Anthony Hopkins collide
Cars, Comedians Going Horror, Rock Dogs: February 24's New MoviesFriday, February 24, 2017 Rob Samuelson
The Hollywood release calendar gets a little wonky this weekend, the last of February. There are no mega franchises, few big names, and lots of untested material. This is rare. It can be good, bad, or anywhere in between. Let’s check ‘em out.
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Director: Eran Creevy
Writers: F. Scott Frazier, Eran Creevy
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins
When a reformed car thief (Nicholas Hoult) falls in love with a beautiful woman (Felicity Jones), you know things won’t end well for them. She gets kidnapped by a ruthless criminal (Anthony Hopkins) and Hoult’s character is forced to steal cars for the criminal kingpin. Outside of the enormously popular (and mostly good) Fast and Furious franchise, we haven’t had a lot of good car-based action movies in this era, with one major exception: 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Hoult played a major role in Fury Road, so he knows his way around a steering wheel. Jones and Hopkins both have prestigious backgrounds. There’s a good chance that the acting will be worthwhile. Plus, you know, cars goin’ zoom is rarely boring.
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
Daniel Kaluuya plays a young black man who goes home with his white girlfriend (Girls’ Allison Williams) for the weekend. She’s from the super wealthy (white) suburbs and he feels a little out of place, even when her parents (including The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford as her dad) appear on the surface to be pleasant and welcoming. There is good reason for this. The black people in this suburb are hunted down or turned into weird, supernatural minions. This is comedian Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, and it’s particularly interesting because he is stretching his wings to move into horror. This one seems chock full of social allegory and it seems that Peele has a ton of fascinating things on his mind. If you don’t have kids, this one is probably the best option for weekend entertainment that’ll make you think.
Director: Ash Brannon
Writers: Ash Brannon, Zheng Jun, Kurt Voelker, Denise Bradley, Vincente DiSanti , Will Finn, Carolyn Gair, Nicole McMath, Josh Zinman
Starring: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons
If you do have young kids, Rock Dog is here for you. A teenage dog (Luke Wilson) decides to pursue his dreams of rock superstardom in this animated feature directed by former Pixar filmmaker Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2). Wilson’s an affable guy, even when it’s just his voice in a cartoon dog’s body, and Eddie Izzard knows how to sell jokes, even (especially?) when they are a little hacky. Kids can use a little boost when it comes to following their dreams and this seems wholesome enough. Go for it, parents.