5 films to see on the week of January 10, 2020 — January 16, 2020


THIS IS the film adaptation is based on the T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and the award-winning musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A white cat, Victoria, is thrown out by her owner into the streets of London. She is then introduced to the Jellicle cats who tell her about the annual Jellicle Ball where one cat gets the chance to be reborn to the Heavierside Layer. Directed by Tom Hopper, the film stars Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKelan, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and James Corden. The film has received negative reviews since it opened internationally in December. Variety’s Peter Debruge writes, “The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s outlandishly tacky interpretation seems destined to become one of those once-in-a-blue-moon embarrassments that mars the résumés of great actors (poor Idris Elba, already scarred enough as the villainous Macavity) and trips up the careers of promising newcomers (like ballerina Francesca Hayward, whose wide-eyed, mouth-agape Victoria displays one expression for the entire movie).”

MTRCB Rating: PG

Cleansing Hour

A SUCCESSFUL exorcism is streamed online. When the exorcists and producers take advantage of this by making more procedures trend, the real demon gets involved. Directed by Damien LeVeck, the film stars Kyle Gallner, and Ryan Guzman.

MTRCB Rating: R-16

The Assent

A SERIES of supernatural events leads Joel, a young single father, to suspected that his son might be possessed. Directed by Peter Reginald Teo, the film stars Luca Bleu Darnell, Robert Kazinsky, Peter Jason, Florence Faivre, and Caden Dragomer.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

A SCENE from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

REY, FINN, and Poe continue their journey as the surviving members of the Resistance face the First Order. A final battle continues with the power and knowledge of previous generations behind them. Directed by J.J Abrams, the film stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody writes, “The bulk of The Rise of Skywalker involves characters in closeup expelling greeting-card-like slogans with vehemence and dour conviction, punctuated by lumpishly unchoreographed biff-bash-and-blam fight scenes. Abrams doesn’t offer any original, significant, or memorable images, not a glimmer of action that’s staged with a sense even of mere physical connection, let alone balletic grace or athletic splendor.” Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 55% rating.

MTRCB Rating: G

Jumanji: The Next Level

THE TEAM is back — however, the game has changed. To save one of their own, the players have to brave unknown and unexplored areas from arid deserts to snowy mountains. Directed by Jake Kasdan, the film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers writes, “You’ll have to stay on your toes to follow the plot, which is really not worth the effort — something about the teens rescuing the depressive Spencer who wanted another shot at being Bravestone, or something. What matters are the laughs and the FX, including a herd of pissed-off ostriches trying to chase the gang off a cliff and the film’s journey into the desert and up into snowy mountain peaks.”

MTRCB Rating: PG