A Cure For Wellness Charlie Day

Insane Asylums, Brawling Teachers, Matt Damon: February 17's New Movies

Friday, February 17, 2017 Rob Samuelson

This weekend offers a variety of genres for you to check out at your local movie theater of choice. We’ve got some horror, a healthy helping of comedy, and a major international action co-production. Let’s see what’s in store.

Photo credit: A Cure For Wellness/Facebook

A Cure for Wellness
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writers: Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

For the first time in 15 years, Gore Verbinski has made another horror movie. His last, The Ring, was a creative and financial success that pushed him into blockbuster filmmaking -- he directed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films that dominated the box office through the 2000s. But now he’s scaled things back a little bit to tell the story of a young man (Dane DeHaan) who finds himself trapped against his will at a mental institution. How did they trap him? Can he get out? What’s all that wacky stuff in bathtubs in the basement? It looks slick and thrilling, so I’m very intrigued in finding the answers to those questions.

Fist Fight
Director: Richie Keen
Writers: Van Robichaux, Evan Susser, Max Greenfield
Starring: Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan

Charlie Day plays a dweeby high school teacher who crosses another teacher at his school, played by Ice Cube. Thus, Ice Cube challenges him to a fight. With their fists. You get the deal. It’s an R-rated goofball comedy with people who know how to make you laugh. Yeah, it seems a little thin, but sometimes thin premises lead to laser-focused jokes. It’s only 91 minutes long, which is always a good sign for a comedy, too.

The Great Wall
Director: Yimou Zhang
Writers: Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy, Max Brooks, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Starring: Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe

Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe play a pair of Western traders traveling through ancient China when monsters attack the Great Wall of China. They must team up with local warriors and merchants to fight off the supernatural creatures. This movie, with its acclaimed Chinese director and a cast built around American stars and character actors from around the globe, is a sign of where the film industry is going in an era in which the Chinese box office is increasingly important to Hollywood studios’ bottom lines. Yes, Damon and Dafoe’s characters look like traditional white saviors for incapable foreigners (that’s an issue), but this is an intriguing trend and one that can bear a lot of fascinating and representational fruit in the coming years.

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