What’s interesting about the lifelong war-buff’s approach to this movie is that Hanks has been absolutely ruthless with Forester’s novel, paring it down to 91 minutes of pure tension sandwiched by bursts of action.
At its most basic level, Becky is a female empowerment/revenge movie. And a movie like this, with its de rigueur open-ended sequel-friendly ending, suggests Becky has plenty more empowerment left in her.
James vs His Future Self is a less abrasive and transgressive film than LaLonde’s previous The Go-Getters (an anti-romance about two street people conniving their way out of town). Consequently, it’s not as raucously funny. But it’s a decent enough time waster.
While I already miss the experience of seeing these films in a theatre, Vivarium does evoke TV precedents, most notably Twilight Zone in the cleanness of its premise and the parsing out of dark details on a need-to-know basis.
The inexorable pace of this marital disintegration is masterfully dictated by its leads, Nighy (whose granite expression remains fairly unchanged whether unhappy with Grace or newly-alive with his new love) and Bening (without whose energy there would be no movie).
Let it be known that The Way Back – in which Ben Affleck plays a drunk who once walked away from basketball glory and is offered a chance at redemption when his old coach has a heart attack – is possibly the most melancholy sports movie ever made.
I’m not sure why director Ricky Tollman would take a real story that practically writes itself and write something else. It’s hard to follow what he’s trying to say with Run This Town, but it’s said awkwardly, without much regard to reality. The cast are all engaging and terrifically talented. But the story they’re given is a narrative straitjacket that even the best actors couldn’t save.
Despite evoking a lot of previous pop-cultural touchstones (including Harry Potter, Shrek and even Weekend at Bernie’s), the nerd-minded, fast-moving Onward has wit, eye-catching anachronisms and imaginative actio
At an hour and a half, Gretel and Hansel shouldn’t be a slog. But at a certain point in the last act, it definitely labours for its chills - and all that feasting eventually leaves the audience more hungry than scared.
Ritchie is looking back to the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and RocknRolla roots as if nothing has changed since. The Gentlemen is simply those movies with extra everything except inspiration. And sometimes more is less.
A dull piece of off-season horror flotsam, Underwater suffers from two kinds of genetic drift. It is the umpteenth movie about messing with the ocean bottom (DeepStar Six, Leviathan, The Meg, etc.), where, apparently, there be dragons rather than blind albino shrimp...It is also the latest, and most blatant, of God-knows-how-many Alien rip-offs that have taken up space in the multiplex in one critic’s lifetime.
There are some very funny lines in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, much of it predicated on the outwardly ludicrous meeting of profound cynicism and hope. Lloyd’s character arc is well handled by Rhys (The Americans), and the denouement is one only a Scrooge could call humbug.
A preposterous mess of romance-with-secrets, generations-old closet skeletons and revenge, The Good Liar is the kind of fragrant dramatic cheese that Sidney Sheldon would have squeezed an ‘80s network mini-series out of. But the never-before-paired screen couple of Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren consume this cheese like so much scenery. There’s nothing like actors with gravitas slumming, all bemused smiles and droll delivery, even as the material descends clunkily into unintentional comedy.
In some reality where it came without baggage – and where it didn’t have to be a bloated two-and-a-half hours to accommodate its relationship to a classic – Doctor Sleep could stand on its own as a decently stylish popcorn thriller.