Friday, November 18, 2016

Arch Campbell's Weekend Movie Guide (11/18/16)

Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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.”

Loving - 3½ Stars. Gently-told true story of the interracial couple who challenged Virginia's ban on mixed marriage. A quiet love story with a star-making role for actress Ruth Negga.

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.

Moonlight - 3½ Stars. Three scenes from the life of a poor kid growing up with an addicted single mother. Love and emotion overcome challenge in a sometimes difficult, but deeply affecting story.

Don't Think Twice - 3½ Stars. I waited a couple of months to catch this independent delight. An improv comedy group - about to lose both their theater and their mojo - watches one of their troop succeed, while the rest remain stuck. This story goes deeper than expected, while maintaining an ironic comic tone.

Best New Opening > Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - 3 Stars. J.K. Rowling recaptures that old Potter magic.

The Accountant - 3 Stars. Ben Affleck thriller keeps you intrigued.

Arch with Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis (r)

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

A Man Called Ove - 3 Stars. Swedish comedy, based on well-regarded book about a grumpy old man and how he got that way. Sweet!

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.

Doctor Strange - 2½ Stars. The excellent Benedict Cumberbatch lends his talent to Marvel’s latest superhero series, but his acting and eye popping special effects can’t save the finale from turning into the same old good versus evil thing.

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.

Nocturnal Animals - 2 Stars. Amy Adams creeps out over the manuscript of a thriller. Starts tense, ends with a fizzle.

Arrival - 2 Stars. Space aliens have a message for us, and only Amy Adams can hear it. Wonderful effects, but a head scratcher of a plot.

Hacksaw Ridge - 2 Stars. Mel Gibson takes the story of a conscientious objector during World War II, and turns it into an overly violent meditation on war. Ironic, I guess; but I wish Clint Eastwood had directed.

Didn't see it, don't wanna see it...

Inferno - Tom Hanks in another one of those ancient art chase movies. The first two stunk: Why watch this?

Keeping Up with the Joneses - Smells dreadful.

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.