Beck Bennett has a recurring character on Saturday Night Live named Mr. Patterson; he’s sometimes referred to as the “Baby Boss.” He has the body of a 30-year-old and the mannerisms of a 12-month-old. As the subject of an occasional sketch, it’s hilarious; Bennett nails an infant’s unsteady movements perfectly. I’m not sure I would ever want to see an entire movie about the Baby Boss, though, particularly after watching the entire movie of The Boss Baby, the new DreamWorks Animation feature that inverts Bennett’s schtick (instead of a businessman acting like a baby, here’s a baby acting like a businessman) but never really lands on a joke beyond “It sure is funny when a baby wears a suit! It thinks it’s people!”
After a daring and dangerous rescue mission, the crew of the International Space Station recovers soil samples that contain the first incontrovertible proof of that alien life exists. They nurture the sample, a single living cell, until it grows into an adorable amorphous blob. The whole world is obsessed with their discovery. A little girl names it Calvin during a worldwide live broadcast from Times Square. The crew is smitten with their new passenger.
The joy of the Power Rangers TV series was how campy it was. It was pure fun to watch teenagers jump around in nerdy spandex suits, fly giant robot machines, and fight ridiculous monsters (one was called Mr. Ticklesneezer, another was, I kid you not, Chunky Chicken). To make a modern Power Rangers movie you can either embody that wacky spirit, scrap it for a gritty reboot, or try to do both with middling results. Saban’s Power Rangers takes the latter route, updating the ‘90s series as an edgier, darker origin story with shards of silliness. The problem is, Power Rangers is never quite sure if it wants to distance itself from the source material or embrace it.
Joe Swanberg’s filmography is a fascinating evolutionary timeline; with each new film, the former mumblecore pioneer (and occasional agitator) has showcased increasing maturity. Win It All is his most grown-up film to date — despite the fact that it centers on the all-too-familiar man-child archetype. For his latest effort, Swanberg reunites with Digging for Fire star and co-writer Jake Johnson, who pulls double duty once again, this time with much more consistent results.
You’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but what of the works they left behind? Anton Yelchin’s remarkable talent was (and remains) undeniable, but not even he could save Porto, for which the primary selling points are: That it was produced by Jim Jarmusch, stars Yelchin in one of his last roles, and is vaguely reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s far superior Before trilogy.
Early on in Gemini, the new indie film from director Aaron Katz, John Cho’s Detective Ahn tells Lola Kirke’s Jill that it’s often some seemingly innocuous and overlooked detail that winds up being “the key to solving the whole thing.” That one line says as much about Gemini as its cool, reflective aesthetic, which tips its hat — without paying outright homage — to late ’80s and early ’90s thrillers, including films like Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway and the lesser-seen and under-loved Bad Influence.
It’s been 21 years since Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) decided to choose life. The young addict ran off with a bag full of drug money, screwed over his best friends, and kissed his junkie lifestyle goodbye at the end of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. In today’s sequel and reboot-obsessed studio system, it only makes sense to catch up with the Trainspotting gang in the present day and see how maturity has (or hasn’t) changed them. But just as any reunion among age-old friends will revolve entirely around the past, T2 Trainspotting is stuck reliving the glory days.
A former cop busted for crooked behavior is released from prison and returns home after six years, hoping to leave his life of crime behind and reconnect with his estranged family — but that life isn’t eager to let him go so easily. Director Evan Katz’s follow-up to 2013’s Cheap Thrills is a lean, mean neo-noir that addresses an age-old question: Do people ever really change? They can if they truly want to, but that’s not the case here.
Atomic Blonde is an easy sell: It’s Charlize Theron in a stylish spy thriller from one-half of the directing duo behind John Wick. But the first solo directorial effort from David Leitch is a little more James Bond than Blonde Wick — James Blonde, maybe, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s certainly more plot-driven (and at times, slightly convoluted) than John Wick, but no less enjoyable, and though the action scenes are every bit as awesome as you’d hope, it’s not quite the film you might be expecting.
You know an Edgar Wright film when you see one, even if Simon Pegg isn’t nearby — the distinctive (and often heartfelt) sense of humor, the impressive editing, the momentum, and the predictably awesome soundtrack, all working in time to deliver a film that’s remarkably poignant for such a well-oiled machine. Baby Driver might not be quite what you’re expecting from the director of Scott Pilgrim and Shaun of the Dead, and yet it’s entirely what you’re hoping to see. Despite some of its unexpected qualities and low-key visual style, it is perhaps the most Edgar Wright film to date.