Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Available soon for home viewing

American Fable *½ Directed by Anne Hamilton. When 11-year-old Gitty (Peyton Kennedy) discovers that her beloved father is hiding a wealthy man in her family's silo in order to save their struggling farm, she is forced to choose between saving the man's life or protecting her family from the consequences of their actions. It has a nice opening for a movie that spirals into nonsense.

The Fate and the Furious **½ Directed by F. Gary Gray. A mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him. Zoom, crash, repeat with squealing, burning and flaming tires — it’s all predictably absurd and sel-mocking, and often a giggle when not a total yawn.

The Lost City of Z **½ Directed by James Gray. A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s. The ending is muddled as an unsuccessful attempt is made to provide closure to a story that, if told frankly, shouldn’t have one.

Norman *** Directed by Joseph Cedar. Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse. In Gere’s deft, veteran hands, Oppenheimer is consistently, completely fascinating. You may not be able to root for him, but you can’t help but feel for him.

A Quiet Passion **** Directed by Terence Davies. The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist. Davies, whose work often blends public history and private memory, possesses a poetic sensibility perfectly suited to his subject and a deep, idiosyncratic intuition about what might have made Dickinson tick.

Smurfs: The Lost Village ** Directed by Kelly Asbury. A mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on a race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history. While it may not be better or more entertaining, the acknowledgment that it is aiming solely for the kiddie audience this time around at least makes it slightly more palatable than its predecessors.

Spark: A Space Tale ½* Directed by Aaron Woodley. Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Chunk and Vix, are on a mission to regain Planet Bana, a kingdom overtaken by the evil overlord Zhong. An utterly lifeless and profoundly unoriginal animated effort that is desperately lacking the very thing in its title.

Their Finest *** Directed by Lone Scherfig. A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them. Bill Nighy as Ambrose Hilliard is never less than splendid.

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