Thursday, December 14, 2017
Movies

What’s new in theaters: ‘The Snowman,’ ‘Only the Brave,’ ‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’

OPENING FRIDAY:

THE SNOWMAN

Unlike Frosty, The Snowman (R) isn’t a jolly, happy soul. He’s a serial killer who murders after snowfalls, keeping him busy in Norway where an alcoholic detective (Michael Fassbender) specializes in — wait for it — cold cases.

Fassbender leads an intriguing cast: Oscar winner J.K. Simmons makes anything better, Chloe Sevigny gets two roles and the chance to see Val Kilmer playing someone named Gert Rafto is tough to pass up. The Snowman is directed by Tomas Alfredson, whose Let the Right One In showed his thrill-chill chops.

Read a review of The Snowman at tampabay.com/movies.

ONLY THE BRAVE

California’s wildfire devastation makes Only the Brave (PG-13) tragically topical. It’s the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a forest firefighting crew that lost 19 members in a 2013 blaze.

Miles Teller stars as the lone survivor, Brendan McDonough, in the first of back-to-back openings for the Lecanto High School graduate. Next week, Teller portrays a troubled Iraq War veteran in Thank You for Your Service.

Only the Brave surrounds Teller with undisputed talent: Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connolly, dependable Josh Brolin and cool character actor James Badge Dale.

GEOSTORM

Gerard Butler stars in a disaster flick but you knew that because every flick Butler’s in turns out disastrous. This time it’s Geostorm (PG-13), directed by Dean Devlin, who wrote Stargate, Independence Day and its trash-bin sequel, and the worst Godzilla remake ever.

In the future, Earth’s climate is controlled by a global satellite system that suddenly goes haywire. Butler and Jim Sturgess play estranged brothers getting to the bottom of the problem. Any world that would elect Andy Garcia to the Oval Office is worth saving.

TYLER PERRY’S BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN

Correction: It’s actually another Madea Halloween. Tyler Perry took viewers trick or treating with his drag character last year. She’s back like candy corn, stale with no discernible taste.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (PG-13) sends Madea, Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) camping on haunted grounds, shrieking at pop-up monsters and running away. Just what we need: Tyler Perry’s Ernest Scared Stupid.

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME

Greg Kinnear returns as the sincere face of inspirational cinema in Same Kind of Different As Me (PG-13), another slice of true-life uplift after 2014’s Heaven is For Real.

Kinnear plays Ron Hall, an art dealer whose path crosses with a homeless man named Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou), a former sharecropper. Together they continue the ministry started by Ron’s wife, Deborah (Renée Zellweger), who’s dying of cancer.

NEVER HERE

Camille Thoman won a 2014 Gasparilla Film Festival prize for her paddle tennis documentary The Longest Game. Thoman makes a solid feature debut with Never Here (R), a dream-state mystery featuring the late Sam Shepard’s final performance.

Shepard’s aura graces Thoman’s tale of a photographer (The Killing’s Mireille Enos) whose invasion of privacy for art’s sake leads to losing her own, and perhaps her sanity. Never Here is a moody inversion of the stalker genre, less of a thriller than a Lynchian thinker. Thoman has a bright future and we’ll say we knew her when. B

In theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 Blade Runner 2049: Ryan Gosling stars in a cerebral sequel to a sci-fi classic.

2 Battle of the Sexes: Emma Stone and Steve Carell star as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

3 Professor Marston & the Wonder Women: The erotic roots of a comic book icon.

4 Victoria & Abdul: Judi Dench wins her Queen-off with Helen Mirren, 3-1.

5 Breathe: Andrew Garfield stars as disability-rights pioneer Robin Cavendish. Read a review at tampabay.com/movies.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Oct. 27: The Florida Project; Suburbicon; Thank You for Your Service; Jigsaw

Nov. 3: Thor: Ragnarok; A Bad Moms Christmas; The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Nov. 10: Murder on the Orient Express; Wonderstruck; Daddy’s Home 2

Nov. 17: Justice League; Roman J. Israel Esq.; Wonder; The Star

Nov. 22: Coco; Chappaquiddick; Polaroid

Dec. 1: He’s Out There

Dec. 8: The Shape of Water; The Disaster Artist; All the Money in the World

     
   
Comments
Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

NEW YORK — Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology compa...
Published: 12/14/17
Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie but ‘Wonder Wheel’ is awful

Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie but ‘Wonder Wheel’ is awful

Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie, while broken silence resurrects whispers of his own alleged sexual misconduct.Wonder Wheel (PG-13) is exactly what the 82-year-old Oscar winner doesn’t need, a reason beyond social outrage fo...
Published: 12/13/17
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

When The Force Awakens landed two years ago, it was everything Star Wars fans wanted yet not entirely what we needed. It was a rousing tribute missing its own vision, introducing new characters and crises hinting at old ones. Star Wars: The Last Jed...
Published: 12/12/17
13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

Hollywood has enough movies left to get everyone through the holidays plus any New Year’s hangover. Many are aiming for awards glory, a few are just here for the party. The really serious contenders won’t open nationwide until early 2018...
Published: 12/12/17
Six places to see a movie and eat dinner at the same time

Six places to see a movie and eat dinner at the same time

Back in my day ...Go on. Say the words. Apply it to the cost of movies. Once a casual weekend outing, seeing a flick can be an enormously expensive experience in streaming-happy 2017. Tickets can climb upwards of $15 these days, depending on the thea...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season. The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christop...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led television nominees with six nods. In what’s being viewed as a wide-open Osc...
Published: 12/11/17
Five offbeat movie choices to get you away from the multiplex this week

Five offbeat movie choices to get you away from the multiplex this week

Hollywood is backloading December, waiting for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to bring moviegoers back to multiplexes. After no major releases last week, only James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is making any new impression at box offices this weekend. (Cli...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Olaf is being let go: Olaf short is being dropped from Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Olaf is being let go: Olaf short is being dropped from Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Winter is still weeks away but everyone’s favorite snowman is already melting from view.In a cruel twist on Frozen’s showstopper, Olaf is being let go.Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the 21-minute animated "short" preceding Disney-Pixar’s Coco in theaters w...
Published: 12/05/17
‘The Disaster Artist’ takes us inside ‘The Room’ as it notoriously happened

‘The Disaster Artist’ takes us inside ‘The Room’ as it notoriously happened

James Franco found a kooky, kindred spirit in Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist whose 2003 cine-trocity The Room is hailed as one of the worst movies ever.Like Wiseau, Franco can be accused of stretching his talent way too far. Unlike Wiseau, Franco ...
Published: 12/04/17