Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Available soon for home viewing
The Circle * Directed by James Ponsoldt. A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity. Has a lot of good ideas and a few engrossing sequences, but it never quite finds a groove, or even a mode, and it ends in an abrupt, unsatisfying way.
Colossal ***½ Directed by Nacho Vigalondo. Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City, and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon. This movie feels as if somebody woke from an intense nightmare, decoded it and realized it was rather unsubtly working through some of their unresolved problems, then brought it to Judd Apatow and said, "Here's your next comedy."
Don’t Knock Twice * Directed by Caradog W. James. A mother desperate to reconnect with her troubled daughter becomes embroiled in the urban legend of a demonic witch. Disappointing because its creators don't do anything interesting with a fairly novel theme: a mother's possessive love for her estranged daughter.
The Drowning ½* Directed by Bette Gordon. A psychiatrist faces his past, present and future when he finds himself involved in the treatment of a young man recently released from prison for a murder committed when the boy was just 11 years old. The problem with this movie isn't that the characters are insubstantial, but rather that they don't dry up and disappear fast enough.
Going in Style ** Directed by Zach Braff. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals embark on a bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money. Although the movie’s heist represents a high point and gets props for being suitably clever, it’s swamped by bad melodrama and lame comedy.
The Lovers ** Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs. Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a long-married, dispassionate couple who are both in the midst of serious affairs. But on the brink of calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance. Falling with a thud between two stools, it has neither the zip nor the zaniness of farce nor the airy vivacity of the best romantic comedies.
The Ottoman Lieutenant ½* Directed by Joseph Ruben. A love story between an idealistic American nurse and a Turkish officer in World War I. A couple of action sequences are well staged. That’s about it for the plus side.
Phoenix Forgotten * Directed by Justin Barber. Twenty years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. Borderline generic, desert-set found footage that apes genre constraints to a snooze-worthy T.
Shin Godzilla **½ Directed by Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi. Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster. The film is at its best when it’s in parody mode, though it keeps that card too close to the vest for much of its two-hour length. The humor, not the monster, is what you’re left wanting more of.
Sleight *** Directed by J.D. Dillard. A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. An auspicious debut from this up-and-coming filmmaker.
Wakefield ** Written and directed by Robin Swicord. A man's nervous breakdown causes him to leave his wife and live in his attic for several months. The film, scrupulously faithful to its source, is decidedly literary, but not in an especially satisying way.