“This Weekend At The Movies” is a weekly breakdown of all the movies hitting theaters. The goal is to help you know what movies will be worth your time and which ones should be delegated to Redbox. No hardcore critics here, just guys that understand what it takes to make a great film (great writers, a humble director, an experienced DP, moldable actors, just enough money, enough production time, and an army of dedicated crew members). So we are your faithful movie caddies that account for all the “movie variables” to help you know what you should see and what you should ignore.
This Weekend At The Movies | Family Time or Fey Time
Let’s be honest, this country is about eight months away from President Trump and nuclear war. So now, more than ever, every moment matters. There can be no wasted weekends we need our best movies NOW. But hope springs eternal, and Disney, per tradition, seems to have delivered a movie perfect for all ages and stages in life while Tina Fey may have just found her stride on the big screen.
With winter’s grip slowly fading and cabin fever in full effect, it is time to get out and head to the movies. So as always, let’s break down all the movies hitting a theater near you!
Director: Byron Howard(Tangled), Rich Moore(The Simpsons), and Jared Bush(Big Hero 6)
Distributed By: Walt Disney Pictures
Budget: $93.2 million
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together-a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy.
Judy, along with a fugitive con artist fox, must work together to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the entire town.
Disney, more so than any news source on this planet, seems to be able to predict the future by the themes of their movies. Take “Up” for example. “Up” is a movie which tells the story of modernization and gentrification which preceded a new “urban movement” in real life by only a few years. A movement that has seen people displaced left and right from their homes due to rising taxes and cost of living.
Now, Disney tells the story of understanding racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity while Donald Trump seems to be seeking to whitewash this country…I am not sure how they do it but their timing is impeccable.
Zootopia is the animated movie we have all been waiting for and some. The combination of traditional Disney meets the underlying humor of the “Simpsons.” This is a movie that will be fun and playful for children yet provide sophisticated humor for adults. A “win win” scenario if I have ever seen one.
The best part?
The movie’s lesson: Diversity is a good thing, and having people who think, act, and live differently than you is a necessary thing. We are scared of being different but we can not let fear control us.
A lesson we all need right now…especially if you are voting for #Trumpzilla.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Director:Glenn Ficarra(Bad Santa) & John Requa(Focus)
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Budget: $35 million
In 2002, cable news producer Kim Barker decides to shake up her routine by taking a daring new assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dislodged from her comfortable American lifestyle, Barker finds herself in the middle of an out-of-control war zone. Luckily, she meets Tanya Vanderpoel, a fellow journalist who takes the shell shocked reporter under her wing. Amid the militants, warlords and nighttime partying, Barker discovers the key to becoming a successful correspondent.
The film adaptation of Kim Barker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle,” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot sends Tina Fey to the front lines of the Afghan War. Half love story, half war drama this movie seeks to finally give Fey the dramatic role that has alluded her. One of this country’s most popular faces, Fey seems consistently typecast as the boat rocking comedian, but unfortunately this movie does not help that.
Fey predictably crushes the comedic parts, as seen in the trailer, but awkwardly dances through the more meaningful and serious moments like me at my freshman homecoming dance.
On one hand this movie is needed, a film about a woman who finds herself not in a man but in one of life’s great adventures. The “Secret Life Of Walter Fey” if you will…
But, on the other hand this movie closes its eyes and rushes through the more meaningful parts leaving a movie that seems to underachieve. It’s good, but it could have been great. It is Fey’s breakout moment that never happened.