The story is piecemeal from Toy Story, Monsters Inc., The LEGO Movie and Trolls. It involves the population of Uglyville, wherein weirdness is celebrated, and strangeness is a virtue. The plot kicks off when one curious adventurer travels across the mountains to the town of Perfection where good-looking dolls learn what it means to be loved by a child. Soon the inhabitance of Uglyville learn what it means to be different. This might sound like a solid idea, but the movie goes nowhere special. Your kids will like it, but they’ll forget about it soon afterwards. Besides, they deserve much better, and far more original than this. (** of four) RATED PG
Long Shot features a story that, in its essence, doesn’t seem like it should work as well as it does. Seth Rogan plays Fred Flarsky, a free-wheeling journalist who hooks up with his childhood crush Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) who is running for President. Naturally, sparks fly when he becomes her speech writer. Again, this doesn’t sound like it should work, but somehow writers Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling craft together a very funny portrait of our times, exposing America as a post-Trump hangover not in terms of political bashing but in how people respond to it, and it’s all wrapped up in a sweet story about lost love. (*** of four) RATED R
The Intruder isn’t the longest movie ever made, but is so badly made that it often feels like the longest movie ever made. This is one of those home-invasion thrillers that takes so long to get to the point that by the time it actually happens you’re ready for it to be over. In a carbon-copy premise from nearly every home-invasion thriller going all the way back to Pacific Heights, this one involves a young married couple (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) who’ve just bought a new house on several acres of land – much to the consternation of the nutjob that they just bought it from (Dennis Quaid). You can see where this is going… lots of jump-scares, lots of illogical motives, no help from the police, and snores from the viewer. (* of four) RATED PG-13
Jerry Roberts is an Alabama movie critic and movie fan who believes in Birth-Movies-Death. He is the historian for armchaircinema.com, armchairoscars.com, and he has a blog at overthinkingoscar.wordpress.com.