SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The arrival of “The Marvels” comes with what feels like the least amount of fanfare ever given to a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe that’s due to the now-ended strike, or the unstable profitability of the movie industry (streaming wasn’t quite the future that some envisioned it to be). A shame really. “The Marvels” is an enjoyable romp. A rightfully selfish film that is more concerned with itself than it is with the noise that surrounds it. And yet, it still manages to set a course for at least a small corner of the MCU that is coherent and more exciting than what we’ve been given in this post-Thanos landscape. I hope “The Marvels” rocks the box office.
I also hope that audiences save enough room for “The Holdovers.” This time of year, often referred to as Award Season, I find that I can be incredibly stingy when it comes to praise. Most of the films I’m asked to see in November and December are begging for Oscar consideration. “The Holdovers” certainly has those aspirations (as any film should if we’re being honest). I like the way it explores a friendship that develops between a teacher and a student who given a choice would never spend the loneliness of Christmas break at the boarding school where one teaches and the other supposedly studies.
And then there is David Fincher’s “The Killer.” Michael Fassbender stars as a weary assassin who in the wake of a botched job is forced to dismantle his professional life to restore the quiet bliss of the personal world he has meticulously made for himself. It’s not nearly as vicious as you might expect from Fincher. There are, of course, bursts of violence. Imagine if the John Wick franchise was influenced by the slow burn of European cinema, rather than Hong Kong action. That’s the space where “The Killer” resides. It’s on Netflix following a brief theatrical run. So, you don’t even have to leave your living room to watch it. Give it at least 30 minutes, let Fincher’s experimental audio design and the atmosphere a chance to set in.
Also streaming is the magical reality of the semi-documentary “You Were My First Boyfriend.” Director Cecilia Aldarondo travels back to the awkwardness that was her teens to explore who she was, who she wanted to be, and how she became something entirely different. You can find that on Max.
I don’t expect to watch much of anything this weekend. I’ll be straying off to The Voltaire in Las Vegas to see Kylie Minogue. It’s something of a pilgrimage. A way to celebrate my love for my father. The rest of the weekend will be spent wrapping up a few more sections of my annual holiday gift guide. In the meantime, you can lose yourself in my Disney, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Folio Collection, andThe Nightmare Before Christmas sections.
Studio Synopsis: Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan, Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team-up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as “The Marvels.”
Studio Synopsis: rom acclaimed director Alexander Payne, THE HOLDOVERS follows a curmudgeonly instructor (Paul Giamatti) at a New England prep school who is forced to remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go. Eventually he forms an unlikely bond with one of them -- a damaged, brainy troublemaker (newcomer Dominic Sessa) -- and with the school’s head cook, who has just lost a son in Vietnam (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).
Studio Synopsis: From David Fincher and starring Michael Fassbender. After a fateful near-miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn't personal.
Studio Synopsis: Cecilia Aldarondo is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from the Puerto Rican diaspora whose previous titles include MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART (2016) and LANDFALL (2020). Spurred by her high school reunion, in YOU WERE MY FIRST BOYFRIEND, Cecilia takes viewers on a journey through the universal and very relatable social hierarchy of her younger years. As an outcast who always wanted to be a part of the ‘in’ crowd, she spent years pining for a boy who didn’t know she existed. With the insight that comes with age, she takes an honest look at who she was, who she was trying to be, and ultimately who she is today.
Studio Synopsis: Girls with money, men with power. New money, old secrets. A group of fun-loving young American girls explode into the tightly corseted London season of the 1870s, kicking off an Anglo-American culture clash as the land of the stiff upper lip is infiltrated by a refreshing disregard for centuries of tradition. Sent to secure husbands and titles, the buccaneers’ hearts are set on much more than that, and saying “I do” is just the beginning.
Studio Synopsis: The beloved franchise returns! Scott Calvin, after 28 years, reigns true as Santa Claus, leader of the North Pole and Christmas. With his family - Carol, Sandra, and Cal - by his side, and his elves at the reins, Scott Calvin contends with a changing world to keep the spirit of Christmas alive for a new generation.
Studio Synopsis: Two estranged high school friends from Miami, Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion), who reunite to form a rap group. In their rise to fame, Shawna and Mia find themselves at a pivotal moment in their rap career as they are forced to decide if they will stay true to themselves or conform to the demands of the music industry.
Studio Synopsis: Rocketing into the new millennium in the eight years since season three, Happy Valley has rapidly expanded its footprint on Mars by turning former foes into partners. Now 2003, the focus of the space program has turned to the capture and mining of extremely valuable, mineral-rich asteroids that could change the future of both Earth and Mars. But simmering tensions between the residents of the now-sprawling international base threaten to undo everything they are working towards.
Studio Synopsis: Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie's "The Curse" is a brand new comedy series starring Nathan Fielder, Benny Safdie and Emma Stone. The series explores how a supposed curse impacts the relationship of the newly married couple Asher and Fielder and their efforts in trying to conceive a child, alongside co-hosting a home improvement show.
Studio Synopsis: Since the late 1960s, Albert Brooks has been a major force in American comedy with his smart, sometimes absurdist, and truly unique sense of humor. From stand-up, to acting, to writing and directing short films, to his seven, iconic, original motion pictures, including “Modern Romance,” “Lost in America,” “Mother,” and more, Brooks has paved the way for future generations and remains a comedic force in a league of his own. With testimonials from some of the brightest comedy talents and serious thinkers, as well as family and friends, "Albert Brooks: Defending My Life" chronicles Brooks’ very early work all the way to present day. In this deep and personal conversation, Reiner and Brooks explore the origins and evolution of Brooks’ career, the impetus for his creativity, and the impact he has had on the world of comedy.
Studio Synopsis: In the dangerous world of crime, Benny serves under Abe, a crime boss with multiple personalities. When a gang war erupts with the notorious Frankie, Benny must confront the deadliest persona within Abe, Kane. With the next 24 hours predicted to be filled with violence, Benny questions his loyalty and contemplates joining Frankie. As the battle intensifies and secrets unravel, Benny faces a choice that could shake the criminal empire to its core. "Split Allegiance" is a gripping dark thriller that explores the blurred lines of loyalty and identity in a treacherous underworld.