Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Available soon for home viewing

Alien: Covenant *** Directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape. At its best, the film echoes the creepiness and tension of Alien. At its worst, it sinks into the pretentiousness that at times threatened to derail Prometheus.

Blind * Directed by Michael Mailer. A novelist blinded in a car crash which killed his wife rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife of an indicted businessman. The film wants to be a steamy romance, but it ends up leaden and occasionally laughable.

Chuck *** Directed by Philippe Falardeau. A drama inspired by the life of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner. Liev Schreiber has almost no physical resemblance to Wepner, in his heyday a burly, mustachioed redhead. Schreiber is a terrific actor, however, and he pulls it off. His portrayal works partly because of its understatement.

Everything, Everything ** Directed by Stella Meghie. A teenager who's spent her whole life confined to her home falls for the boy next door. The matter-of-fact portrayal of a bi-racial relationship is presented just as it should be — unremarked upon.

How to Be a Latin Lover * Directed by Ken Marino. Finding himself dumped after 25 years of marriage, a man who made a career of seducing rich older women must move in with his estranged sister, where he begins to learn the value of family. The movie all too quickly devolves into a nearly two-hour slog showcasing Mexican comedy superstar Eugenio Derbez’s attempt to seduce U.S. audiences with a cheesy bilingual spoof of an ethnic stereotype long past its expiration date.

The Wall * Directed by Doug Liman. Two American soldiers are trapped by a lethal sniper, with only an unsteady wall between them. Where the movie excels is in the creation of an extra-untantalizing desert atmosphere. The dust is practically unhalable, the sunlight glaring and the characters grow even more sand-gritted with each mishap. Overall, however, it still feels like an exercise, one so dramatically monotonous and tonally high-pitched that you want to escape almost as much as the characters do.

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