ASSASSIN’S CREED || Attempting yet again to develop a popular video game series into an epic, action-adventure franchise, “Assassin’s Creed” looks to head in the right direction with a stellar cast of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, but from word-of-mouth and from the look of the trailers alone, this is too much direct lifting from the game series, and not enough reinventing and giving the fans something exciting and new that cannot be found on their game consoles.
PASSENGERS || Put two of the most popular actors in Hollywood to date, together in a unique space odyssey and you’re bound to get butts in the seats. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt provide a sci-fi space romance which promises twists and turns, but overall is being called “watered down,” leaving this one at a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this, these stars are just too impressive to pass up, so for me, this must be seen.
SING || With what was one of the more impressive years when it came to animated features, “Sing” unfortunately brings little that is new and exciting to the screen. Despite some high end voice actors like Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, and Scarlett Johansson, the film never quite rises above being an average kiddie flick, to which I felt “Zootopia” fell victim to this year as well.
WHY HIM || Following up “I Love You, Man,” director John Hamburg proves ill-advised to recycle one of his first writing gigs, bringing “Meet The Parents” to the modern age and reversing the roles a little, with Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) playing the overprotective father who flies out to California to meet his daughter’s raunchy and outrageous boyfriend, played by James Franco.