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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Assassin’s Creed & Sing

Dearest Blog: The holiday week provided the opportunity for an early trip to Marquee Cinemas for Assassin's Creed and Sing. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. 
First up: Assassin's Creed. After being conscripted into a dangerous experiment, a former death-row inmate discovers he's descended from a member of a secret society of assassins...or something like that. Just before heading out to the theatre, I saw a headline that called Assassin's Creed "an insult to gamers." 
I can't speak for gamers, but it's certainly an insult to, in no particular order: Brendan Gleesan, Charlotte Rampling, my intelligence, theatre workers who might accidentally have to watch some of it while sweeping up, and the seven dollars I invested in my ticket. I well and truly lack the words to express how terrible this film is, but I think the guy behind me who snored loudly for two hours about covers it. 
The real crime of Assassin's Creed is that it's too terrible to be fun, too dull to work up a healthy bile about it. It doesn't explain itself very well, so, by the time it settles in, you've already stopped caring. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are ridiculous, a pair of cookie-cutter characters uttering lines so stupid you'll facepalm right there in your seat. 
The rest of the cast doesn't fare much better, but, with less screen time, they have fewer opportunities to embarrass themselves. The effects and stylized stunts are mostly mediocre, though the movie does boast some dramatic, pretty frames, and Fassbender spends a fair bit of time shirtless, so there's that. 
Never let it be said I don't try to give you the silver lining, dear reader(s). Assassin's Creed clocks in at 115 minutes and is rated PG13 for intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements, and brief strong language. 
If you were looking for a fun actioner to break up the drama of awards season, sadly, you're going to have to keep looking. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Assassin's Creed gets two. 

Fangirl Points: Michael Kenneth Williams!! (The only reason I don't regret seeing this.) 
Next on the agenda: the highly-anticipated animated feature, Sing. With his venue in financial ruin, a theatre manager stages a singing competition to try to earn the money to save it. 
As you will know from the trailers, all the characters in Sing are animals: the koala theatre manager and his best friend, a sheep; competition hopefuls that include a gorilla, a snail (my favorite!), a porcupine, and an elephant. The art an animation are bright, colorful, and entirely kid-friendly, so even creatures who might normally be intimidating are cute and appealing. 
Noteworthy voice talent (Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Hudson, and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few) is in fine form. Sing kicks off with a Beatles tune. It's a so-so cover of Golden Slumbers, but, as openings go, you could do a lot worse. 
From there, the movie includes snippets of dozens of different songs, some terrific (My Way is chill-inducing, even when performed by a mouse); some...not so much (disappointing that a half-dozen youngsters sitting next to me seemed to know the lyrics to only one song, a charming little ditty that goes: "Oh. My. Gosh. Look at her butt!"). 
Sing is a real family movie, with a positive, upbeat story, songs that cover many generations, and humor that's appropriate for all ages. Sing understands that eight-year-olds don't bring themselves to the movies, and it makes sure to entertain mom and dad, too, truly a film with something for everyone. 
Sing runs a quick 108 minutes and is rated PG for "some rude humor and mild peril." Sing is a solid, entertaining outing that'll be great for families this holiday season. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Sing gets seven and a half. 
Fangirl Points: Peter Serafinowicz! Jennifer Saunders! 
Until next time...

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