Friday, July 1, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

My ViewThe Legend of Tarzan  (2016)  PG-13  Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) and Jane (Margot Robbie) travel back to Africa from their home in England. There Tarzan finds that the Dutch government is about to enslave the people of the Congo, and he sets out to stop them.  Let me tell you right off the bat, I am a huge Edgar Rice Burroughs fan (he created Tarzan and wrote over 80 Sci-Fi / Fantasy books), and I was one of the few critics who loved the 2012 film, John Carter (based on another creation of EBR). While this film does leave a few things out, this is closest that anyone has come to capturing the book, with the exception of the 1999 Disney film Tarzan. Skarsgard makes a remarkable Tarzan and perfectly captures his spirit of daring and adventure. Robbie is an adequate Jane, but she isn’t asked to do much more than be the love interest and the damsel in distress. I loved the action sequences, especially those involving the great apes, as finally technology is at a point where techno apes seem real. I didn’t like all the flashbacks, which tell the story of how Tarzan was left in the jungle and how he met Jane, as they have a tendency to slow the film down, and some are unnecessary.  Overall, I enjoyed this movie and hope there will be more.  My Rating: Full Price   The Legend of Tarzan Website
My ViewThe Purge: Election Year  (2016)  R  U.S. Senator Charlene Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) has fought to stop the annual purge, the one day anyone can kill anyone else without fear of arrest. On the night of the purge, she and her security agent (Frank Grillo) are forced out on the streets and must try to survive the night.  I did not like the first film in the series The Purge (2013), but I really enjoyed the second film of the series, The Purge: Anarchy (2014), which was a quick moving “video game” style of film. Unfortunately, the script for this movie is horrible, with predictable outcomes, bad dialogue and some crappy acting thrown in to help make this film boring and almost unwatchable. Let’s hope the studio “purges” this film out of its rotation.   My Rating: Cable   The Purge: Election Year Website
Family FaireThe BFG  (2016)  PG  An orphan girl (Ruby Barnhill) befriends an elderly giant (Mark Rylance) and accompanies him on a mission toward stopping a group of man-eating giants.  This is a beautiful looking film with special effects but a storyline that is rough and uneven and moves at a very slow pace. The story never quite hits the emotional tone that it needs. Mark Rylance does give a warm and impressive performance as the lovable giant who befriends a human girl. I think older kids will enjoy the film, especially if they have read the book, but younger kids might get bored by the movie’s overall length of almost two hours.  And parents are warned, your kids are going to love a scene that is full of farting. My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The BFG Website
IndiefestSwiss Army Man (2016)  R  Hank (Paul Dano) is shipwrecked on a deserted island and is contemplating suicide. He finds a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) which he then befriends and uses to survive in a unique way. Right off the bat, I will warn you that this film isn't for everybody. It takes a bit of a strong stomach for a few of the scenes and at my Atlanta screening, two couples left at different times, deciding that this film wasn't for them. If you like weird, offbeat films that have a strange sense of humor, then this just might be your type of movie. Dano and Radcliffe do a remarkable job on the screen as the unlikely duo, playing off their great comedic timing and strong chemistry together. “Swiss Army Man” is a different type of film, mixing broad comedy aspects with some very sweet, tender moments and combines a unique script with two strong performances.   My Rating: Full Price   Swiss Army Man Website
IndiefestWiener-Dog  (2016)  R  A dachshund passes from one owner to another as their lives are impacted in different ways by the dog. The film is written and directed by Todd Solondz, who gave us films like Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and Happiness (1998). If you like those movies, you will probably like this one, but if you didn’t like those films, you will probably hate this one. As with most of his films, the characters in this film are all unhappy with their lives and looking for something more fulfilling. The film is made up of four stories, all centering around the ownership of a dachshund. The film has a strong cast with outstanding performances by Greta Gerwig and Ellen Burstyn. I enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd sections of the film but hated the 1st and the 4th sections. I especially hated the ending of the movie, feeling that Solondz created this ending (which I saw coming) just to make an impact, not caring if it helped or hurt the storyline. Most of the characters in this film are highly unlikable people, and when the film ended,  I was happy I didn’t have to spend any more time with them.    My Rating: Cable   Weiner-Dog Website
IndiefestTickled  (2016)  R  Filmmaker David Farrier delves into the mysterious world of competitive endurance tickling.  This film starts out very light and funny but, in an instant, it becomes dark and full of intrigue. I won’t go into details; I’ll just tell you the story gets more intriguing as the film delves into the tickling world (it’s weirder than you can imagine). It’s full of twists and turns that’s better than most Hollywood dramas. Farrier tells the tale with a deft touch and builds the tension until the surprising ending. This is one of the better documentaries of the year and well worth the price of admission.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Tickled Website
IndiefestOur Kind of Traitor  (2016)  R  A British couple (Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris) gets involved with a Russian money launderer (Stellan Skarsgard) who soon involves them in a high-stakes journey through Paris, the Swiss Alps, and London.  This is a good old-fashioned spy thriller that fans of novelist John LeCarre will enjoy. While the film does have a couple of action sequences, the film is more about the intrigue that governments get into to spy on each other and the chess games that they play with people’s  lives. I enjoyed McGregor in the role of the professor who is in over his head, but the real treat of the film is Skarsgard, who chews up the scenery with relish as the Russian money mover. He is a blast to watch as he bulls his way to get people to do what he wants. There are plenty of twists and turns in the film to keep you guessing until the end.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Our Kind of Traitor Facebook Page
Forgotten FilmHandle With Care (1977)  PG   The film, when it was the first release, was called Citizens Band. A small town has been taken over by the CB craze of the mid-seventies. A local CB coordinator (Paul LeMat) is struggling to regulate the town’s overuse of their CB’s.  This is strange, funny film that is creative with its use of quick cuts from scene to scene.  The film is filled with interesting, oddballs that make the town they live in seem like it’s inhabited by the residents of a mental institution.  LeMat and Candy Clark are hilarious as an on again/off again couple.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Handle with Care Info

Weird Credits: From The Legend of Tarzan:  Thatcher

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Jason Bourne (2016)   R  Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has gotten his memory back, and people are going to pay.  I like Matt Damon as Bourne and enjoy this film series.   Jason Bourne Website

Until Next Time!

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