Happy 2023! These Movies Are Coming!

Posted on December 31, 2022 at 8:00 am

Happy New Year!  Lots of great movies to look forward to in 2023. As usual, we have more information about big blockbusters that have been in the works for a while than about smaller films that may still be in production. I always look forward to seeing more from my old favorites, but as I say every year what I enjoy most is knowing that there will be some filmmakers I’ve never heard of who will surprise and delight me in the new year. Watch for Jonathan Majors, already one of my favorites ever since “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” in two giant sequels, “Creed III” and the new Ant-Man film. And watch for Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren in two blockbuster sequels as well: “SHAZAM” and “Fast X Part 1.”

Here are some of the films we are already excited about. (Release dates tentative)

Comic Book Movies

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

SHAZAM:Fury of the Gods (December)

Helen Mirren!

Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 (May)

Deadpool 3 (September)

Sequels and Remakes

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June)

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are back!

John Wick: Chapter 4

Fast X Part 1 (May)

The series is going out with a two-part bang. It’s still about chases, explosions, and family.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning (July)

Chases, explosions, secrets, and Tom Cruise.

Creed III (March)

Jonathan Majors plays an old friend who gets into the ring with Creed.

Magic Mike: Last Dance (February)

Salma Hayek gives the dancers their dream shot.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Harrison Ford is back!

Avatar 3

The forest people and the sea people versus the sky people, part 3 of 5.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One (June)

Sequel to the Oscar-winning animated multi-verse Spidey story.

Book Club 2 (May)

Jane Fonda, Mary Steenbergen, Diane Keaton, and Candace Bergen reunite for another movie about golden age antics.

Fantasy Games

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (March)

Copyright Paramount 2022

Owlbear! Dragons! Chris Pine!

The Super Mario Brothers Movie (April)

The classic video game comes to animated life with the voices of Charlie Day and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Intriguing New Ideas

Barbie (July)

Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” was so well done I can’t help but look forward to her take on Mattel icon Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

When You Finish Saving the World (January)

“The Social Network’s” Jesse Eisenberg wrote and directed a film that looks like it will break all our hearts. But in a good way.

Missing (January)

The clever “Searching” all took place on the computer screen of the frantic father played by John Cho. This follow-up stars Nia Long and Storm Reid.

Sharper (February)

Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan star in a movie about a con.

Emily (February)

Loosely inspired by the writer Emily Bronte, whose passionate story “Withering Heights” continues to thrill readers.

Linoleum (February)

Jim Gaffigan plays the host of a failing children’s science TV show who has always dreamed of being an astronaut.

Revolution (February)

In the 1970s, a church finds its congregation.

Mama Mafia (April)

Toni Collette inherits the family’s Mafia empire and turns things around with the help of Monica Belluci.

Asteroid City (June)

It’s a new Wes Anderson movie. So I’m guessing it will be quirky, curated, and a bit pretentious but worth seeing.

No Hard Feelings (June)

Copyright 2022 Columbia Pictures

Jennifer Lawrence and Broadway star Andrew Barth Feldman (“Ratatouille the Musical”) plus Matthew Broderick, Ebon Moss-Bacharach (“The Dropout”), and Natalie Morales in an R-rated comedy about a woman hired to advise a socially awkward young man.

Renfield (April)

Remember Dracula’s sidekick? No? Well, here he gets his own story, with Nicholas Hoult falling in love with Awkwafina and Nicolas Cage as the vampire.

For the Family

Elemental (June)

Pixar asks whether Fire and Water can find a life together.

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again (December)

An animated sequel to the popular series.

The Little Mermaid (May)

Copyright Disney 2022

A live action remake starring Halle Bailey.

Related Tags:

 

Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Happy 2023! Movies for New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 30, 2022 at 8:22 am

Happy New Year! Wishing you and your families a happy and healthy new year.

Copyright 1999 Castle Rock

If you’re home on New Year’s Eve, try one of these:

Garry Marshall’s “New Year’s Eve” shows us a variety of happy, poignant, and romantic encounters on the night of December 31.

When Harry Met Sally” has a memorable New Year’s Eve dance.

In “Holiday,” Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn “step into a waltz as the old year dies” while the fancy society engagement party for him and her sister goes on downstairs.

Other movies with New Year’s Eve scenes: “About Time,” “The Holiday,” “The Godfather Part II,” “Rent,” and “The Apartment” — plus the completely bonkers Madam Satan. Here’s a glimpse:

Related Tags:

 

Holidays

My Top Ten Films of 2022

Posted on December 23, 2022 at 7:18 pm

Copyright A24 2022

As usual, I’ve picked a favorite and the other nine are tied for second place, with some runners-up.

1. “Everything Everywhere All at Once

Aftersun
The Banshees of Inisherin
The Fabelmans
Living
Nope
The Outfit
“Skies of Lebanon”
TÁR
Turning Red

Copyright 2022 20th Century

Runners-up: “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Bad Guys,” “Bullet Train,” “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” “Devotion,” “Fire Island,” “Glass Onion,” “The Inspection,” “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” “The Legend of Molly Johnson,” “Spoiler Alert,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Strange World

Related Tags:

 

Awards

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Posted on December 23, 2022 at 5:41 pm

A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, strong language, and thematic content
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking and drunkeness
Violence/ Scariness: A murder mystery with peril, homicide, and fighting, some disturbing images
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: December 23, 2022

Copyright Netflix 2022
I have very conflicting ideas about this review. Part of me wants to tell you all about “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” but a bigger part of me wants you to find out all of its secrets and surprises on your own. So bear with me if I lean too far in that direction. I’m doing it for your own good. “Glass Onion” is an enormously entertaining delight and I want you to enjoy it fully. In fact, go ahead and watch it and then come back here if you want to see what I think about it.

Like its predecessor, “Knives Out,” it is a deliciously twisty remix of the classic British-style murder mystery, with a fabulous location and a group of suspects who all have motive and opportunity. Also like its predecessor, it has an all-star cast clearly enjoying themselves enormously.

The very large cast is efficiently and wittily introduced as each of them receives an elaborate invitation to a party at a fabulous glass mansion on a remote island, the home of a billionaire named Miles Bron (Edward Norton). In a brilliantly edited sequence, we see each of the characters trying to open the box, telling us a lot about who they are and how they think. Jackie Hoffman, as one character’s mother, is hilariously bored and sharp at the same time.

Receiving the astonishingly crafted puzzle box with the invitation:

Kate Hudson as Birdie Jay, a flamboyant, selfish, famous-for-being-famous celebrity whose outspoken remarks are often offensive.

Kathryn Hahn as Claire Debella, the governor of Connecticut.

Dave Bautista as Duke, an obnoxious, gun-toting social media star. He brings his girlfriend, Whiskey (Madeline Cline).

Leslie Odem as Lionel, a scientist working with Miles on a secret project.

Janelle Monae as Andi, formerly Miles’ girlfriend and partner.

These people were all friends before Miles became wealthy and they get together once a year. This year, Miles has something special planned, a murder mystery game.

Also arriving on the island — the one carry-over character from the earlier film, the brilliant detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig).

We learn about the connections that tie this group together, with some hilarious cameo appearances (two very touching from huge stars we recently lost) and celebrity references. Miles’ glass palace is filled with the kind of gauche art displays you would see in the home of an ultra-rich guy who wants bragging rights. (Genuine art lovers will notice that the “Rothko” is hanging upside down.) Amidst the twists and turns of the story are some clever digs at those we consider “influencers” and “disrupters.”

The performances are all spectacular. Hudson nails the selfish, superficial fading star desperate for attention, pretending that she does not know the difference between being outspoken and having something to say. Norton is just right with the false geniality of of a man who has given up everything to think of himself as a winner. Craig is a hoot (one of the movie’s best surprises is the reveal of his romantic partner). Monae masters a role that requires a lot of subtlety as the estranged member of the group and looks like a billion bucks as she does so.

What song will Johnson pick for the next one? Which superstars will appear? I can’t wait to find out.

Parents should know that this is a murder mystery with homicides and betrayal. There are some graphic images, characters use strong language and drink and get drunk. The movie also includes sexual references and a sexual situation.

Family discussion: What was the biggest surprise in the movie? How does the Beatles song “Glass Onion” relate to the film? Who should star in the next chapter?

If you like this, try: “Knives Out” and “See How They Run” as well as some of the stories that inspired them: “And Then There Were None,” “The Thin Man,” and the original “Murder on the Orient Express”

Related Tags:

 

movie review Movies -- format Movies -- Reviews Mystery Satire Series/Sequel Thriller

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Posted on December 21, 2022 at 12:40 pm

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action/violence, rude humor, language and some scary moments
Profanity: Mild schoolyard language and almost-language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Extended fantasy peril and action, comic "deaths," some scary monsters, a character embodies death
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: December 23, 2022

Copyright 2022 Universal/Dreamworks
The swashbuckling fairy tale cat Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) likes to remind everyone of his heroic, adventurous spirit, his skill with a sword, and his gift for singing. When pressed, as he is in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” by a doctor, he will admit that he is not much at math. And this is relevant because, as we know, a cat has nine lives, and if Puss had been keeping score he would have realized that he has used up…eight of them. It does not require a lot of math skills to figure out that means he is on his last one and has to be careful.

And that is how, after an opening scene filled with swordplay, acrobatics, and valor, including the defeat of a superbly designed tree giant, Puss ends up living with a cat lady (Da’Vine Joy Randolph, warm-hearted with just a touch of dottiness). “I’m always on the lookout for a new lap cat!” she says. Puss sadly buries his feathered hat and boots and resigns himself to the indignities of blue booties, eating cat chow from a trough, and using a litter box.

But then he discovers there is one chance to reboot his lives. It involves a magical map to the location of a fallen star that can grant just one wish. He is not the only one who wants that wish, though. Goldilocks (a hilarious cockney-accented Florence Pugh) and her three bear crime family (Ray Winstone, Olivia Colman, and Samson Kayo) and Big (formerly Little) Jack Horner (John Mulaney in full sneer mode) want the wish. And so does Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), whose fearlessness and swords(wo)manship are every bit a match for PiB, with a history together that makes them both wary and attracted to one another.

And so, Puss is off on a journey and in a race with the other groups trying to beat him to the wish. And as we expect from the SCU (Shrek Cinematic Universe), there will be humor ranging from sly references for the grown-ups to slapstick for the young and the young at heart. And there will be action, adventure, some heartwarming lessons about friendship and a little bit of romance. It is always fun to see or rather hear “Desperado” co-stars Hayek and Banderas together again.

The character design and movement is very well done, especially the tree giant, the wolf/bounty hunter who represents Death, and Goldilocks. And the animation style is wonderfully dynamic and expressive. I especially enjoyed the mix of animation styles. We are all used to the hyper-realism of CGI, with every hair in a cat’s fur rendered individually. So it was especially nice to see the contrast between that realism and a more impressionistic depiction of fur on the coats of the three bears or the bark on the tree giant. The combination works surprisingly well and a slight strobe effect on some of the action scenes gives them a joyfully dynamic comic-book pop.

This new chapter keeps the best of the series’ humor and heart and adds new touches to keep the story and characters vibrant. If they can keep this up, Puss should have many more lives.

Parents should know that this film has some mild schoolyard language and some almost-language, some potty humor, and extended fantasy action with some peril and violence that almost reaches the PG-13 level, including flashbacks of Puss in Boots’ first eight “deaths.”

Family discussion: If you had nine lives, what chances would you take? What was different about what Golidlocks and Jack Horner wanted to wish for?

If you like this, try: The other Shrek and Puss in Boots movies and the fairy tales and nursery rhymes that inspired them.

Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Based on a book Fantasy movie review Movies -- format Movies -- Reviews Series/Sequel
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2023, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik