A Monster Calls film

Vampires vs. Werewolves and Other Monsters: January 6's New Movies

Friday, January 06, 2017 Rob Samuelson

It’s a new year. The holidays are behind us and a few months of cheerless cold is ahead of us. We may as well head to the movies to warm up, right? A couple releases are either opening or going wide this weekend, so let’s see what’s on the agenda at the ol’ cinema.

Photo credit: Underworld/Facebook

Underworld: Blood Wars
Director: Anna Foerster
Writers: Cory Goodman, Kyle Ward
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies

Vampires and werewolves do battle, and Kate Beckinsale shoots them. There really isn’t a whole lot to the Underworld series. Depending on whom you ask, that’s the beauty of these delightfully dimwitted movies. Beckinsale is back as Selene, who is tasked with ending the eternal conflict between the mystical creatures. Joining her is Divergent star and professional handsome man Theo James. The cool thing about this entry in the series is that it is the first to be directed by a woman, Anna Foerster, who makes the jump from action-adventure television shows like Outlander.

A Monster Calls
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Patrick Ness
Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson

A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) mourns the sickness and I can only assume the eventual death (the trailer certainly makes it look like she’s a goner) of his mother, who is played by Rogue One’s Felicity Jones. His imagination takes hold of him and soon his drawings -- he’s a very gifted artist -- of a tall, tree-like monster come to life. That monster has the voice of a rather kindly Liam Neeson, and together the two learn to accept the curveballs (or whatever the British equivalent of a baseball metaphor is) life throws at them. Director J.A. Bayona comes from the world of horror films, so A Monster Calls is ripe for a lot of atmospheric, wild imagery.

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