Escape Room opens in area theatres this weekend. But does this film provide an escape from the post-holiday blahs?
Well, about a third of the way through Escape Room, I was rooting for the room.
Escape Room relies on the current escape room craze for its plot premise. The film is what you want to escape from. It’s rated PG-13 for terror/perilous action, violence, some suggestive material and language. It’s got a great set-up and a couple of interesting characters, but no follow-through and a crummy ending. Escape Room can’t escape my rating: 2 boxes of popcorn. Not an auspicious start to movies in the new year.
There is another film opening in Western New York that seems to bode a little better for filmgoers. If Beale Street Could Talk.
The film is Barry Jenkins’s take on the 1974 James Baldwin novel. Jenkins directed the much-acclaimed Moonlight from a couple of years ago. The film is Rated R for language and some sexual content. Critics are raving about it…and it’s gotten some Golden Globe nominations.
Look, I don’t get all worked up about the Golden Globes. It’s the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association picking movies. It is a highlight of Award and Flu season and it’s considered to be a bell-weather for the Oscars.
I gotta say, I like their choices for Best Motion Picture categories. Drama has Black Panther, Black Klansman, Bohemian Rhapsody a Star is Born and Beale Street.
The Comedy category likewise. I Loved Mary Poppins Returns and The Favourite, but I’m a bit confused about Green Book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great film, but it’s not a comedy.
Of course, Lady Gaga was nominated for Best Actress in Drama for A Star is Born, and she’ll probably run away with it, but I really liked Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? It was a real change of pace for her.
For my money, the standout in the Best Actor in a Drama category ought to go to Rami Malek for his turn as Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. But I betcha Bradley Cooper takes it for A Star is Born.
And as far as Best Actress in a Comedy goes, Emily Blunt is probably gonna get it for Mary Poppins Returns. As much as I liked that film I also really admired Charlize Theron’s commitment to her role in Tully. I kinda hope it goes to her. As a side note, Olivia Coleman was utterly brilliant in The Favourite. Even if she doesn’t get the award, go see the film.
And, while I’m a little confused about the categorization, Viggo Mortensen was likewise brilliant in Green Book. Although as you can see he’s got some stiff competition against the likes of Robert Redford, Christian Bale and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be watching the ceremonies Sunday Night. After all, Sandra Oh is one of the hosts.
The Golden Globes Ceremony airs on WGRZ2 Sunday Night at 8.