Commentary by Hammerle

When Did October Replace January as the Dead Zone for Good Movies

As I have noted for a long time, January is generally reserved for lackluster movies where the studios are hoping to make a few bucks. Clearly, with few exceptions, if any of these films had the slightest bit of quality, they would have been released before and during the holiday season.

On the other hand, given the releases a week before Halloween, late October now looks like Hollywood’s new cemetery. Even a movie fan like myself is left profoundly disappointed by these new films.

I have recently released my review of American Honey, and the fact that I was the only one in the theater at Keystone Arts on a Friday afternoon says all you really need to know. However, at least I was intrigued enough to buy a ticket, and I couldn’t say the same thing about the handful of other films that have floated our way.

Let’s begin with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Having seen the previews, it looks like a bad Jason Bourne film, and that is not a compliment. The original Jack Reacher (2012) was hit or miss, and this one looks like a complete waste of time. Cruise continues to hit pay dirt with the Mission Impossible films, but someone should tell him to stop reaching for Mr. Reacher.

And then you have Kevin Hart in Kevin Hart: What Now and Zach Galifianakis in the lamentable Keeping Up With the Joneses. Both of these actors thrust themselves on the big screen multiple times each year playing the exact same character. I lost interest in Mr. Hart about eight pictures ago, and I can only advise Mr. Galifianakis to remember the interesting roles he played in It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010) and The Campaign (2012).

And how can we forget Tyler Perry bringing us another sequel entitled Boo! A Madea Halloween. I saw the first two Madea films and actually thought they were both innovative and quite funny. However, his multiple sequels have done little more than repeat the same jokes, and I can only compare them to the lamentable two sequels to the original The Hangover (2009).

Quite frankly, the only original movie that I am tempted to see is Ouija: Origin of Evil. While it did poorly at the box office, it seemed to be scary enough to entertain twisted fans like myself. Movie fans seem to like it better than reviewers, so I may succumb and see it if I run out of excuses.

And while I hate to say it, we are not helped this weekend by the release of Inferno. Director Ron Howard and Tom Hanks have obvious recognized talent, but it is hard to understand why either would put any effort into this seemingly sad film.

In the meantime, there are three other films running that seem to be intriguing and should draw your attention. They are Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga; Certain Women, with a cast that includes Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristin Stewart and A Man Called Ove.

As for me, we’re off to Key West for their yearly Fantasy Fest. As Warren Zevon said, “See you in the next life….wake me up for meals!”