The second week of 2020 brings us Will Smith and Angelina Jolie releases, but the real highlights are the final season of HBO's "Veep," a "Beverly Hills Cop" collection and the digital debuts of forgetting films "Parasite" and "Pain and Glory."
Ang Lee is a visionary director that has shown a great amount of dexterity as he's bounce between genres to create cinema classics like "The Ice Storm," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Brokeback Mountain." His most recent film, "Gemini Man," sees Lee working in the action/sci-fi realm with a story that features a hitman (Will Smith) who is being hunted by a younger clone of himself (also Will Smith). The technology used to make the film is sadly more innovative than the movie's script. Worth a glance, but falls well short of what it could have been.
Angelina Jolie returns as the title character in "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," the sequel to the successful 2014 film that presented the "Sleeping Beauty" character as being misunderstood, rather than evil. "Mistress of Evil" sees Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) set to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). The marriage would unite the fairy realm with the mortal kingdom of Ulstead. A union that some will go to great lengths to keep from ever happening. Michelle Pfeiffer co-stars. The production values are stronger than the script.
Set 200 years prior to the birth of Kal-El (Superman), "Krypton" focuses on Seg-El as he tries to restore the honor of his family.
Armando Iannucci based "Veep" on his fantastic British series "The Thick of It." Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as politicization Selina Meyer. Over the course of seven seasons, Meyer's role has evolved, but the general sense of day-to-day American politics has remained as chaotic and humorous as ever.
"Jexi" stars Adam Devine as the anti-social Phil, a man who sees his life radically change when his upgraded phone comes with Jexi (voiced by Rose Byrne), a new A.I. life coach. With Jexi's help, Phil begins to be more social, less connected to his devices and apps. Jexi, who has developed something of a fatal attraction for Phil, doesn't approve.
Based on the novel by Fredrik Backman, "Britt-Marie Was Here" sees a 63-year-old woman leaving her housewife ways and her husband of 40 years and moving to a small village where she finds herself coaching a youth soccer team. Second chances come when you least expect them.
With a fourth film set to arrive in theaters in the not-so-distant future, Paramount Pictures is releasing the "Beverly Hills Cops: 3 Movie Collection" set featuring all three films from 1984-1994. The series stars Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a Detroit cop who for a variety of reasons finds himself in Beverly Hills investigating a variety of crimes (typically deal with murder). It's a fish-out-of-water series that further established Murphy as an action start with comedic skills.
Marlon Brando stars in the 1960 adaptation of Tennessee Williams's play "The Fugitive Kind" as Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a drifter intent on putting his life back on track. Abandoning New Orleans for the quiet of a small town, Xavier finds himself unable to keep a low profile as he attracts the attention of numerous women and their husbands.
This week's digital releases include "Harriet," a biographical film about Harriet Tubman, the slave who became a prominent figure in the abolitionist movement. Cynthia Erivo stars as Tubman. While not the masterpiece that Tubman deserves, "Harriet" is a noteworthy film that explores an aspect of American history that needs to be celebrated.
"Motherless Brooklyn" is a uncharacteristic misfire from Edward Norton as he directs and stars as Lionel Essrog, a detective who has Tourette's disorder. Essrog uses his unique, obsessive-compulsive perspective to solve a murder.
Famed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's "Pain and Glory" features a tremendous performance from Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo, a fading film director caught in a downward spiral. Unable to write, Mallo is force to look back on his career, his friendships and his long-lost love.
Bong Joon-ho's dark comedy "Parasite" about a family of unemployed schemers who infiltrate the house staff of a affluent family. Nothing goes exactly as planned. It's the best-reviewed film of 2019 and has six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature.
Set 25 years after the events of "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," "Terminator: Dark Fate" sees Grace, an enhanced human, travel back in time to protect Dani, the future of humanity's stand against the robotic threat. Linda Hamilton returns for the first time since the second film and Arnold Schwarzenegger also stars as an older version of T-800.