Andy's upcoming movies

Andrew Cripe

FILM CRITIC

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“Rocketman” (May 22)

Prediction: Bad

I don’t want to speak too soon and call this a straight-up “Bohemian Rhapsody” clone, but it sure looks like one. By the looks of the trailer it hopes to follow the same beats as last year’s frustratingly crap Queen biopic, boringly gliding through the artist’s greatest hits, showing a montage for each, vaguely but never unflatteringly highlighting what was going on in the artist’s life… Rinse and repeat. From the trailer, the visual invention is not going far beyond what you could watch for free in Vevo music videos. Stay home for this one.

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“Aladdin” (May 22)

Prediction: Bad

Get out of here with this bull. It is transparent that all that Disney is doing is digging up the graves of its past properties and making them look somehow even worse with live action treatment. Will Smith’s Genie looks like a horrifying mistake. Nothing is worse than a boring movie, and this new Aladdin looks like it would bore even children. Do your and yours a favor and dust off your VHS copy of the original.

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“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (May 29)

Prediction: Good

Critically, the 2014 “Godzilla” was applauded for its deft grasp of tension and tone, two things that are hard to maintain in a giant monster action movie. I thought it was very badass, but I had to agree with the admittedly apt complaint the fans had: “there’s not enough Godzilla in this Godzilla movie!” Director Michael Dougherty aims to remedy this by having Godzilla go fisticuffs with his rival Ghidorah, and from the trailers, their clash looks freaking epic and worthy of the big screen. Starring Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) and Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”).  

Extra: Cannes Film Festival Radar

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“A Hidden Life” (May 15)

Prediction: Divisive

This is probably the most anticipated film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Infamously polarizing filmmaker Terrence Malick, who won the 2011 Palme d’Or for “The Tree of Life”, returns to the festival with this German-Austrian period piece. Little is known about it, but what has been teased is that this is Malick’s grand return to focused, plot-driven films (ever since his shocking 1998 film “The Thin Red Line”, Malick has been making giant films with arthouse aesthetics). “A Hidden Life” is more than likely to frustrate and bore viewers who are not acclimated to Malick’s style of long, contemplative cinema, but for fans, this is one probably worth anticipating.

5 upcoming movies coming out May 2019

Andrew Cripe

FILM CRITIC


“Shadow” (May 3)

Prediction: Good

After the colossal failure of the 2016 action movie “The Great Wall”, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou looks to make a huge comeback with “Shadow”, a historical drama that has already received rave reviews from around the world. Expect the return of Yimou’s awe-inspiring fight choreography and visual mastery that made films like “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” international sensations.

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“Long Shot” (May 3)

Prediction: Okay

From the trailer of this romantic comedy about a Presidential candidate (Charlize Theron) falling in love with a reporter (Seth Rogen), Jonathan Levine’s latest seems genuinely sweet, if not a bit formulaic. It’s not clear if Rogen will be playing his usual bumbling stoner or if he will be aiming somewhat higher, but the best can always be expected of Charlize Theron, one of the finest actresses out there.

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“The Hustle” (May 10)

Prediction: Meh

After the respectable success of this year’s “Isn’t It Romantic”, the delightful Rebel Wilson will soon be back in theaters for a heist film about two con artists that become partners, co-starring Anne Hathaway. “The Hustle” has great talent supporting it, but the question is whether the film itself will rise to their level, and from the looks of the lame jokes in the trailer, the odds are not promising.

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“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” (May 10)

Prediction: Divisive

This is the first live action Pokémon movie, and it looks a little terrifying. Every major Pokémon from the popular anime and videogame series is represented, and from the trailers, some look adorable, like Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). But there are others that are mind-bogglingly freaky, like the menacing-looking Psyduck and the taunting, nightmarish expression on Mr. Mime’s face. The production value looks stellar, and the whole package could very well be one of 2019’s most satisfying family films, but it could also be a disaster the likes of which we’ve never seen. Devotees of the series already know they’ll be seeing it, but for the casual moviegoer, Detective Pikachu will probably not be their cup of tea.

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“John Wick: Chapter 3” (May 17)

Prediction: Excellent

The last two John Wick movies were amazing. They were popular action movies that had the decency to tell an interesting story about a former hitman while still being jaw-droppingly violent and extremely badass. These movies are a cross between “Mortal Kombat” and “The Raid”, and this third entry promises to the titular character’s biggest, craziest, most ambitious adventure yet.

Coming to a theater near you...

Andrew Cripe

FILM CRITIC

“Hellboy”

Release date: April 12, 2019

Prediction: Meh

This reboot of the popular comic book character has been long awaited, but this wasn’t necessarily the return fans were expecting. Replacing Guillermo Del Toro (director of the previous “Hellboy” films) is Neil Marshall, director of the legendary “Game of Thrones” episode “The Watchers on the Wall” (2014). Since Ron Perlman is now too old to convincingly pull off the Hulk-like demon, David Harbour is stepping in as the new face of “Hellboy”. The acting in the trailers is stiff (which could be a result of bad trailer editing), the visual effects your usual CG-explosion fair, and the premise yawn-inducing. Here’s hoping it actually rocks, but don’t hold your breath.


“Missing Link”

Release date: April 12, 2019

Prediction: Good

This animated film about a bigfoot-looking fella going on an adventure to find his family looks delightful and heartwarming. Laika Entertainment are the creators of visually gorgeous movies like “Coraline” and “Corpse Bride”, as well as one of the best animated movies of the decade, “Kubo and the Two Strings”. Featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, and Zoe Saldana.


“Penguins”

Release date: April 17, 2019

Prediction: Okay

If you are a fan of Disney’s previous nature documentaries, you don’t need me to tell you that you will enjoy this. But for everybody else, despite the impeccable production and state-of-the-art filming equipment used to chart the journeys of the penguins, this latest will probably be a big yawn.


“Under the Silver Lake”

Release date: April 19, 2019

Prediction: Divisive

“Under the Silver Lake” has been making the rounds at festivals and having limited showings in other states, but there still isn’t a consensus on whether or not it is worth seeing. It will finally be shown widely in the Chicagoland area this month, and from the looks of its trailer it is bound to be a deliberately perplexing ride. It seems like a strange turn for the director of the smash-hit indie horror film “It Follows” (2015), as it does not come across as a sinister thrillride but a laid-back, lengthy, artful mystery film in the same vein as Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” (2014). Definitely will not be for everyone.


“Avengers: Endgame”

Release date: April 26, 2019

Prediction: Good

It can be safely assumed that team Marvel is going to pull out all the stops for their (ostensibly) final “Avengers” film. “Endgame” will have millions around the world on the edge of their seats for the entirety of its 3 hour runtime. Boasting the biggest cast of A-list actors of any film this year, my prediction is that no fans of the series will leave this epic disappointed.