The Hippo


Feb 27, 2020








Thanksgiving at the Movies

Looking to get the family out of the house over the Thanksgiving weekend? There are three movies that have been out for a while (which means less crowded theaters) that actually make for perfect group viewing.
For a movie-going group that includes the youngest movie-goers (maybe 4 and up — ability to sit still-ish is probably the biggest factor), The Peanuts Movie (G) is a sweet, charming update of Charlie Brown and the gang. And, when I say update, I mean that the rounded, three-dimensional-style animation is a slight update on the line-drawing of the past. The characters themselves adhere strongly to what you remember and love about Peanuts.
For middle-school-aged kids and up (and science-lovers of all ages), try The Martian (PG-13), starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who gets stuck alone on Mars and has to, paraphrasing, “science the heck” out of his dire situation. Watching him and others use know-how to solve a series of problems — from growing food to finding a quicker way home — is lots of fun and excellent pro-STEM propaganda.
I don’t want to call Bridge of Spies (PG-13) the “grandparents movie” but it is totally the movie to go to if you need to entertain generations Millennial through Greatest. Tom Hanks stars in and Steven Spielberg directs this movie about the U2 spy plane crash, subsequent prisoner exchange and general climate of fear during the Cold War. This movie’s secret weapon is the excellent Mark Rylance, best previously known for playing Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall

Not Just Star Wars
A look at big year-end movies and award season awakens

By Amy Diaz

Maybe you've heard a thing or two about that little-known movie coming out on Dec. 18? Star something? 

Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, if the infinite amount of merch and hype is to be believed, will be the movie this season, crushing all competitors at least box-office-wise. I even have some hopes, which I am trying to keep from getting too high, of it being a legitimately good movie. J.J. Abrams, this movie's director and co-writer, did, to my mind, a solid job of rebooting the Star Trek franchise. 
But that's not all! Other movies will hit screens between now and the end of the year. After all, not only is it families-looking-for-something-to-do season but it is Hollywood award season, which means along with the crowd-pleasers, lots of Important Films will make their way into theaters, seeking Oscar recognition. (Of course, many of these Important Films will take their time making their way into theaters near us.) Here are a few of the films I haven't seen but am looking forward to this holiday season:
Spotlight (R, out now) Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber, this look at the Boston Globe's reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse story is not exactly holiday cheer but I'm always up for movies about newspapers. One of my all-time favorite newspaper movies is  The Paper, which also starred Keaton, so I have hopes for his ability to offer a realistic-ish portrayal of a journalist again. 
Trumbo (R, out now in Boston) Another likely Oscar movie, Trumbo is that thing Hollywood loves most: a movie about movies. Bryan Cranston plays the blacklisted screenwriter in this movie that also stars Michael Stuhlbarg, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and Louis CK. 
Creed (PG-13, Nov. 25) This sequel-ish of the Rocky franchise focuses on the boxing career of Apollo Creed's son, Adonis Johnson, played by Michael B. Jordan (best-known for playing the lead in 2013's Fruitvale Station). Sylvester Stallone plays his coach. 
The Good Dinosaur (PG, Nov. 25) Also showing up in theaters for the long Thanksgiving weekend is this animated feature from Pixar featuring the voices of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Steve Zahn and Sam Elliott. 
Krampus (PG-13, Dec . 4) Is "looking forward to" and "fascinated by" the same thing? If so, then I am "looking forward to" this weird horror movie about Santa's evil other half. From trailers, the movie doesn't appear to be straight-up horror (it also gets a "comedy" genre listing on IMDB) and its cast includes Toni Collette, Adam Scott and David Koechner.
Macbeth This appears to be hitting theaters, at least in Boston, on Dec. 11. Shakespeare nerds can get ready for Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. 
Sisters (R, Dec. 18) Those looking for some counterprogramming to Star Wars can head to Sisters, which stars every Gen-Xer's fantasy best friends Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The movie's promising credentials include its director, Jason Moore (also director of the first Pitch Perfect and a few episodes of the underrated Trophy Wife), and screenwriter, Paula Pell, who has worked on Saturday Night Live and written on a few 30 Rocks
The Hateful Eight While it will hit screens somewhere on Dec. 25 we likely won't see it in New Hampshire until Jan. 8. But I'm still counting it as one of the most-hoped-for holiday season movies. Quentin Tarantino's latest stars Samuel L. Jackson (but, of course), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins and Kurt Russell in a straight-up Western. 
Joy (PG-13, Dec. 25) Director David O. Russell reteams with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper (whom he worked with in American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook) as well as their Silver Linings costar Robert De Niro for this story of a woman (Lawrence as the titular lady) and her family. 

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