London Has Fallen As Olympus goes, so goes the globe. Better known as the sequel Antoine Fuqua refused to do, this political thriller sees our president once again in jeopardy, this time alongside a passel of other world leaders gathered in London for a state funeral. (Of course, the promos only focus on the peril to POTUS, because what American moviegoer cares what happens to some damn chancellor?) Morgan Freeman's Speaker of the House character has now graduated to vice president, which I'm sure was the least of what Hillary promised him to do that voice-over. (R)
The Other Side of the Door Damn you, The Witch! The respect you earned means we can no longer lob knee-jerk snark about horror movies that come out in January and February. So I guess we have to give the benefit of the doubt to The Other Side of the Door, filmmaker Johannes Roberts' latest. (Remember F? Storage 24? If you do, how do you enjoy writing for Rue Morgue?) In this story, a bereaved mother explores the options for bringing her dead daughter back to life. Yes, it's a riff on "The Monkey's Paw" – or as it was known to those of us who spent a lot of time in airports in the 1980s, Pet Sematary. (R)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Having lost her latest cinematic life in sacrifice to The Force Awakens, moviedom's frisky feline Tina Fey is at it again, this time in an adaptation of Kate Barker's memoir of her service as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Fey produced the picture as well, so I guess she's never heard that modern audiences only enjoy war comedies when the war in question is already finished. Or maybe she's counting on most Americans thinking that Operation Enduring Freedom is over and done. Hey, what do you think "enduring" means, people? It sure isn't the theatrical window of the average Fey picture, that's for sure. (R)
Zootopia Who cares if the title sounds like a mashup of U2 tours? The excerpt of this full-length cartoon that played in front of The Force Awakens in lieu of a standard trailer was the most delightful thing I've seen in eons. I wish more studios would go with a complete scene that gives some idea of a movie's true tone and rhythm than does the usual high-speed clip fest. Then again, I felt the same way about the promo for Pocahontas, and look how that all turned out. Here's hoping Zootopia has little else in common with the Pokester, and is instead what some industry-watchers are predicting: the proof that Disney's in-house animation unit has now equaled, if not surpassed, Pixar. (PG)
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