This Weekend At The Movies (Feb. 3-5)

This week features a genre heavy weekend and there are not one, but two Monster Popcorn Picks of the Week!  I suggest seeing both if you can.. or else.

CHRONICLE

MP’s PICK OF THE WEEK

Directed by Josh Trank.  Starring Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael Kelly and Ashley Hinshaw.

Three high school students make an incredible discovery that leads to developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding.  As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control and their darker sides begin to take over.

I’m really excited for this film.  I’ve only seen the trailer, which doesn’t tell you too much about what the film is, and have avoided reading any reviews or additional material regarding the movie.  I want to go in with nothing having been spoiled and (hopefully) enjoy the movie for what it has to offer.  The thing that has me even more intrigued about Chronicle is that Max Landis, son of legendary John Landis, wrote the screenplay for the film.  I’m really interested to see what he’s done with the story and get a sense of his talent.  I really appreciate the air of mystery surrounding the film and like the fact that this is a movie where we don’t really know what is coming.  That’s a rare thing these days.  It could be great, it could be terrible, but its always nice to be surprised.

THE INNKEEPERS

MP’s PICK OF THE WEEK

LIMITED RELEASE

Written and directed by Ti West.  Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.

After over one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good.  The last remaining employees, Claire and Luke, are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England’s most haunted hotels.  As the Inn’s final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage “ghost hunters” begin to experience strange and alarming events that may ultimately cause them to be mere footnotes in the hotel’s long unexplained history.

I cannot wait to see this movie.  I really dug West’s previous horror film, The House of the Devil.  It was a great example of atmospheric horror that had a really great 80s look to it (the movie was set in the 80s, so yea).  I’ve also seen Cabin Fever 2 which West has essentially disowned due to it not being the film he envisioned because of studio interference.  I actually kind of enjoyed it and felt like I could see what he was trying to do with it despite it not being the version he wanted it to be.  So needless to say, I am a fan of Ti West and I’m pretty eager to see his next film.  This is being released today but in limited cities and will expand to select few cities in the coming weeks.  You can see where the film will be playing by clicking on the poster which will take you to a list of dates and cities it is playing in.  If it isn’t playing near you, don’t fret, it is also available on VOD (Video On Demand) so check your on demand options to find it.  I also believe it may be up on the Xbox marketplace for rental.  So, if you can, go see it in the theater, where it’s meant to be seen, but if you can’t, definitely find it through VOD.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK

Directed by James Watkins.  Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey and Ciarán Hinds.

Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric.  But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret.  Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost… and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.

I’m excited that Hammer Films, the production company behind this film as well as numerous horror films of yore, is back in the mix providing us with new entries in the horror genre.  With this film, they are giving us a bit of gothic horror that is led by the one and only, Harry Potter.  I actually like the fact that Daniel Radcliffe chose a project like this to follow up the Harry Potter franchise.  It doesn’t seem like an obvious choice and while the die-hard Radcliffe fans will follow him no matter what, it doesn’t seem to be a movie that’s demographic is the Harry Potter fanbase.  It is PG-13 though so maybe I’m just blathering on about something not all that important or even true.  Regardless, I definitely want to see the film and hope that it delivers some great gothic horror atmosphere.

BIG MIRACLE

Directed by Ken Kwapis.  Starring Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Tim Blake Nelson and Ted Danson.

In small town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend, a Greenpeace volunteer, on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

I know that this is supposed to melt the hearts of people everywhere but I just, I don’t want to watch this movie.  It feels more like propaganda than anything.  It’s not to say that I would be against saving whales at all, I’d actually be in favor of what the movie is about but the film seems like heavy handed emotional manipulation using helpless animals, which I tend to find lazy and disingenuous.  I like John Krasinski and Kristen Bell a lot but their involvement can’t win me over in favor of seeing it.  I, by no means, mean to sound disparaging about the movie nor do I support the notion that because I’m passing on the film I think everyone else should as well.  It’s just not for me but perhaps it’s right up your alley.  If it is, I honestly hope you enjoy it.

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