Davis: Lots of movies to take in over holidays

Critics are calling The Big Short a well-acted, scathingly funny indictment of its real-life villains.

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy.

With Star Wars breaking records at the box office, one would think that movie companies would stay clear of the competition. However, there are seven movies opening on Christmas Day and The Hateful Eight opening on Dec. 30.

The movie that may suffer the most from the competition is Point Break, the remake of the 1991 classic starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.  Australian actor Luke Bracey takes over for Reeves as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes undercover inside a group of skilled extreme athletes turned criminals led by a man name Bodhi (Swayze in the original, played here by Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez).

Another movie that might suffer from the competition is Daddy’s Home, reuniting Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg who previously starred together in The Other Guys. Ferrell plays a mild-mannered radio executive who strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.

After finding success with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, director David O. Russell re-teams with Jennifer Lawrence with Joy, the fact-based but comedic story of single mother of two Joy Mangano who invented the Miracle Mop and the struggle to manage both her business and her family.  Nominated for two Golden Globe awards, including one for Lawrence, Joy also stars Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Édgar Ramírez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen and Isabella Rossellini.

Another comedic take on a true story is The Big Short, the story of four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse in 2008 and decided to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed. Not only is the cast of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt getting attention, but critics are calling the movie a well-acted, scathingly funny indictment of its real-life villains and approaches a serious and complicated subject with an impressive attention to detail.

Yet another true story is Concussion, a dramatic thriller about Dr. Bennet Omalu’s race against time to publicize CTE ( HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_traumatic_encephalopathy” o “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in American football players and the attempts by the NFL to deny the problem and to disparage the doctor. The entire cast is getting acclaim, but Will Smith’s performance is being called the best of his career.

Eddie Redmayne follows-up his Academy Award win in The Theory of Everything with portraying Lilli Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery.  While the characters in The Danish Girl are based on actual people, the movie is a fictitious love story inspired by the lives of Danish artists Elbe and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

In Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan plays an Irish immigrant landing in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. Ronan’s performance is nominated for a Golden Globe.

And finally, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight sneaks in just before the end of the year, a western set in post-Civil War Wyoming about a group of bounty hunters trying to find shelter in a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception.  Tarantino has again gathered an impressive cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen.


Just Posted

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA hopes annual climb will promote peace

MLA Norm Letnick’s 5th Annual Spring Climb for Health & World Peace is April 6

Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Friday night

Car crash nearly sends car over embankment in West Kelowna

RCMP search for driver of alleged stolen vehicle that caused crash

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Letter: Immigration will not help other countries, or our own

To the editor: Firearms are not the culprit in all those massive… Continue reading

Letter: Sprawl destroying natural landscape

To the editor: I agree with the assessment by Ian Pooley in… Continue reading

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read