So are movies, like, still a thing? Not if you listen to outlets like Forbes, which are responding to the relative underperformance of The Last Jedi by declaring that no one is ever going to see a Star Wars film ever again – and that the American public might be over moviegoing in general, ready to redirect its leisure-time energies into ... I dunno, bear-baiting or some shit.
Personally, I always take it with a grain of salt when I read about the death of a medium in another dying medium. Maybe Star Wars flicks are simply like sex within marriage: fun every once in a blue moon, but nothing you're going to want to do every Christmas. Then again, they did call it The Last Jedi, so way to CYA, Disney.
OPENING THIS WEEK:
Hostiles Christian Bale is out in front as a captain in the U.S. Cavalry whose prejudice against Native Americans is eroded when he has to escort a Cheyenne war chief back home to die. Sounds heavy all right, although he does his best to lighten the mood by telling his best jokes about Elizabeth Warren. (R)
Insidious: The Last Key Title be damned, I don't expect this fourth installment in the Insidious franchise to be the last anything – not as long as January is still a viable burial ground for crap horror. The Last Key is actually the second prequel to the first two Insidious pictures; I hope you got that, because there's going to be a test (and if you pass, we tear up your driver's license). The plot takes us deeper into the supernatural nether realm called the Further – now forevermore to be known as the Sunken Place for honkies. (PG-13)
I, Tonya Welcome to the world of '90s pop-cultural reclamation, where all our past villains become heroes. In a feat of retconning almost equal to Monica Lewinsky's #metoo moment, filmmaker Craig Gillespie's Tonya Harding apologia is being hailed for making us consider that conspiring to maim your chief rival might be a pretty reasonable reaction to a lousy childhood. Somebody please tell me James Franco isn't brushing up on his Morton Downey Jr. impression this very minute. (R)
Molly's Game The obscene and decadent white man's pastime of underground poker playing (yeah, I'm kind of on the fence about it) may prove the undoing of Jessica Chastain when her activities are discovered by the FBI. For the first time, Aaron Sorkin directs from one of his own scripts. I'd say to expect a certain earnestness, but as you may have surmised, I'm not a betting man. (R)
Tiger Zinda Hai By the time you read this, actor Salman Khan's latest action vehicle may have become India's top-grossing Hindi-language export of 2017. In the story, Khan plays an Indian secret agent who has to team up for a dangerous mission with his Pakistani wife, who's in the same line of work as him. The two got hitched in 2014's Ek tha Tiger ... who I could have sworn was the hype man for Del tha Funky Homosapien. Shows what I know! (NR)