To hear the unmistakable sounds of yet another lavishly orchestrated Donaggio swoonfest laid over the flat, static expository scenes of the choppy benumbed “international” police thriller Domino is to watch De Palma trying to create cinematic fire out of burnt-out match sticks.
The genius of Pavarotti’s voice is that it had the power to heal. The movie pays ample testament to how that voice, for 40 years, poured out of him, rapturous and tragic, soaring on wings of pure emotion, at times wracked with a spiritual pain that was surely his own, but always lifting his audience to the mountaintop of beauty, saying, “This is where I live. And you can too.”
In “Yesterday,” [Boyle and Curtis] reduce the Beatles to the ultimate product by declaring, at every turn, “These songs are transcendent!” And it’s the fact that they keep telling us, rather than showing us (i.e., with musical sequences that earned their transcendence), that makes “Yesterday,” for all the timeless songs in it, a cut-and-dried, rotely whimsical, prefab experience.
UglyDolls is “Trolls Lite,” and the way things work I have no doubt we’ll be seeing a movie in the next few years that’s “UglyDolls Lite.” Yet this is still a winsomely appealing and joke-happy bauble for kiddies.
It’s lunging to be a badass hard-R epic, but it’s basically a pile of origin-story gobbledygook, frenetic and undercooked, full of limb-hacking, eye-gouging monster battles as well as an atmosphere of apocalyptic grunge that signifies next to nothing.
Wild Rose, the closest thing to a sleeper I’ve seen at Toronto this year, is a happy-sad drama of starstruck fever that lifts you up and sweeps you along, touching you down in a puddle of well-earned tears.
The Best of Enemies while not nearly as good as “Green Book,” is a rock-solid movie: squarely deliberate, a little long and predictable, but honest and thoughtful enough, precise in its period and locale, with very strong performances.