Friday, October 14, 2016

Arch Campbell's Weekend Movie Guide (10/14/16)

Nate Parker stars in The Birth of a Nation

From our friend, Arch Campbell...

Hell or High Water - 4 Stars. A modern day western with Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger pursuing Chris Pine and Ben Foster, bank robbers hoping to steal enough money to avoid foreclosure on their family ranch. A brilliant portrait of the last days of the “Texas myth.”

Sully - 3½ Stars. Clint Eastwood directs and Tom Hanks stars as U.S. Air "hero pilot" "Sully" Sullenberger. The recreations of landing the crippled jet and the aftermath paint a fascinating picture of calm, life-saving leadership. One of the year's best.

The Birth of a Nation - 3½ Stars. Nate Parker stars and directs this powerful dramatization of the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion. An important film, in the league of “12 Years a Slave.”

Finding Dory - 3½ Stars. Pixar’s follow-up to “Finding Nemo” provides fine and funny moments, and even a tear or two.

Café Society - 3½ Stars. Nostalgic Woody Allen story of lost love in glamorous 1930’s New York and Los Angeles. Nice roles for Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.

Arch with Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis (r)

Queen of Katwe - 3 Stars. Sweet story of an African girl with a knack for chess.

Bridget Jones's Baby - 3 Stars. Surprisingly charming and funny. Rene Zellweger, in a love-and-pregnancy triangle with her Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) and a new McDreamy guy (Patrick Dempsey.) So who's the father?

Florence Foster Jenkins - 3 Stars. Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant make sweet comedy of the true story of a tone deaf Manhattan society matron and her love of performing.

American Honey - 3 Stars. Gritty, breathtaking portrait of a runaway girl, who joins a team of magazine sales gypsies roaming Interstate America.

Kubo and the Two Strings - 3 Stars. A most unusual stop-motion film, the adventures of a small boy's quest to end a curse and connect with feuding family both dead and alive.

The Girl on the Train - 2½ Stars. Emily Blunt as an alcoholic, obsessed with her ex-husband, his new wife & baby, and their beautiful nanny, who turns up dead. Who done it? Great beginning, so-so ending.

Deepwater Horizon - 2½ Stars. Recreates the terrible 2010 environment disaster that cost 11 lives, with Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell as heroes and John Malkovich as a BP executive villain.

The Magnificent Seven - 2½ Stars. Straightforward remake of the 1960 classic, with cool, cool Denzel Washington as the baddest dude in the West.

Snowden - 2½ Stars. Oliver Stone’s portrait of CIA operative Edward Snowden, who spills the beans on the agency’s ability to track everyone. Sometimes, even the paranoid know what they’re talking about.

The Light Between Oceans - 2½ Stars. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander find a baby in a boat, and the plot thickens.

War Dogs - 2½ Stars. Miles Teller falls under the spell of alpha male Jonah Hill in a less-than-moral scheme to sell guns and ammo to the government. Good acting, but nothing new as “Wolf of Wall Street” meets “American Hustle.”

The Dressmaker - 2 Stars. Oddball Australian comedy, with Kate Winslet as a world-famous designer brought home to take care of her crazy mom and settle scores.

Jason Bourne - 2 Stars. Matt Damon Bourne again. Not enough.

Visit Arch's website for his (unrivaled) take on movies. He remains the only other (we're not self-hating) critic, whose opinion we admire and respect.