Friday, February 1, 2019

Arch Campbell's Weekend Movie Guide (2/1/19)

Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old

From our friend, Arch Campbell...

They Shall Not Grow Old - 4 Stars. Peter Jackson combines World War I survivor interviews with brilliantly restored footage. A powerful meld of technology and art.

Roma - 4 Stars. Alfonso Cuarón recreates his childhood in middle class Mexico City (during the early 1970s) and the nanny he & his family loved.

Cold War - 4 Stars. Polish composer begins tortured love affair for rural femme fatale. Astonishing 90minute "Casablanca"-style romance. shot in crisp black and white. Stunning. 

If Beale Street Could Talk - 4 Stars. Award-worthy dramatization of James Baldwin's 1974 novel of struggle and injustice.

Stan & Ollie - 3½ Stars. John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan give wonderful performances as the comedy team on tour at the end of their careers. Poignant, yet funny.

Arch Campbell with Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis (r)

Green Book - 3½ Stars. New York bouncer drives jazz pianist on a concert tour of 1962 pre-civil rights South. Each man emerges better for the experience.

Mary Poppins Returns - 3½ Stars. Disney's update of "Mary Poppins" delights. The musical numbers merit applause, and Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda fill the bill.

Vice - 3½ Stars. The story of Dick Chaney's rise, told with astonishing performances.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? - 3½ Stars. Melissa McCarthy nails the story of writer Lee Israel, who faked a series of celebrity letters, when her career sputters. Funny and charming.

Bohemian Rhapsody - 3½ Stars. Irresistible, clichéd celebration of Freddy Mercury and Queen.

A Star Is Born - 3 Stars. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga make this remake a charm.

Free Solo - 3 Stars. Climbing without a rope. Hold on to your seat.

The Mule - 2½ Stars. Clint Eastwood as a 90-year-old, driving drugs for the cartel.

The Favourite - 2½ Stars. Sex, power and petulance in Queen Anne's court.

Mary Queen of Scots - 2½ Stars. Showcase for excellent Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie drags, and gets hard to follow.

Ralph Breaks the Internet - 2½ Stars. The further adventures of the video game character and his best friend, transferred to the net.

The Upside - 2 Stars. Wealthy quadriplegic Bryan Cranston hires ex-con Kevin Hart as his aide. Cute, sometimes funny life lessons ensue.

On the Basis of Sex - 2 Stars. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's early triumph for equal rights can't compare to the documentary "RGB."

Aquaman - 1 Star. Underwater superhero origin story drowns in a sea of clichés. Super long. Don't hold your breath.

Glass - 1 Star. Three characters from two movies face off for a superhero showdown. Yawn.

Destroyer - 1 Star. Nicole Kidman as burnt out L.A. cop. Slow, painful to watch parade of clichés from the past.

Capernaum - 1 Star. Lebanese boy, growing up on the streets, sues his parents for the crime of giving him life. Unsubtle and difficult to watch, the change of tone finale feels false.

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.