Christmas Movie Guide: Joy, Concussion, Daddy’s Home

2981 days ago.

Joy, Point Break, Daddy’s Home, Concussion and The Big Short open in movie theaters around St. Louis this weekend. Love The Coopers opens at Keller 8, while Pan and A Walk In The Woods are among the movies now available to rent at Redbox. Catch Concussion starting on Christmas Day at  MX Movies in downtown St. Louis.

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Christmas Movie Guide: Joy, Concussion, Daddy's Home

Recapping Last Weekend

The was never any question that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would take the weekend box office crown last weekend, the question instead centered on whether it would set a new opening record or not. The long-awaited film easily set the box office debut record and exceeded its lofty expectations with an opening just shy of $248 million domestically and $529 million worldwide. The film easily eclipsed Jurassic World‘s $208.8 million domestic opening and just barely topped its $524.9 million worldwide opening.

Two films making their debuts finished behind Star Wars over the weekend. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip brought in $14.3 million, while Sisters took in $13.9 million. I saw Sisters over the weekend and thought that while it wasn’t groundbreaking in anyway, it was quite funny and enjoyable.

The top five was rounded out by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 with $5.9 million in ticket sales in its fifth weekend of release and Creed, which earned just more than $5 million in its fourth weekend.

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Opening This Weekend


The talk surrounding Joy, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and is directed by David O. Russell, really intrigues me.  Just a month ago it was being hailed as this great Oscar-caliber film even though no ones seems to have seen it. Now, closer to its release, reviews have been somewhat tepid. Did a member of the cast. which also includes Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, piss someone off?

Lawrence plays the part of Joy Mangano, the real-life New York woman who created the Miracle Mop and made millions hawking it on the Home Shopping Network and QVC. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praises Lawrence’s work while calling Russell’s film uneven overall.

Bradley Cooper admitted at the film’s premiere to taking a Miracle Mop of his own to college and told Marc Malkin of E! that his mother, a huge fan and customer of QVC, was a consultant to Russell on Joy.

Todd M. Thatcher predicts a box office opening of $14.9 million for Joy.

Joy trailer


In Concussion (the 2015 football movie, not the 2013 film of the same name), Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the doctor who first really brought to light the dangers of concussions in football. Omalu is the man who first coined the term Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) after dissecting the brain of ex-Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster. Omalu set out to spread the word about his discovery in medical journals and was met with vicious treatment in the press by the NFL and others.

Many early reviews of Concussion praise Will Smith’s performance in the film. Smith, who was recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, has said he is proud of his role in the film and still considers himself a football fan, albeit with a bit more knowledge on this serious issue.

Concussion director Peter Landesman was on The Pressbox with Frank Cusamano on CBS Sports 920 in St. Louis yesterday where he talked about the impact he thinks his film may have on parents with children of the age where many start playing football.

Todd M. Thatcher predicts a box office debut of $13.8 million for Concussion.

Concussion trailer

Daddy’s Home

Will Ferrell and and Mark Wahlberg reunite in Daddy’s Home. The actors are adversaries in this film, rather than partners. Ferrell is the straight-laced stepfather to his wife’s two children. Wahlberg is the ex-husband from the wife’s more wild days and father of the children. Tara McNamara cautions in writing for the Huffington Post that people need to be cautious when seeing this film, considering the subject matter.

Just judging from the trailers you could figure Daddy’s Home isn’t a film that will get great reviews from critics. It’s a film with two solid lead actors and some quality laughs.

Todd M. Thatcher predicts a weekend box office total of $16.5 million for Daddy’s Home.

Daddy’s Home trailer

The Big Short

The Big Short is based on a book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, which focuses on the rupture of the housing and credit bubbles in the late 2000s. Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell star. It’s directed by Adam McKay, who directed the Anchorman films as well as directing Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys. Some reviewers out there feel like McKay should have directed Daddy’s Home as well.

Sandy Schaefer of Screen Rant says The Big Short is one of “the more unique movies” based on a non-fiction piece of writing. Many critics are putting it firmly in contention for Oscars. The Minneapolis StarTribune gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

Todd M. Thatcher is predicting an opening of $8.1 million this weekend for The Big Short.

The Big Short trailer

Point Break

The original Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, opened to the tune of $8.5 million back in July of 1991 on its way making to making just more than $43 million at the domestic box office. Roger Ebert called the original “surprisingly effective” and gave it 3 1/2 stars on his 4-star scale. It became a cult classic, leading fans of it to be a wee-bit upset with the idea of a remake.

If you plan on going into seeing the new Point Break with the idea of comparing it to the original, you might as well just save your money and stay home. I imagine this will be somewhat like the Footloose remake. If the original Kevin Bacon classic didn’t exist, Kenny Wormald’s Ren MacCormack and Miles Teller’s Willard would be the characters we’d look fondly upon.

This new film is a high-octane retelling of the story of Johnny Utah and Bodhi, complete with the world’s best extreme sports stars pulling off stunts you won’t believe aren’t computer-generated.

Todd M. Thatcher predicts an opening at the box office of $11 million for the Point Break remake.

Point Break trailer

Catch It Before It’s Gone

Love The Coopers

Love The Coopers, The Peanuts Movie, The 33 and Spectre all make their way to Keller 8 Cinema in South County Christmas Day. I saw Love The Coopers shortly after its release and really enjoyed it. It’s not mind-blowing or incredibly thought provoking but I really enjoyed it.

Love The Coopers trailer

Make It A Redbox Night


Pan could go down as one of the worst movie flops of all time. With a budget that topped $150 million, predicting this would be a box office flop was basically pointing out the obvious. With it now being available at Redbox, however, its a little easier to put down money to see it.

War Room and A Walk In The Woods are also now available to rent at your local Redbox.

Pan trailer

Entertainment News

Jennifer Lawrence Made Out With Liam Hemsworth & Smoked Pot At The Oscars

Jennifer Lawrence was on What Happens Live with Andy Cohen earlier this week and she was her typical awesome, hilarious stuff. She admitted to making out with Liam Hemsworth off-camera and smoking pot before the Oscars one year.

Beatles Music Now Available To Stream

As of early this morning you can now stream the entire publicly availble music catalog from The Beatles. The catalog is available on nine streaming services, including Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime and Spotify. Venture Beat says that the best way to stream music from The Beatles is through Tidal.

Star Wars Episode VIII Ending Not Finalized Just Yet

Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit theaters, broken records, and rewarded just about every fan out there, it’s time for those fans to look ahead to the next two films in this trilogy. The script for Episode VIII has already been completed and filming has begun with Rian Johnson (Looper) directing. J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens, has said that he has read that script and regrets not being the one who gets to direct it. Colin Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World, will be directing Star Wars: Episode IX, the last film in this sequel trilogy.  Reports are saying that the ending of that film has not been finalized yet.  Star Wars: Episode VIII is planned for a May 26, 2017 release with a 2019 release for Episode IX.  Other films are planned in between those release.

Fuller House Theme Song To Be Recorded By Carly Rae Jepsen

Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen tweeted last night that she recently recorded a cover of the iconic Full House theme song to be used for Netflix’s upcoming Fuller House, which is being released in February.

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Ryan is a weird dude. He doesn't cook, yet owns a plethora of kitchen gadgets. He rationalized buying a SodaStream while unemployed. He counts Step Up 2: The Streets as one of his favorite movies along with Footloose, Rent, Grease and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He loves Mizzou but only wants them in the SEC so he can tailgate in Nashville. He owns a ShakeWeight and AbLounger, but still loves him some John Donut and Billie's Fine Foods. You can get more of Ryan at or just check the stool on the far end of the bar at iTap in Soulard.

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