Friday, June 30, 2017

Baby Driver

My View:  Baby Driver  (2017)  R   Baby (Ansel Elgort) is the best getaway driver out there, and he works for a veteran kingpin (Kevin Spacey) who he owes big money to. Baby’s world changes when he meets a young waitress (Lily James) who gives him something other than driving to live for. This is a stunning, highly enjoyable film. The best way to describe it is a car chase musical. Baby has a permanent case of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and to drown it out; he is constantly listening to music. Music is an important part of his life, so he lives his life with a constant soundtrack. Elgort sings, dances and drives to the beat of 30 different songs that make of the film’s soundtrack. The action sequences are brilliant, timed to the music that Baby is listening to (at one point he has to re-cue a song before he can drive away from the cops) and were done with no CGI (computerized special effects). The car chases are some of the most exciting chase sequences I have ever seen. The cast is brilliant, with Kevin Spacey as the planner of the bank robberies and Jon Hamm as one of the robbers, making the most of their parts. The star of the film is Ansel Elgort, and he gives a dazzling performance that is mesmerizing. Go see this magical film. You just might drive home from the theatre a little faster with your sound system blasting after seeing this movie.  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again  Baby Driver Website
My View:  The Beguiled  (2017)  R  At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, the young women have been sheltered from the outside world. A wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is taken in, and it changes the school forever. The Union soldier charms his way into getting to stay longer than he should, but trouble starts when the women all start to think that he is in love with each of them. This is a beautiful looking film that, at times, almost seems like a dream. The film is a little slow, but it works, as the undercurrents start to build tension. The film is a remake of a 1971 movie of the same name, with Clint Eastwood starring as the Union soldier. I didn’t like that film, as I never felt the danger that is in this movie. While I like Farrell’s performance, it’s Nicole Kidman that makes this film work. She plays the woman who owns the boarding school, and she plays the part with a restraint that slowly gets broken down by her desires for the soldier. While not a horror film, there are quite a few suspenseful moments and an ending that may shock you.  My Rating: Full Price  The Beguiled Website
Family Faire:  Despicable Me 3  (2017)  PG  Gru (Steve Carell) has lost his job and has decided to go back to being a villain. His long-lost twin brother, Dru (Steve Carell) shows up, and they go on a criminal heist together. I am not a fan of the Despicable Me franchise, and as they keep making these films, it seems that they are writing them for six-year-olds. The plot is thin, and I have always felt that the bad guy (this time voiced by South Park co-creator Trey Parker) is never well-thought-out. Even the Minions are not utilized, and they leave Gru because he doesn’t want to be a villain. I will admit there are a couple of funny scenes when the Minions get thrown in jail, but those are few and far between. The film is so boring, a critic next to me looked at his watch to see how much longer we had until the movie would end, and then 3 minutes later he did it again. This film may be okay and entertaining for little kids, but grownups may want to take a nap in the theatre, or you might be like my fellow critic and think that time has stopped.   My Rating:  Cable   Despicable Me 3 Website 
IndieFest:  Okja  (2017)  TV-MA  A young girl named Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn) has raised a giant pig named Okja for the last ten years in Korea.  A massive agricultural company now wants the pig back and will do anything to return it to their headquarters. Mija will have to travel far and wide, battling bad guys and a mean CEO (Tilda Swinton), to save her beloved Okja. I want to warn you; this is not a film for kids. It deals with subjects like industrial farming, animal cruelty, and can get very graphic and disturbing. But this film isn’t all dark. You will fall in love with Okja and Mija. There is humor in this film and shows up at odd or dark times due to the absurdity of the situation or the weird and wild cast of characters.  Jake Gyllenhaal stands out as a TV show host of a popular TV animal program. Gyllenhaal is hysterical as the over-the-top, self-centered host (think an over-caffeinated Steve Irwin with a little Richard Simmons mixed in).  The storyline is moving, funny and scary, sometimes in the matter of minutes of each other. Ultimately you will want to go on this journey with Mija and Okja.  Note: this film is not in theatres but available on Netflix.  My Rating: Full Price   Okja Website
Forgotten Film:  Matchstick Men  (2003)  A con man, Roy (Nicolas Cage), who has all sort of obsessions that dominate his life, and his partner in crime (Sam Rockwell) stumble upon a great con game when Roy’s teenage daughter (Alison Lohman) comes back into his life. Cage gives a performance of a lifetime as the clever conman who can have a panic attack at a moment’s notice and wants desperately to connect with his brash daughter.  I think it’s a real shame that Cage didn’t get an Oscar nomination for this brilliant and complex role. The storyline will keep you guessing if they can pull off the con, and I loved the end of this film.    My Rating:  Full Price   Matchstick Men Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Beguiled:  Sticher

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Breathe  (2017)  PG-13  The true story of Robin (Andrew Garfield), a man who loves adventure, meets a woman (Claire Foy) and quickly falls in love with her.  Their life is idyllic until he’s afflicted with polio that leaves him paralyzed. I can’t think of anyone else but Garfield who could play this man who decides that polio won’t stop him from living his life the way he wants to.   Breathe Info
Until Next Time!

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