Meat at the Movies: A Star-Studded Remake Competes Against Mel Gibson
So I would say the big movie out this weekend is the new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring himself in the lead role as the man trying to solve the murder. He leads a huge, star-studded cast that includes Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfieffer, Daisy Ridley from Star Wars and Leslie Odom Jr from Hamilton. It seems like it's a pretty solid adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel that doesn't really do much new with the material if you're already familiar with this story. But the cast is good, and it looks beautifully filmed (Branagh shot it with 65mm cameras that he borrowed off the set of Dunkirk). If you've seen the 1974 movie, this may seem unnecessary, but as a modern update on the classic novel, it seems like it works.
Also out this weekend is Daddy's Home 2, which means I finally don't have to see trailers for Daddy's Home 2 in front of every movie I see anymore, so hooray for that. This is the sequel to Daddy's Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, which I didn't see - it got pretty mixed reviews, but it did make a lot of money, so here we are. This one introduces their own fathers to the mix as they get ready for Christmas. Ferrell's dad is played by John Lithgow; Wahlberg's is played by Mel Gibson, and yeah, that's not great. Gibson's been experiencing a career comeback, but it's one thing to have this guy directing movies like Hacksaw Ridge and another thing to use him as a curmudgeonly grump in a Christmas comedy. That starts Daddy's Home 2 on the wrong foot, and it looks like it never gets off it - it currently holds a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Finally, this weekend also sees a movie I'm really excited about hitting theaters in limited release - it's called Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It's from director Martin McDonagh, who did movies like In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, and it's a dark comedy starring Frances McDormand as a mother whose daughter is killed. The police haven't been doing anything to solve the case, so she she starts painting controversial messages on billboards outside the town about the police chief, played by Woody Harrelson. This has been getting great reviews, and will likely be in the conversation when the Oscars come around. Plus, if it's half as funny as In Bruges, it's definitely worth checking out.
So I'd say if you can, check out Three Billboards this weekend, but Murder on the Orient Express isn't a bad alternative. I'm Meat Sandwich and until next time we'll Meat at the Movies.