The 2017 Holiday Film Roundup, Part One
By Livia Peterson
Merry Christmas, y'all.
The Greatest Showman: Phineas Taylor Barnum, known as P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) founded and managed the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The wife Charity (Michelle Williams) is depicted as a damsel in distress and always obeying her husband. The one of the many circus acts is the showstopping opera singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) and provides the most beautiful song Never Enough, sung by Loren Allred. While the film does not accurately portray Mr. Barnum's life, one should expect dazzling musical numbers by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land) and a tale that frequently feels like a live performance than a motion picture. B-
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: The four teenagers Martha (Karen Gillan), Bethany (Jack Black), Fridge (Kevin Hart), and Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) discover the video game console Jumanji during the high school detention and hence, the group are entrapped into the jungle setting, trust one another, and save the the world of Jumanji to be able to return to their normal selves and surroundings. The lackluster performances and predictable narrative provide a fun time in spite the fact that we did not need another Jumanji movie. C
Downsizing: Audrey and Paul Safranek (Kristen Wiig and Matt Damon) contemplate to downsize to four inches tall to be rich and save the planet Earth from extinction and global warming. Audrey does not downsize and yet, Paul must adapt to his new environment and establishes friendships with neighbor Dusan (Christoph Waltz) and Vietnamese dissident Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau). While Mr. Damon starred in two duds, this film and Suburbicon and Wiig's primary role is to move Damon's character forward, Chau is the breakout star. Alexander Payne's latest film wants to say so much, politically and socially and yet, hesitant to actually say anything. The several underdeveloped ideas tap into zeitgeist, particularly the global warming is definitely real. While we're enduring the Trump administration, it would be perfect to metaphorically downsize, haha. D
Father Figures: The mother Helen (Glenn Close) does not inform her sons Peter and Kyle (Ed Helms and Owen Wilson) about their father. Helen admits Terry Bradshaw is their father; however, the sons insist upon a road trip to discover their biological father. Helms and Wilson are usually brilliant comedians and yet, the film delivers nonexistent chemistry and chuckles. Despite the narrative attempts to express family is important, it becomes unsuccessful and ignorant due to the conclusion informs the audience the brothers traveled the United States for nothing. C-
Call Me By Your Name: The young Elio (Timothee Chalamet) establishes a romantic relationship with the research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) in Northern Italy during 1983. While the brilliant performances and the gorgeous cinematography stood out, the relevant narrative did not strike a chord with me. I completely support the LGBTQ+ community; however, the film delivers meandering pacing in which allowed me to snooze throughout and personally difficult to relate to the characters. C+
Ferdinand: The bull Ferdinand (John Cena) finds a loving family; however, intruding upon a flower festival requires him to participate in bull fighting and rescue his fellow bull friends. The calming goat Lupe (Kate McKinnon) provides advice to Ferdinand. While McKinnon consistently stole the show, Ferdinand and Company is harmless and enjoyable family entertainment. C
The 2017 Holiday Film Roundup, Part Two will include the following reviews: Molly's Game, All The Money in the World, Darkest Hour, and Pitch Perfect 3.