It's been a little over a month since Tenet hit theaters and decidedly did not save cinema. It may have even made things worse, Tenet's disappointing box office haul seemingly "spooked" studios who are now pushing their most-anticipated movies into later, hopefully, less cursed years. Dune just got bumped back to next year, as did No Time to Die, the new/now kind of old James Bond movie.
But while Regal and Cineworld are shutting down theatres across the U.S. and the U.K. as a result, AMC is committed to staying open. How? Well, there are still some movies hitting the big screen this fall. As AMC's CEO pointed out, this Friday, we're getting The War With Grandpa, a family comedy starring Robert DeNiro (who's 0 for 1 in the Grandpa-based comedy department) as a senior who's fallen on hard times and has to move in with his family. This upsets the grandson character who lashes out by ... seemingly trying to murder the grandpa; what the hell?
Yeah, the two compete in an escalating series of pranks, one of which involves literally electrocuting the grandfather, who then falls off of a goddamn ladder. It's like Home Alone if the Wet Bandits were senior citizens who weren't actually committing a crime.
It also feels like a weird story for this particular moment in history. During a time when children have the potential to spread a deadly virus that disproportionately kills the elderly, doesn't releasing a movie about a child repeatedly brutalizing his gramps seem kind of tone-deaf? Or perhaps it will serve as the consummate allegory for 2020, telling a story of how youthful selfishness can be a danger to the old and vulnerable. So maybe, just maybe, The War With Grandpa will do what Christopher Nolan couldn't do and save cinema. Either that or the industry will continue to crater, and this thing will be in a Walgreen's DVD discount bin in four weeks.
Top Image: 101 Studios