Opening this week: A Dog's Purpose, Gold, and more

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A Dog's Purpose
A Dog's Purpose


A Dog's Purpose Sometimes life just steps up and takes a difficult decision out of your hands. For weeks before the release of A Dog's Purpose, most of the people I know who are dog lovers – which translates as most of the people I know – were wondering how they could subject themselves to a movie that, like the novel on which it's based, shows faithful pooches dying and being reincarnated over and over again. Then TMZ released shocking video of the filmmakers emotionally torturing some poor dog by forcing it into turbulent waters, and skipping the picture became a no-brainer. Now it's the movie that's dead in the water, with filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom and voice actor Josh Gad distancing themselves from what went down like John Landis playing keep-away with Vic Morrow's head. First big PR disaster of 2017. And come to think of it, there was always an uncomfortable similarity between the titles A Dog's Purpose and 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. (PG)

Gold Matthew McConaughey gained 50 pounds and shaved his hairline back to play Kenny Wells, a real-life businessman who found and then struggled to maintain control of a cache of Indonesian gold. Everyone from Michael Mann to Paul Haggis to Spike Lee was attached to the movie before it wound up in the hands of Steven Gaghan, whose Syriana struck me as clearly an important and sophisticated picture because I had no idea who the hell anyone in it was, or why they were doing what they were doing. Says the Houston Chronicle of Gold: "So much plot is crammed into the film's relatively lengthy 120 minutes that it can be downright confounding trying to figure out who's a good guy and who's the villain." That's my boy! (R)

Moana The acclaimed animated musical returns in a sing-along version. Meaning that it's officially safe for me to hate Lin-Manuel Miranda again. (PG)

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Supposedly, this sixth flick is the absolute, honest-to-goodness final word that Paul WS Anderson and Milla Jovovich are going to have to say about the zombie apocalypse. Me, I'm not buying it. What would life be without the prospect of another Resident Evil picture? It's one of the three things in life I count on, along with death and the president not paying his taxes. And anyway, when you've already titled installments of your film series Apocalypse and Extinction – and they were only the second and third chapters, for God's sake – it's clear that you define the word "final" a little differently than most people. Plus, what could Anderson and Jovovich do next? I'm not particularly interested in their take on that new vampire edition of The Sims. Or Hamilton. (R)


My Father Die Forget that the title sounds like a racist depiction of a Chinese guy calling 911. This one's actually a drama about a deaf-mute who seeks revenge on his father for killing the family's oldest son. Jesus, that bunch must take forever in the Hallmark store. (NR)

Paterson Jim Jarmusch's latest is a character study about a bus driver and amateur poet who lives in Paterson, New Jersey. And who just happens to be named Paterson himself. (Because, let's face it, nobody was going to bankroll a movie about a guy named Hohokus.) The movie took home the Palm Dog award at the most recent Cannes film festival. Hey, so that's a dog's purpose! (R)

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone In some sort of weird-assed, faith-based cross between Role Models, Hamlet 2 and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, a troubled young performer fulfills his community service by playing Jesus in a Church pageant. More inspirational fun from Walden Media, who I understand are now in charge of the Department of the Interior. (NR)

Sailor Moon R: The Movie The Promise of the Rose The original Sailor Moon movie from 1993 has finally gotten a stateside theatrical release. And now it's even more inappropriate for you to be seeing it alone. (NR)

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