A funny thing happened when I reviewed all of my reviews searching for this year’s “best of the first quarter 2017 films”. I couldn’t come up with five best. In fact, thus far I have given out more “D” reviews in three months than I had over the past two years combined.
Cinemascore — the industry leader in measuring movie appeal among theater audiences, gave an “A” to SABAN’S POWER RANGERS.
Rotten Tomaos — the definitive site for film reviews — measured POWER RANGERS at a poor 47% positive. So much for film critics.
And so much for me. Last week I scored POWER RANGERS with a “D”. It didn’t make any difference what the critics had to say. After only one full week in release, the global box office total for this superhero movie earned an impressive $69 Million. So what is number one?
It will come as no surprise that DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is my best film of the 1st quarter. It is really the rare gem in the midst of it all. It is just a wonderful, joyous love story movie. And it is raising the bar on future live-action musicals based upon an animated film.
A year from this November, Disney brings MULAN back to the screen as a live-action film. Niki Caro is scheduled to direct the projected $100 Million movie. The story is about the legend of a woman who becomes a warrior in ancient China.
The three additional live-action films from Disney include THE LITTLE MERMAID, with additional music written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda; ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie and already sending out casting calls for multitalented Middle Eastern actors; and THE LION KING. Simba will be played by Donald Glover and James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa. THE LION KING will be directed by Jon Favreau, who helmed last year’s $1 Billion live-action remake of THE JUNGLE BOOK.
Coming in at number two for this quarter is the valentine to the Wolverine legacy — LOGAN.
“LOGAN is the first 2017 motion picture that has earned an “A” rating. The film is so well written, directed and acted — that despite being released at the beginning of the year, hopefully the Oscar voters will not forget LOGAN come next December. Credit James Mangold for his superb direction. But, most of all, credit the exceptional career high performances from Hugh Jackman (as Logan); Patrick Stewart (as Charles, head of the X-men); and Stephen Merchant (as the Albino mutant Caliban). Young Dafne Keen (as Laura) should have a long acting career ahead of her. Pardon the pun — but she is a marvel.”
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE comes in as number 3.
“This may be the best written Batman movie ever! And that is saying something. That’s the truth. So funny. So clever. So joyful. So well-written. I am willing to bet that every fan who goes to see THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE will probably miss one-third of the jokes. The pacing of the script is absolutely fast, furious and frenetic. I would recommend that you gather all of your friends. Go and see the movie together. Then go out for coffee — and talk about your favorite scenes. Only then will you discover that you probably missed one-third of the inside jokes. What a great, crazy movie.”
So what is on the horizon for the 2017 2nd Quarter movies. The studios are about to roll out some strong films in April and May, leading into the major summer blockbusters. As always, it will be great to see you at the movies.