Another holiday weekend, another failed holiday feel-good pic.
It’s “Collateral Beauty” this weekend, another craven Oscar craving crash-and-burn starring Will Smith.
At the screening I attended, there were studio representatives reminding people that they’d need tissues. But there were no tears. Keira and Kate and Pena and Smith couldn’t sad them out of me or pretty much anybody else there.
You want a movie that manages that? Try “Lion,” when it opens wide. Or “A Monster Calls.” “Hidden Figures” has some choke-up moments. “Loving,” too.
Smith has taken this path before — “Seven Pounds,” “Pursuit of Happyness.” I had a better feeling about “Concussion” as a vehicle, a good movie, good role, potential for tears and maybe an Oscar nomination for Smith. But a Golden Globe, some BET and African American Film Critics recognition and a wider acceptance of the NFL’s shameful cover-up of head trauma in its sport was all he got for that.
Still, got to appreciate the way he’s burning his last year or two of real stardom in pursuit of his idea of excellence.
It’s always more illustrative of a film’s actual appeal/critical enthusiasm to head over to Metacritic and sample the reviews and overall rating for something like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
“The Force Awakens” pulled an aggregate score of 81 from the fewer, the prouder critics sampled there. That’s just below the “85% fresh” rating “Rogue One” earned from Rottentomatoes, which has less finesse in its “scoring” and samples a lot more critics.
“Rogue One,” a solid 3-out-of-four stars winner, in my book, managed a 66 on metacritic, though I dare say a re-polling of everybody who foolishly raved up the J.J. Abrams recycling with diversity “Force” would lower that score into the “Rogue” range. “Force Awakens” was but a glib facsimile of “A New Hope.” “Rogue One” actually shows us something new.
“Manchester by the Sea” opens wide, is an Oscar contender, a Top Ten film and an awards winner already. The early favorite, unless bad Casey Affleck press gains traction.