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New in Theaters February 09: Peter Rabbit, Fifty Shades Freed, The 15:17 to Paris

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By Chris Kavan - 02/08/18 at 06:41 AM CT

Let's face it, it has been pretty dull at the box office lately. While Jumanji and The Greatest Showman have shown plenty of resilience, there hasn't been many good, new movies to write about. Maze Runner was average, Winchester was a bust but it looks like things should finally pick up, and next week Marvel drops the Black Panther, which should really liven things up. Before that, though, we have the final film in the Fifty Shades trilogy, which should make the women swoon, the animated Peter Rabbit, which should make families happy and The 15:17 to Paris, which should make grown men cry - or at least pump their fists. All in all, it's shaping up to be a much better weekend than we have seen in quite awhile.

FIFTY SHADES FREED I am not at all the target audience for the Fifty Shades novel or films. I have yet to see any of them and have no real desire. If the movies did the books real justice, they wouldn't be rated at all - but, this is Hollywood and, as such, our light S&M fantasy for women has to be a bit watered down. None-the-less, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan return for what is (by all accounts) the final chapter in this trilogy that finds Christian Grey (Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Johnson) finally married, but the past refuses to let go and Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) threatens their relationship. Pretty much everyone is returning to their roles here - including the likes of Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Callum Keith Rennie, Victor Rasuk, Marcia Gay Harden, Max Martini and Jennifer Ehle among others. Just like the first two films, I'm expecting harmless titillation, questionable chemistry and maybe a light spanking or two. Regardless, the first two films seemed to do well enough, I'm sure this final nail in the coffin will perform admirably as well.

PETER RABBIT And now to completely flip the script, let's go with a movie the whole family can enjoy - about the senseless plot to bring down a poor farmer by a group of frankly mean-spirited rabbits. That's right, Beatrix Potter's classic book series is getting an in-your-face overhaul with carpool karaoke and late night host James Corden as the lead. Sam Neill plays mean old Mr. McGregor and Domhnall Gleeson his likewise bunny-hating son. Our rabbit friends are voiced by the likes of Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, Colin Moody and Rose Byrne. This will probably do well for the mere fact that, outside of The Greatest Showman, there isn't a lot of family-friendly fare out there right now. Peter Rabbit should bring in the family crowd, though I don't see this becoming a must-see classic. It's going to be interesting to see if smut or families win out over the weekend.

THE 15:17 TO PARIS For those wanting a bit more excitement mixed with a fine dose of heroism, Clint Eastwood has your back. Based on the true story of three young Americans who were in the right place at the right time - aboard a Paris train when a terrorist plot was foiled. The film explores not just this event, but the lives of these young men and what brought them together. Sure, I'm sure there will be some stretching of the truth, but props to Eastwood for casting the actual people (Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone) in the main roles. Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, Jaleel White and Tony Hale are on hand as support. While the film isn't likely to give either Fifty Shades Freed or Peter Rabbit a run for the box office crown, considering the subject matter, it should play well to the patriotic crowd and should wind up in decent position.

While the really big picture isn't dropping until next weekend, the new arrivals should at least alleviate the box office doldrums that has made the winter a bit dull. I'll be back on Sunday with the results.


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