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'Power Rangers' and 'Wilson' fail to impress; 'Beauty and the Beast' breaks the box office

Saban's Power Rangers (Lionsgate / MGN)

SABAN'S POWER RANGERS (2017)

Score: D

Rated PG-13 -- 123 minutes

In a year that has started off pretty well for both the reboots and the sequels – I am sorry to report that SABAN'S POWER RANGERS is a great disappointment. One would think that the plot would be simple enough to have written a tight, well-directed screenplay. Five teenagers stumble upon five mysterious coins which grant each one of them with superpowers. Deep underground, they discover a spaceship, a talking giant face in the wall (named Zordon – played by Bryan Cranston), and a robot (named Alpha 5 -- played by Bill Hader). As they realize their superpower, out comes the colorful suits. Enter the villain Ritz Repulsa (played by Elizabeth Banks).

A simple and tight story? That is not the case. Even shortening the overlong two-hour movie down to a tolerable 90 minutes would not have helped. Maybe the original fans of the TV series will come out to the theater for nostalgic reasons. They may not be satisfied.

Mothers will be shaking their heads at the opening scene. Was it really necessary to begin with an animal masturbation scene? And for the younger kids in the audience, I imagine the puzzled look on each of their faces will result in mommy leaning over and whispering, "I will explain later.”

I am always uncomfortable giving a negative film review. There are so many people who are involved in this project. So many who invested money and time. No one intentionally goes out and makes a bad movie. In fairness, it does have its moments. And the large crowd did break into applause when the credits began to roll.

WILSON (2017)

Score: D

Rated R -- 194 minutes

By the end of this disappointing film, I was confused and puzzled as to what the intention of this story was. Even for an art film, there were a lot of holes. One might even argue that the dots don't lead to any conclusion. Is Wilson a first name or a second name? Does it matter? He doesn't particularly care for other people. So you might ask, why should we?

In doing my research, "Wilson" was a graphic novel written by Daniel Clowes. The book brought out so many different emotions, from happy to sad, loneliness and longing. The film is directed by Craig Johnson. The screenplay is from Mr. Clowes.

I considered awarding my first ever "F" rating, but Woody Harrelson has become such a fine actor, and he plays Wilson to a "T". Laura Dern, Cheryl Hines, Judy Greer, Isabella Amara, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and the marvelous Margo Martindale all do the best that they can do with the material they have been given.

I had a difficult time with MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. I left the theater feeling so down and depressed. I had an even more difficult time with WILSON. And for the first time that I can remember, I didn't even like the music.

UPDATE: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)

Between its original release in 1991 and its IMAX and 3D re-releases in 2002 and 2012, Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” made $425 million in theaters worldwide. It took just five days for Bill Condon’s live-action/CGI remake to beat that total.

Over this first full week of release, the new BEAUTY AND THE BEAST starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens added $71 million at the box office to its record $357 million opening weekend. That brings its total to $428 million and moves it past its predecessor’s all-time box office cume, with the $500 million global milestone expected to be reached by the end of this weekend.

If you have not read my review from last week, it received the rare A rating.


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