John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
"The Avengers" might finally be cut down at the box office by a retired hitman. Keanu Reeves is back in "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum." The movie takes up right where the last one left off. After breaking the rules at the safe house, Wick is on the run with a massive bounty on his head, and plenty, I mean PLENTY of people trying to cash in!
At one point, he escapes overseas where Halle Berry plays an assassin with a mutual history and some nasty dogs. The fight choreography on this film is second to none, really phenomenal, but absent is any heart or drama to pull it all together. It's fight scene after fight scene strung together by gobbledygook about 'The High Table.' If an endless number of skulls splitting and bones crunching is why you go to the movies, this one's for you! For me, this wick is burning out.
Summit Entertainment - Rated R
Trial By Fire
"Trial By Fire" is the true story of Texan Cameron Todd Willingham, sentenced to death after his daughters were killed in a Corsicana house fire. A Houston playwright becomes a penpal and tries to prove his innocence before it's too late. Jack O'Connell and Laura Dern star. Both are terrific. The movie is directed by Edward Zwick, based on an article in 'The New Yorker.' Zwick is known for epics like "Glory," "Legends of the Fall," "The Last Samurai" and "Blood Diamond." Here he goes more intimate. We learn of the possibilities of a botched investigation as Dern's character discovers them. Death row camaraderie plays out over a shared love of the Dallas Cowboys. Zwick is clearly anti-death penalty and had plenty to say about the Texas justice system when I interviewed him for this film. On screen, the drama speaks for itself with conviction.
Roadside Attractions - Rated R
A Dog's Journey
"A Dog's Journey" is a sequel to "A Dog's Purpose" from a couple of years ago. Dennis Quaid's beloved dog 'Bailey' finds new destinies as he looks after Quaid's granddaughter throughout her young life. It's nice to see Quaid cleanse the palate from the creepiness of "The Intruder." Marg Helgenberger replaced Peggy Lipton, who we sadly lost this week, as his wife. Josh Gad returns as the voice of the dogs. Writer W. Bruce Cameron is making a cottage industry of puppy pictures, ("A Dog's Way Home" was just out in January.) and he has the audience on a short leash. These movies are designed to make you both laugh and cry, and they do.
Universal Pictures - Rated PG
The Sun Is Also A Star
She's from T.V.'s "Grown-ish." He's from "Riverdale." Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton play two young New Yorkers who have one day to fall in love in "The Sun Is Also A Star." Why only one day? Her family's about to be deported! The movie's based on a popular YA novel. She's an aspiring scientist. He's an aspiring poet. Can opposites attract? It's Hollywood, of course, they can! Melton should change his name to 'meltin.' He's cute and he knows it. Critics will likely slay this film. But if you like a cute couple in a whirlwind big city romance with a heavy statement on immigration, you'll fall in love, too.
Warner Bros. - Rated PG-13