Awards season may be underway with the official start of the Toronto Film Festival, but the fall of 2016 picks up right where summer left off with Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ a loud and frenetic update of an old classic very few people were clamoring for. The question with any remake is why; why a new version and why one now? The movie just made its world premiere as the opening night film of TIFF 2016, and I still don’t have a satisfying answer to that question.
Movie Reviews - Page 4
Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)
Derek Cianfrance’s ‘The Light Between Oceans’ might be the most heartbreaking movie of the year. Cianfrance’s (‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’) latest looks at the many sides of grief and guilt, and how one’s joy may come at the expense of another’s pain.
As soon as I left the theater, still shaken from Elizabeth Wood’s ‘White Girl,’ I Googled the title of the film see what else the filmmaker has done. My finger must have slipped on the Google Search recommendations, as the results for “white girl wasted” popped up. I looked down at the Urban Dictionary definition highlighted at the top, a description that only just begins to capture the perilous, infantile destruction frequently found among, and willingly created by, a demographic often found at New York City bars and clubs.
What if Rutger Hauer’s relatively absurd, visually-impaired martial arts badass from Blind Fury was besieged by a home invasion in his reclusive Early Bird Special years? The answer is — to an extent — Don’t Breathe, a thriller that skews a little more toward The Collector than David Fincher’s underrated Panic Room. The latest effort from director Fede Alvarez (the Evil Dead remake) is a relentlessly intense cat-and-mouse game with a couple of hard lefts thrown into its twisted domestic labyrinth. It’s a nasty little piece of work that needs to be a bit more lean and slightly less mean.
In the thick of the Chicago summer of 1989 two people went on a first date, marking the beginning of one of history’s most famous couples. It was Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. But the First Lady, then Michelle Robinson, a 25-year-old lawyer, was insistent it was only a meeting between colleagues.
Chad Hartigan’s ‘Morris From America’ opens with a close-up of the titular 13-year-old boy bopping his head to an old school hip-hop song with his father Curtis (Craig Robinson). Morris (Markees Christmas) confesses he’s not a fan, calling out the song for its lack of a hook. Offended his son can’t appreciate the roots of the music genre they both love, he sends Morris to his room. It’s playful, but he’s not kidding. That’s the kind of relationship Curtis has with his son, loving, but firm, where the two share more of a brotherly bond. Curtis treats Morris like an equal, entrusting the boy to make his own decisions, but challenging him to grow into a more thoughtful adult.
Anomalisa is a tough stop-motion act to follow (to be fair, Charlie Kaufman typically sets the bar pretty high), but if anyone is suited for the task it’s Laika, the studio behind delightful animated features like ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. Their latest effort blends Laika’s usual wit and charm with stunning visuals matched by an equally remarkable journey, making Kubo and the Two Strings an epic worthy of the eponymous character’s vibrant mythology.
Among the review quotes on the Amazon page for Guy Lawson’s Arms and the Dudes about a pair of stoners from Miami who became international arms dealers, is one from the magazine Mother Jones. “It sounds like a comedy flick.” It does, and now it is; War Dogs from director Todd Phillips. As the man who made Old School and The Hangover series, Phillips is a specialist in stories about men of limited intelligence and limitless ability to get into trouble. Finding the story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two ambitious bros who smooth-talked their way into a massive deal with the Pentagon supplying millions of rounds of ammunition to the Afghan military, must have felt like a gift from God. If Phillips and his screenwriters had simply invented these guys and their improbable rise to the top of the American military supply chain, no one would have believed it. But a look at the Rolling Stone article Lawson later expanded into his book confirms that a shocking amount of the events in this movie really happened.
On October 25, 1944, a 76-year-old socialite who had absolutely no vocal talent sold out Carnegie Hall in just two hours. Florence Foster Jenkins had no pitch, no sense of rhythm, and couldn’t hold a tune for her life. Yet audiences flocked to the theater that night to witness the spectacle of a woman blissfully unaware of her lacking talent.