Friday, February 14, 10:30 a.m.-ish: As I deeply love movies, and have been known to occasionally fall in love with movies, it feels appropriate that I'd spend a large chunk of this year's Valentine's Day at my first quadruple feature in 10 months. Yet while previous four-fers have started better, I'm not sure any of them have started weirder than this one, given that it begins with a reboot of television's Fantasy Island, that deliciously cheesy Aaron Spelling soap that demanded “Smiles, everyone, smiles!” from the start and almost couldn't help but deliver them.

Well.

Well well well well well.

Lookie what the Oscars did.

Wrapping up my pan of DC Films' Suicide Squad in the summer of 2016, I wrote, “The inevitable sequel to this franchise-starter can only be better. I say that all the time, and one of these days, damn it, I'm gonna be right.” Hey, whattaya know! I was finally right!

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards telecast is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. CST on Sunday, February 9, and before getting into the nitty-gritty of what I think might win, I'll tell you right away why 1917 is destined to receive a whole bunch of Oscars including Best Picture: If it doesn't get at least six, the Best Picture champ from 2010-2019 that amassed the most trophies is going to be The Artist. Remember The Artist? That silent, black-and-white, French comedy from 2011 that you kept meaning to see and never did? That's gonna be immortalized the decade's biggest winner. Liberal bona fides or not, Academy members would never let that happen.

It's estimated that the Brothers Grimm composed roughly 200 fairy tales and folk stories between 1812 and 1857. And I know it would be asking a lot, but based on their delectably macabre new fright film, I'd be happy to start a petition demanding that Gretel & Hansel director Oz Perkins and screenwriter Rob Hayes be given a crack at each and every one of them.

This past weekend, The Turning became only the 21st wide-release movie – though the second in three weeks (after The Grudge) – to ever receive an “F” grade from audiences as reported by CinemaScore, the market-research firm that has been polling crowd reactions for more than two decades. Why was the grade for this timeless haunted-house tale so abysmal? And why, despite the film's considerable strengths, was it kind of deserved?

A true-life tale involving social reformer Frederick Douglass, iconic author Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the United States' first public discussions about abolition, the historical drama Sons & Daughters of Thunder will be screened at the Moline Public Library on February 6, with the locally produced film boasting the talents of filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle and more than two dozen familiar area performers.

Overstated though most of them seemed to be, I enjoyed the mean-spirited take-downs of Cats as much as the next guy. But I think I've figured out why director Stephen Gaghan's new family adventure Dolittle – a far worse movie – hasn't suffered nearly the critical indignities of Tom Hooper's musical train wreck: It's so tediously by-the-numbers, and so predictably awful in all the expected ways, that it simply saps your will to mock.

We all had a hunch it would do well, right? Picture, probably; actor, for sure; maybe writing and maybe directing and probably a handful of craft nominations. But if you told most Oscar watchers that, with the announcement of nominees for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, this morning's big winner would be the super-villain origin story Joker, they'd likely reply with one of Joaquin Phoenix's most memorable lines from that film: “Hahahahahahaha!!!

Although many audiences would disagree, not all movies need to be fun, and Sam Mendes' 1917 is the perfect example of a film that's not only more fun than it needs to be, but more fun than it should be.

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