children and young teens. I get it that it's juvenile. I do. It is still immensely stupid. Terrible title/villain names aside, this horror flick looks like it might be pretty effective when it comes to delivering on its scares. The Bye Bye Man is, in the movie’s universe, to be the magical evil that causes humanity to commit atrocities. In the film, a bunch of teenagers get closer and closer to encountering that evil spirit or whatever it is.

Monster Trucks
Director: Chris Wedge
Writers: Derek Connolly, Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Starring: Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Thomas Lennon

Speaking of bad titles, this movie is literally about a monster who lives in a truck. I suppose it earns some bonus points for not lying about what it is. In this kids’ movie, a young mechanic, played by X-Men: First Class’s Lucas Till, meets a slug-like alien and befriends it while showing the alien the magic that is inside of trucks or something. I’m sorry to you parents who may be obligated to bring your children to see this.

Director: Baran bo Odar
Writer: Andrea Berloff
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney

A remake of a 2011 French thriller, Sleepless is about a cop who may or may not have a background with the criminal underworld (Jamie Foxx), searching for his kidnapped son within that criminal underworld. Foxx is about as hit or miss as it gets, so hopefully this allows him to use some of his no-nonsense revenge seeker persona he built in Django Unchained.

Live by Night
Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson

Under most circumstances, Live by Night would be released in the fall along with all the other Oscar contenders. After all, writer-director-star Ben Affleck won a golden statue for his last movie, Argo (his other two movies before that were even better than the one that gained him the Oscar). Somehow, though, based on early reviews, Live by Night suffered a disconnect somewhere along the line. This period gangster film has not been received well, but you know, it has a strong pedigree and it certainly looks pretty in its trailer. Proceed with caution.

Patriots Day
Director: Peter Berg
Writers: Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Joshua Zetumer
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons

This is the second movie directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg in the last few months, following the shockingly good and emotional oil rig disaster film Deepwater Horizon. It also features a recent political event, this time focusing on the days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Wahlberg plays a police officer who was there on the day and the rest of the film figures to be about the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, including a shootout and eventual surrender.

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