Now “the best British band to ever come out of America” gets the documentary treatment from director Edgar Wright, himself a cheeky bugger (Sean of the Dead, Baby Driver), and it is superbly entertaining whether you love Sparks, hate them, or just have never heard of them.
Luca has energy to spare and it’s certainly easy on the eyes, if not as visually outrageous as, say, the recent Coco. The moral lessons — be true to your friends, overcome your fears — are tidy and shopworn, fresh to young audiences but lacking the jolts of originality that make classic Pixar films an all-ages proposition.
Well, there are worse ideas for movies and certainly worse casts, and Michael Lembeck’s genial, predictable comedy rolls along on well-worn tracks elevated by the class and commitment of actors who’ve earned our affection over decades of work.
Heading straight to streaming platform Paramount+ without the embarrassment of appearing in theaters first, the movie is both blissfully incoherent and weirdly generic, as if it had been assembled from the spare parts of other movies and glued together with stuntwork.
A stultifying drama based on the 2009 season of the Abilene High Eagles, Lights suffers from sermonizing dialogue, amateurish performances, and an ugly racial blind spot disguised as white savior paternalism.
The producers include Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the inspired duo behind The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines has the same breakneck gift for comic timing and a willingness to throw anything at the screen if it’ll get a laugh, including an angry Furby the size of an office tower.
One nice thing about Mila Kunis’s portrayal of a heroin addict in Rodrigo García’s Four Good Days is that the vanity’s up front, in the character and in the star’s nervy embrace of a woman who has become human wreckage.
Together Together sounds like a really bad idea on paper, and for the first half-hour or so, it’s a really bad idea on screen. Yet a funny thing happens to this surrogate-pregnancy romantic comedy (I told you it was a bad idea) as it bumps along: It develops curious and unexpected pockets of feeling.
Believability takes a back seat here, obviously, and the special effects are so over-the-top bloody as to be more comical than scary; unlike In the Earth, a much slicker British horror film opening in theaters this week, Jakob’s Wife proudly embraces its inherent B-ness. But it’s the star who makes this a low-down hoot while rooting it in some tart and deserved observations about the battle of the sexes.