November 29, 2015, - 7:02 pm

Belated Thanksgiving Box Office: Creed, The Good Dinosaur, Victor Frankenstein, Legend

By Debbie Schlussel



Well, the movies that opened in theaters for Thanksgiving are slightly better than in weeks past, which means we’re getting close to the end of the year “better” movies. I’ll post my belated movie reviews for the past two weekends soon. (I didn’t get those up in time because there were 13 movies I reviewed, and at 400+ words per review, it’s a lot of time, work, and energy.)

* “Creed” – Rated PG-13: Read my complete review of this movie, which is basically “Rocky 7,” in which real Rocky passes the torch to “Black Rocky.” I had very mixed feelings about this movie and the Black Lives Matter propagandist who made the movie. Again, read my full review column.


* “The Good Dinosaur” – Rated PG: Whether or not you have kids, you will enjoy this incredibly cute, touching, and endearing Disney Pixar movie. But, especially if you have young kids, you’ll enjoy this opportunity for wholesome entertainment for your family, which also teaches your kids the value of hard work and sticktuitiveness. On top of that, this is the first–and best–dinosaur Western I’ve ever seen. It’s very fun. There are some points that might be sad or scary for kids. The father dinosaur in the movie dies in a flood while trying to save his son, but that’s necessary to drive the plot along. And a character seems to die (or something like that) in almost ever Disney Pixar film. Plus, didn’t that happen in Bambi? Some of the dinosaurs (and a snake scene) are slightly scary, but I’ve seen far worse in movies for kids, and I didn’t find it to be too disturbing for kids.

The story: three dinosaurs are born to a couple of dinosaur farmers in the West (the movie’s scenery is reportedly based on Montana). Two of the dinosaurs, Libby and Buck, are normal-sized and they make their mark. But Arlo, the main character of the movie, is a runt and a klutz. Nothing ever seems to go right for him, and he desperately tries to impress his parents so he can make his mark.

Soon, crops go missing from the storage silo, and the dinosaurs set a trap. Arlo’s job is to watch the silo and catch the critter who is stealing from them. He catches a cave boy, but lets him go free. So, Arlo’s father requires Arlo to go with him to track the cave boy down a ravine. Suddenly, though, there is a rainstorm, and a flood, and while Arlo’s father rescues Arlo, the father dies in the flood.

Winter is coming, and Arlo must help his mother and siblings harvest enough crops so they have food during the cold months. But, again, the cave boy steals their food. Arlo chases after him into the ravine and mountains and then gets lost. He becomes friends with the cave boy (who is like his pet dog–yes, we humans are the pets in this alternative timeline of evolution and history), and together they brave the land as Arlo tries to find and make his way home. They encounter a snake, various other wild and dangerous animals, another species of dinosaurs–cowboys who protect them in exchange for help in rounding up cattle, and so on.

The movie is cute, cuddly, and very entertaining.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Victor Frankenstein” – Rated PG-13: I can’t say anything positive about this movie, other than that the first five minutes of it were pretty good. Sadly, it all goes rapidly downhill from there, and the movie is at once disgusting, stupid, and a totally pointless bore. I struggled to stay awake, briefly lost that battle, and missed nothing. It’s so bad that, while I never leave a movie for a bathroom break lest I miss something good or some important plot twist or dialogue, I didn’t hesitate to do so for this–I think I did this only once before (if that) in my 11 years of reviewing movies. And, still, I missed nothing. Yes, I repeat, it’s that awful.

Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame is a hunchback clown who performs in a traveling circus. He crawls on all fours to walk, and when he’s not performing, he is kept prisoner in a cage and treated like an animal. One night, the female trapeze artist in the circus falls off of her swing and to the ground. Radcliffe can see in his mind that her windpipe is blocked and he comes to her rescue, instructing others what to do to save her. One of those others is a local doctor, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy). Frankenstein tells Radcliffe that Radcliffe is a genius doctor and shouldn’t be in the circus. Frankenstein convinces Radcliffe to escape and helps him to do so. Once at Frankenstein’s mansion and laboratory, Frankenstein tells Radcliffe that he is not a hunchback but merely has a giant cyst on his back, which Frankenstein drains. Then, Frankenstein enables Radcliffe to stand upright with a brace, helps him to clean up, and teaches him how to behave like a civilized man. Frankenstein tells Radcliffe that he is now “Igor.”

Thereafter, Igor serves as Frankenstein’s aide and assistant, while Frankenstein attempts to create a creature from various body parts he’s picked up from various beings and assembled. Frankenstein uses electric shock to bring the creature to life, but the creature is dangerous and they must catch it and kill it. Frankenstein has various benefactors who fund his “research” into creating and bringing to life various creatures, and Igor, seeing how dangerous and unethical it is, begs him to stop. Frankenstein is working on bringing to life a “human” assembled from various body parts. Igor begs him profusely not to do it and tracks Frankenstein to a seaside, creepy resort, where the monster’s body has been assembled and displayed, ready to shock into life.

Believe me, I’m making this dark, creepy bore sound better than it is. It’s neither exciting, nor interesting, and not the least bit suspenseful. While it somewhat tracks the traditional story of Frankenstein, Igor, and Frankenstein’s monster, it manages to turn it into a snoozer.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Legend” – Rated R: You couldn’t pay me enough to watch this incredibly violent, pointless bore that unintentionally borders on (and then crosses over the border to) comedic. Tom Hardy plays real-life identical twin brother gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray who operated in East London in the 1960s. The brothers were violent and they used the threat of violence to extort successful businesses, including bars and nightclubs, from their owners. They murdered people indiscriminately and otherwise engaged in acts of violence against those in their criminal gang and against the innocent. The movie is narrated by the voice of the actress (Emily Browning) who plays Reggie Kray’s wife, Francis.

When they were very young, the Krays were arrested for beating and trying to kill a police officer who tried to arrest them. Ronnie Kray was declared mentally insane and sentenced to an insane asylum. But when brother Reggie got out of prison, he and his henchman threatened the psychiatrist in charge of treating him with death unless he declared Ronnie Kray sane, which he did. Ronnie Kray is portrayed in the movie as the more crazy of the two brothers and the one who instigates violence at the drop of a hat. He is portrayed as the bigger problem of the two. Reggie Kray is portrayed as calm and merely interested in (illegal) business and blackmail. But, in real life, both brothers were hotheads who were extremely violent and murderous. There is a scene in which Reggie Kray stabs a man repeatedly to death. It’s horrible, pointless, and I couldn’t watch.

Ronnie Kray, the insane one, is also very openly gay. He and his brother blackmailed a conservative member of the English parliament by setting up a gay porn and orgy party, taking photos, and sending it to an English tabloid to publish.

The movie shows the partnership between the Krays and American mobster Meyer Lansky, with several scenes of Lansky’s “representatives” offering and shepherding the partnership in which the Krays manage Lansky’s London operations. And the movie also shows the relationship between Francis and Reggie and how it developed, with Francis’ mother constantly warning and begging her not to date the mobster, telling her it will only make her unhappy eventually and that it will end badly. Of course, as in a zillion other gangster movies with women who want to date organized crime figures, her mother was right. The audience knows it, and it’s eventually confirmed in the movie.

The only redeeming thing about this two-hour and ten-minute bore is that it doesn’t glamorize the life of mobsters. But that isn’t redemption enough to make anyone sit through this painful torture.


Watch the trailer . . .

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 Responses

hmmm.. I will find other entertainment options! 😉 HUUUUUGS

Karen on November 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

so-so movie – but tom hardy fantastic as both brothers

stan berk on November 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field