Friday, October 6, 2017

Arch Campbell's Weekend Movie Guide (10/6/17)

Ryan Gosling stars in Blade Runner 2049

From our friend, Arch Campbell...

The Big Sick - 4 Stars. Pakistani comic Kumail Nanjiani hits the sweet spot of tension between culture, generations, and romance in a serious rom-com about his relationship with his wife. Charming!

Wind River - 3½ Stars. Modern Western/thriller from Taylor Sheridan, screenwriter of "Hell or High Water." Tracker Jeremy Renner helps FBI agent Elizabeth Olsen solve the rape/murder of a young American Indian girl. Tense and explosive.

Stronger - 3½ Stars. Powerful story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, shows a realistic struggle of a flawed guy, uncomfortable playing the hero. Oscar-worthy performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Columbus - 3½ Stars. Contemplative romance with Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho, who quietly share their love of architecture with their family problems in a manner that becomes both beautiful and powerful.


Best New Bet Blade Runner 2049 - 3 Stars. Stephen King thriller delivers.

Arch with Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis (r)

It - 3 Stars. Stephen King thriller delivers.

Brad's Status - 3 Stars. Ben Stiller brings his son to Harvard for an admission interview, reviewing his life choices. Hits some realistic, thoughtful notes. With a breakout performance for actress Shazi Raja.

American Made - 3 Stars. Tom Cruise is winning, in the memoir of a bored pilot who goes to work for the CIA.

Dunkirk - 3 Stars. Christopher Nolan recreates the stirring British retreat, aided by civilian boats at the beginning of World War II.

Baby Driver - 3 Stars. "La La Land" as a crime story. Ansel Elgort drives a getaway car, listening to nonstop music (the film is shot to fit the music, rather than the other way around.) Violent, but exhilarating.

Wonder Woman - 3 Stars. Gal Gadot makes a thrilling debut as the iconic superhero. A super script combines origin story, humor, and superhero action.

War for the Planet of the Apes - 3 Stars. This series continues to turn out surprisingly good (and even thoughtful) stories, based on intelligent apes taking over the world from humans.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - 3 Stars. Easy-to-like reboot of the comic book character, thanks to Tom Holland's delightful take on the superhero as a high school geek, and Michael Keaton's delicious villain.

Battle of the Sexes - 2½ Stars. Emma Stone and Steve Carell recreate the Billy Jean King/Bobby Riggs, male versus female tennis match of the early 70s.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle - 2½ Stars. Not as good as the original, but full of cameo shocks and over-the-top comedy. The action doesn't hit the highs of the comedy. Long and uneven, but still fun.

Logan Lucky - 2½ Stars. Steven Soderbergh-directed redneck caper comedy with great cast, including Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig and Riley Keough. Oceans 7-Eleven.

Menashe - 2½ Stars. Rare window on Orthodox Jewish life. Widowed father longs for his son, who for religious reasons cannot live with him until he remarries. Poignant.

Girls Trip - 2½ Stars. Laugh-out-loud raunchy comedy with Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish has a message about the power of friendship. Much better than expected.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House - 2 Stars. Dour story of the FBI agent who passed information on Watergate to Woodward & Bernstein.

Victoria & Abdul - 2 Stars. Judi Dench (as Queen Victoria) grows fond of an Indian commoner, shocking her royal household. Lightweight stuff.

The Trip to Spain - 2 Stars. Best buds Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel to Spain and do more of what they did when they toured England, and again when they took in Italy. More of the same.

The Hitman's Bodyguard - 2 Stars. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson have great chemistry in this uneven, overlong criminal chase comedy.

Home Again - 1 Star. Reese Witherspoon sitcom rom-com.

American Assassin - 1 Star. Based on the thriller series by Vince Flynn, the movie doesn't come close.

mother! - Zero Stars. Jennifer Lawrence goes mad in Darren Aronofsky's thriller. It starts well enough, but leads to a pointless end. With Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris.

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.