Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Theater Scum: Call of the Brahms

Photo: STX Entertainment

A fake boy and a fake dog? Interesting theme this week at the box office.

Brahms: The Boy II

Even though I have not seen The Boy (in spite of the lovely Lauren Cohan starring in it), when the marketing for Brahms: The Boy II started, I had the ending of the first spoiled. Knowing that, I wonder how this film ties into its predecessor as this is presented as a haunted house/haunted doll/creepy kid movie which seems to go against what I know.

But I’m sure there will be a satisfactory explanation, probably this one being a secret prequel if I had to guess. In spite of a harsh drubbing from critics, The Boy made decent enough money to warrant a sequel and get Katie Holmes on board. So, that’s something.

The Call of the Wild

It’s nice that Harrison Ford is finally embracing his old-age grumpiness off camera. When he isn’t crashing planes, he’s dismissing Star Wars with a flippant “I don’t care.” On-screen however, Ford does not seem to have fallen down the “I don’t care” hole that swallows other actors of his generation like Bruce Willis or John Travolta. Perhaps he’s in a better position than them but he doesn’t seem to just agree to any script that comes his way and it looks like he actually gives a damn, even if he doesn’t.

As for The Call of the Wild, it looks like a totally fine family-friendly action movie with a cute dog. Oh, but the dog isn’t real? He’s all CGI? That’s weird, right? I get that there are things you can do easier and cheaper with CG than with real dogs but that feels like a big cheat. In the above trailer, the dog looks ... okay? Close enough to the real thing but far enough away in certain shots that give it the Robert Zemeckis-brand uncanny valley that probably isn’t intentional. I just feel for the poor dog actors who missed out on working with Indiana Jones in lieu of an algorithm of ones and zeros.

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