Friday, July 28, 2017

Atomic Blonde

My View:  Atomic Blonde  (2017) R  The Berlin Wall is about to fall, and Lorraine (Charlize Theron), an undercover MI6 agent, is sent to the Communist side to find a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. This film is a blast to watch. It has some of the best fight sequences I have ever seen, and, while the plot is slim, it has plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. Theron is stunning as the spy who can kick butt with the best of them. What I loved about this film is that Theron’s character isn’t a superhero - she can fight and fight well, but she also gets the crap beat out of her. There is a great fight sequence where Lorraine and the guy she is battling both can barely stand due to the beating that they have given each other. I love that Charlize Theron did 95 percent of the fighting in this movie, and it shows. The soundtrack for this film is outstanding and I loved the use of color in the film which adds to the overall mood.    My Rating:  Full Price   Atomic Blonde Website
IndiefestA Ghost Story  (2017) R   A recently deceased man (Casey Affleck) remains in his home and tries to reconnect with his bereft wife (Rooney Mara).  Let me first warn you that this is not a scary movie. The only scary thing about this film is the stupid plot of this movie. A Ghost Story is a film that some film critics are going to love due to the chances it takes, but I am going to tell you that I hated it. This is a film where the main character dies early in the film and, then for the remaining, he wears a sheet with two eye wholes cut out (like a cheap Halloween costume), barely moves and doesn’t say a thing. There is a nine-minute sequence where Rooney Mara sits on the floor and eats a whole pie.  So if pie eating and seeing a guy walk around in a ghost costume is your thing, then you will enjoy it when the spirit travels back in time and sees a pioneer family gets massacred by Indians.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    A Ghost Story Website
My ViewDetroit  (2017) R  Set in 1960’s Detroit, during the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion, the city is under crew, and the National Guard patrols the streets. Three young black men are murdered in the Algiers Motel, and Detroit will never be the same.  The first two-thirds of this movie, which is the lead up to the event and then the death of three young men and the beating of others, is moving, shocking and brutal to watch. It’s some of the best filmmaking I have seen in a long time. Unfortunately, the last third of the film is the aftermath, which I feel would have been better served and had more impact if it has just been explained with some title cards. The whole cast does an outstanding job with stellar acting roles by John Boyega, who plays a security guard who gets caught up in the incident and Will Poulter, who plays a racist cop and the instigator of the beatings and deaths. The tension in the first two-thirds of the film builds to almost an unbearable peak as you know what is going to happen but hope against hope that it won’t. That’s why I don’t like the last third of the film; I feel that most of the scenes in that portion of the film were predictable, and we didn’t need to see it.  Overall, this is a film that needs to be seen.   My Rating: Full Price   Detroit Website
IndiefestLady MacBeth  (2016)  R  Set in 19th century rural England, Katherine (Florence Pugh) marries a man (Paul Hilton) much older than she. It’s a loveless marriage, and Katherine’s attention is soon drawn to a common worker, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). When Katherine relets to the temptation, a path that may destroy everything and anyone is set into motion.  Florence Pugh is outstanding as the fiery Katharine, who is willing to do anything to keep her lover Sebastian safe. Pugh plays a very unlikeable character that, against our better judgment, we still root for. Hers is a brave and chilling performance that makes this film worth watching. There are some pacing problems with the film as director William Oldroyd has a tendency to stay on single takes a little too long, and he seems to fall back too many times on close-ups of Pugh.  Overall it’s an interesting view into just how far someone will go to get what they want.  My Rating:  Full Price    Lady Macbeth Website
IndiefestLandline  (2017)  R  For the first time in her life, older sister Dana (Jenny Slate), recently engaged and struggling with her own fidelity, bonds with her wild teenage sister Ali (Abby Quinn) after the two sisters suspect their father (John Turturro) is having an affair. The two try and discover the truth without letting their mother (Eddie Falco) know. There is a big problem with this film, no matter how much I love Jenny Slate (she should be in every ‘rom-com’ that is made from now on), her character, Dana isn’t likable. Dana makes one mistake after another (if you can call cheating on her fiancé just a mistake) and never seems to learn from them.  It’s as if co-writer/director Gillian Robespierre thought that because Slate, the actress, is cute and adorable, that we would find Dana cute and adorable, but, in reality, we never can get behind anything that she does. I did like Abby Quinn who is marvelous and fascinating as the high strung little sister. The plot seems a little disjointed, trying to cover too much instead of focusing on the problems of Dana and Ben. The film is funny at times and occasionally heartbreaking, but I wanted more heart. I was disappointed in this film. It comes from the same team that gave us the brilliant Obvious Child and has a cast that most films could only dream of, but this film never quite comes together making it seem incomplete.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Landline Website
My ViewThe Last Face (2017)  R  Set in war-torn Liberia, Dr. Wren Petersen (Charlize Theron) and Dr. Miguel Leon ( Javier Bardem) start a relationship in difficult conditions.  They both want to help the people of Liberia but have different ideas on how to do that. “Are you a playboy?” “I’m playing anything Wren.” That’s just one of the many badly written lines in this film. You know Charlize’s character cares a lot because she is always crying. The two star-crossed lovers spend a whole lot of time watching each other and talking to each other in whispered tones that’s meant to be romantic but just seems rather selfish. It’s too bad that this movie decides to focus on their relationship and not the refugees whom they are supposed to be treating. This is a movie about 1st world problems in a 3rd world country. “It is not until you can’t leave that you will know.” Know what, I’m not sure because this film sure doesn’t know.   My Rating: Cable   The Last Face Website
Indiefest:  13 Minutes  (2017)  R  A man (Christian Friedel), is arrested on the Swiss border for possession of suspicious objects, and just minutes later a bomb goes off in Munich, killing eight people. Just 13 minutes before Hitler had been giving a speech at the very lectern that the bomb was planted in. This is a fascinating film based on a true story of a man whose world changes for the worse, and he can see no other option than to kill the man that is responsible for his beloved Germany to go in the wrong direction. Friedel gives a powerful performance of a man who used to be carefree and quite the playboy but as the years in Germany give way to Nazi crackdowns, he slowly loses everything he finds dear, including friends and family. A bit of a warning, the Nazi’s, including an SS honcho named Heinrich Müller (Johann von Bülow) and police chief Arthur Nebe (Burghart Klaußner) will do just about anything to get a full confession and the torture scenes are graphic and hard to watch. Overall, it’s an interesting film about a man and a country on a crash course, one that little known.   My Rating: Full Price   13 Minutes Facebook Page
Forgotten FilmLove with the Proper Stranger  (1963)  Angie (Natalie Wood) is an innocent Italian Catholic Macy’s salesgirl, who has a one night stand with Rocky (Steve McQueen).  Angie discovers that she is pregnant and, after hunting down Rocky, they have to decide what they are going to do next. This is a rather unconventional love story (especially for the early 60’s because abortion is one of their options) that has two stars at the height of their carriers. Wood and McQueen have great chemistry on screen, and, that alone makes this film worth watching.  My Take:  Full Price   Love with the Proper Stranger Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Atomic Blonde:  Water Supply Operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Patti Cake$  (2017)  An aspiring rapper (Danielle Macdonald). who goes by the name Patti Cake$, is fighting for her place in the entertainment world from her downtrodden hometown in New Jersey.  The film was the talk of SXSW and won the Screenwriting Award at the 2017 Nantucket Film Festival.   Pattie Cake$ Info
Until Nest Time!


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