Written by Joseph Carrick
Coming into 2018, there has been a plethora of films released that have gained both noteworthy and not-so-wonderful reviews. Quite a few were released last month, and many of them were forgotten as soon as the film concluded, including the historical film of dubious accuracy: The Greatest Showman, the animated children’s film Ferdinand, and the film franchise on its last legs: Pitch Perfect 3.
Have you ever questioned how the most recognizable names in the circus industry (whatever’s left of it) came to be? The Greatest Showman sufficiently answers all questions–and more. Hugh Jackman portrays P.T. Barnum growing up in the rather unfortunate situation of being poor in 19th century America. Luckily, Barnum and his family are able to escape poverty due to a shady bank loan, a circus, and quite a few musical numbers. It was delightful to watch, even for those who would normally pass on this genre of film. The plotline of the story holds up nicely, and I, for one, recommend seeing it on the big screen before it’s gone. Critics, however, are on the fence over the film. IMDb gave it an impressive 8/10 and 95% of Google+ users claimed to like the film, but Rotten Tomatoes gave it a mere 53%. After viewing the film yourself, one might be inclined to see a Barnum and Bailey Circus in person. But they were shut down last year. On an unrelated note: the treatment of the animals involved with this circus deserves a film in their own right.
Ferdinand’s director, Carlos Saldanha might ring a bell to viewers interested in family animated movies. Over the years, Saldanha directed three Ice Age movies, Rio and Rio 2. For every decent movie this director has produced, at least four disastrous movies follow, making his record hardly squeaky-clean. Ferdinand is his most recent success, although it wouldn’t be surprising if the name Ferdinand pops up again in the following years. For now, Ferdinand is a fun take on a classic story: a simple tale of morality with colorful animation. It has an interesting assortment of voice actors including John Cena and Kate McKinnon of SNL. Its Metascore is a solid 58 and has currently grossed about $200 million at the box office.
A film that was excitedly anticipated by millions has seemingly let down many viewers. Pitch Perfect 3 was given a rating of 33% by Rotten Tomatoes and its box office result $174 million. While PP2 made away with mediocre reviews, PP3 was, clearly, not nearly as lucky. Surprisingly enough, it can be rather difficult to be inventive with a plot as basic as “people sing on a stage, but with comedic routines.” The old cast goes through the motion of pretending to care about a plot we’ve seen twice before. Thankfully this will be the last of the series, as the trilogy is riding on fumes by this point.