PETER RABBIT (PG)
Starring: Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleason and the voices of: James Cordon, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie
Directed by: Will Gluck
Beatrice Potter’s Peter Rabbit and his animal neighbors have become furry CG characters in this animated tale of a sadistically murderous Mr. McGregor and a Peter who is completely off the rails. Since pop songs drown out most of the dialogue, and the humor turns unnecessarily scatological (and pathological), except for the costumes and Lake District countryside, I doubt Miss Potter would recognize most of what the filmmakers have put on the screen.
2 pieces of ‘This isn’t the Peter Rabbit I remember’ toast
FIFTY SHADES FREED (R)
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Marcia Gay Hardin
Directed by: James Foley
The success of this franchise about a woman trapped and enslaved by a billionaire and forced to have kinky sex astounds me. In this (hopefully) final film, the couple are newly married and determined to have a decadent and luxurious honeymoon trip to France, complete with a cache of BDSM paraphernalia from Christian’s notorious Red Room of Pain. Anastasia’s disgruntled former boss is still trying to kill her, but the biggest problem is that she wants a little baby and Christian is too selfish to share her with anyone..
1/2 piece of ‘Distasteful dreck’ toast
THE 15:17 TO PARIS (PG-13)
Starring: Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, Tony Hale
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Despite saying he was through with making movies, Clint Eastwood couldn’t resist making a thriller “based on real events” and starring three true American heroes, friends since childhood, who thwart the terrorist takeover of a Paris-bound train. To make things even more (pick your term here), Clint cast the three heroes as themselves. To be respectful to everyone involved, I’ll just say that the guys weren’t actors before this film, and they still aren’t. It doesn’t help that Dorothy Blyskal’s screenplay just plods along for the first 2/3 of the film.
3 pieces of toast for the train hijacking, 1-and-1/2 pieces for everything else