The January Box Office is revving up for the Oscars by balancing out the mega-heavy drama of the nominated movies with some light entertainment. It’s as if the studios think the goal of time of year is to have audience ENJOY themselves at the movies.
I’m coming off of a marathon of watching The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight, and The Big Short. All enjoyable in their own right, but nary a enjoyable, disposable moment to be had. This year’s field of nominees deal mostly with despair, which is great for the art, but bad for your mood.
Luckily, this weekend the movies being released are far from Oscar contenders and designed to be enjoyed. How ‘bout a lil Pre-Award Show Grab Bag? We’ve got three big debuts to discuss as well as their Oscar counterpart. Think about how you want to feel when you leave the theater and make your decision accordingly.
FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK
What’s it About: This spoof from the Wayans Brothers parodies the ultra-popular novel/film series Fifty Shades of Grey. An inexperienced college student meets a wealthy businessman whose sexual practices put a strain on their relationship.
See this to balance out: The Revenant. I don’t think you can get much further from Leonardo DiCaprio barely surviving the wilderness than Marlon Wayans parodying the mainstreaming of BDSM. If you have ever seen a Wayans Brothers movie, than I think you know what you’re getting into.
THE FINEST HOURS
What’s it About: The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.
See this to balance out: Spotlight. Ensemble casts and Boston accents are found in both, but hopefully The Finest Hours ends on a less bleak note. I have a feeling it does. Hard to go wrong with a rescue mission and the lengths servicemen and women will go to for their fellow man.
KUNG-FU PANDA III
What’s it About: Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
See this to balance out: Mad Max: Fury Road. Both movies deal with a small band of heroes battling the more powerful villains, but one has animated anthropomorphic ninjas who tell jokes and one is a post-apocalyptic epic set in a desert wasteland that starts bleak and gets darker from there.