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Movies at a Glance & New DVDs


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                                                                     MOVIES AT A GLANCE.

THERE ARE NO NEW REVIEWS THIS WEEK: 

BAD SAMARITAN
(1hr 47min) *** Set in Portland, Oregon, aspiring Irish photographer Sean (Robert Sheehan) and Derek Carlito Olivero) worked as parking valets outside upscale Nino’e Restaurant. But one would then drive the car to the owner’s house and burgle it while the other warned him when the meal was almost over. When billionaire socialite Cale Erendreich (David Tennant) left them his Maserati, Sean discovered in the mansion a locked room with a terrified battered young woman, gagged and bound to a chair. Sean called the police and anonymously notified them of the captive but when they called they found nothing. While Sean continued desperately to try to rescue the girl, smart, sadistic Cale calculated who the intruder was. A series of cat and mouse games follows and psychopathic Cale turns on family and friends, till Sean gives the police a photo of the prisoner taken from his phone. Creepy! (Park Theatre)
THE BLACK PANTHER (2 hrs 15min) ** ½ What a huge disappointment!  African-Americans have been filling theatres for weeks as there hasn’t been a black superhero in Marvel Studios’ Empire.  Many centuries ago, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returned to the African nation of Wakanda for his coronation following his father’s assassination. During the traditional coronation ceremony, he was given a heart shaped herb in a special metal liquid called vibranium, giving him superhuman abilities. T’Challa had a powerful rival in cousin Erik (Michael B. Jordan). The story is far more convoluted than that and is over-produced and overstuffed with strangely named characters. The costumes, set design and makeup are over-done, there isn’t a scene without CGI, humour is virtually non-existent and the acting flat and dull, akin to the clunky, stodgy dialogue. (Intl Village)
THE DEATH OF STALIN
  (1hr 47min) *** In 2009 I rated the satirical British black comedy In the Loop among the year’s best, and the writer/director was Armando Iannucci, surprisingly born in Glasgow (dad was Italian, mom Scottish), and he thought of priesthood but decided to try comedy instead!  His 2nd feature film The Death of Stalin is another political satire, based on the Soviet power struggles following the dictator’s death, and naturally it has raised objections in Russia. When Joseph Stalin demanded a recording immediately of a live radio concert performance, panicked producers force orchestra and audience to sit through it again and the recording must be identical. Then Stalin suffered paralysis from a cerebral haemorrhage and collapsed unconscious. When discovered members of the bumbling, power hungry Central Committee members (with British accents) arrived, there was pandemonium leading to a frantic Marx Bros jostling for power and control. (Intl Village)
DISOBEDIENCE (1hr 54 min) *** ½  Chilean director Sebastian Lelio’s  (A Fantastic Woman) English language debut is another absorbing drama, a forbidden lesbian love story in the strict Orthodox Jewish community of North London.  Photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz) lives a secular life in New York, having left her revered rabbi father Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser), broken hearted as his only child indulged in a lesbian relationship from childhood, for which she was shunned by the community and fled to New York. She returned for the funeral services and to an unforgiving community. Her childhood friend and her dad’s spiritual protégé Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) invites her to stay in his home and she is shocked to see her childhood lover schoolteacher Esti (Rachel McAdams) is now his wife. Dovid and Esti’s dutiful relationship appears loving and physical but the spark between the girls is still there and is reignited. When spotted, Dovid is informed. When he is acclaimed as the Rav’s successor, can he accept?  Gorgeously acted by the three leads stars, beautifully written by director Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz based on the Naomi Alderman novel, this is a triumph in film-making. (Intl Village) 
I FEEL PRETTY (1hr 50min) * ½ . Renee (Amy Schumer) works in a Chinatown basement doing tech work for the high end cosmetic company Lily LeClaire. She and best friends (Aidy Bryant, Busy Phillips) can’t attract men and Renee is convinced that’s because she is overweight. When her workout machine collapses, she receives a serious bump on the head, and on coming to she is surprised she is now slim and drop-dead gorgeous (WE don’t see this as it’s strictly in her mind’s eye). She has the confidence in applying for her dream job of receptionist, although everyone is too stunned to disagree. In a drycleaner’s, she misconstrues a comment from Ethan (Rory Scoval) as a pick-up line and exchanges phone numbers. She confidently answers questions from cooing heiress Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams), retro-fitting her grandmother’s (Lauren Hutton) department store’s cosmetic line. Irrepressible Schumer carries the predictable, tediously long movie which ends with the realization that what really matters is on the inside. (Intl Village) 
ISLE OF DOGS. (1hr 41min) **** Recommended. Animation. Director/producer /writer Wes Anderson won the Best Director award at Berlin’s Film Festival for this delightfully humouros, wildly imaginative, exquisitely animated story of man’s best friend quarantined on Trash Island. When canine flu and snout fever breaks out in dog-hating but cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi’s domain of Megasaki, the entire dog population is confined to the offshore radioactive and rat-infested island when the dogs are forced to fight over garbage to exist. The mayor’s young nephew Atari is determined to find his pet Spots and recruits the help of abandoned gossiping Alpha dogs consisting of Rex, Boss, Duke, King and Chief (names in their former lives).  Meanwhile a tenacious American exchange student joins the Science Party in developing a serum to cure all dog diseases. But the Mayor has extermination in mind and unleashes robotic attack dogs and drone warfare on the starving dogs. The sharp dogs’ dialogue (barks) is translated into English while the Japanese humans’ voices are translated into English. Spectacular! (Intl Village)
LEAN ON PETE (2hrs 1min) ** ½ When teenager Charley (Charlie Plummer) and his wayward dad Ray (Travis Fimmel) moved into a dump in Portland, Ray urged him to get a job. At the Portland Meadows racetrack, the bottom of American horseracing, inexperienced Charley was hired by shady racehorse trainer Del (Steve Buscemi) for minimal wages. When his father was severely beaten and died following a botched X-ray, traumatized Charley was left alone. In the stable he became attached to an aging quarter horse, Lean on Pete. If a horse is unable to compete on the tracks, it is sent to the Mexican slaughterhouse and with his horse on a losing streak, Charley knew the consequences. He stole the truck, trailer and horse and set out east. With no money for gas and now a broken down truck, they trekked across the plains and desserts determined to find estranged Aunt Margy (Alison Elliott). Without highs and lows, the road movie is underwhelming, but Plummer will hold your attention. (Park Theatre)
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD (1hr 36min)  ** ½ Wim Wenders’ documentary is on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope of the Americas to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology. Unfortunately the 96 minutes includes some weird black & white silent movie-type scenes in the life of the original Saint Francis. The film’s first half has repetitious speeches about global poverty, starvation, unemployment and income inequality, his compassion for current refugees and his concern for the environment. “Those who build walls to keep out immigrants are "not Christian.” The second half is visually more interesting with visits to refugee camps, barrios and favelas, prisons, children’s hospitals, along with his speeches at the UN and to Congress about “the globalization of indifference.” With “zero tolerance,” he is critical of pedophiles. On the gay lobby, he states that if a man lives his life righteously, who is he to judge?  The documentary should have strong appeal to Catholics worldwide. (Intl Village)
RBG (1hr 38min) **** Recommended. 85 year old Ruth Bader Ginsberg is an associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.  A new documentary on her is well timed as she spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She attained a reputation as a skilled oral advocate and her work led directly to the end of gender discrimination in many areas of the law. She narrates her fascinating life’s story from childhood with her supportive immigrant parents through courtship at University and a happy marriage and motherhood to her present extraordinary popularity in pop coupled with personal photos, archival film clips and comments from family, friends and colleagues. In the 50’s, being a woman was an impediment with no rights. In the ‘70s employers could legally fire a woman for being pregnant.  She passionately made her goal equality and civil rights. Here’s a certainty for next year’s Best Documentary Oscar! (Intl Village)
TULLY (1hr 34min) **** Recommended  Marlo (Charlize Theron) is the over-stretched mother of three: a yowling new baby, an 8 year old daughter (Lisa Frankland) and a hysterical 5 year old autistic son Jonah (Asher Miles Fallica). His kindergarten headmistress dubs him a “problem child” (Marlo suggests he’s quirky) and insists he requires a personal aide or another school. Husband Drew (Ron Livingston) works full time and is ineffectual, unwinds by playing video games while the house is a mess.  Marlo’s  wealthy brother Craig (Mark Duplass) offers to pay for an over-night nanny so Marlo can sleep. Tully (Mackenzie Davis) is 26, intelligent, radiant, energetic and optimistic, she’s perfection personified. They become friends and even Marlo’s love-life is revived. Then suddenly Tully breaks the news that she can’t continue with her job – it’s over! Why? No spoilers here!  Diablo Cody’s screenplay is realistic, sharp, smart and witty, while winning combination Theron and Davis are dynamite together. All deserve award nominations!  (Intl Village)
                                                           
                                                    
NEW DVDs

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday May 22
THE 15:17 TO PARIS Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Tony Hale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC_lnyn2R2Q
EARLY MAN  Animation. Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall,  Rob Brydon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb8KO-76l0k
A FANTASTIC WOMAN  Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Keppenheim, Antonia Zegers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6OZzrKklM
GAME NIGHT Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Danny Huston, Kyle Chandler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmfMNp89uuA
THE PARTY Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Bruno Ganz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb4FF6lCqFw
RED SPARROW Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=009kJYaLSyM
WONDERSTRUCK Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Millicent Simmonds, Jaden Michael
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n207k52C3DM

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday May 29
ANNIHILATION  Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson,  Oscar Isaac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89OP78l9oF0

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 5
DAPHNE & VELMA   Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Gilman, Vanessa Marano, Courtney Dietz, Stephen Ruffin, Fray Forde
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6630KtDWPg
DEATH WISH  Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris,  Len Cariou
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzILu6yyA20
EVERYDAY Angourie Rice, Maria Bello, Debby Ryan, Owen Teague, Colin Ford, Justice Smith, Katie Douglas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8rBsN3f5oo&vl=en
GRINGO David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton,Thandie Newton, Sharlto Copley,  Amanda Seyfried
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-uhMTdSLXs
THE HURRICANE HEIST Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona, Ben Cross
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQpSvJGrArY
THOROUGHBREDS Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks, Francie Swift, Chaunty Spillane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPcV_3D3V2A
A WRINKLE IN TIME Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhZ56rcWwRQ

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 12
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE  J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Cloris Leachman, Dennis Quaid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB9zgoEj_n4
LOVELESS  Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov, Maryana Spivak, Marina Vasilieva, Andrtes Kievis, Yanina Hope 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gYwlMCWRs0
LOVE , SIMON.  Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Tony Hale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0cbWdlQg_8
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT.  Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxOHhAV4lAc
TOMB RAIDER  Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KkhD0MnaJU

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 19
THE DEATH OF STALIN. Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Michael Palin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPpXFnHoC-0
MIDNIGHT SUN.  Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Quinn Shephard, Ken Tremblett, Suleka Mathew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXJGKf8ihfw
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfxGGPKODsk
PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST. James Faulkner, Jim Caviezel, Joanne Whalley, Olivier Martinez, John Lynch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvkcsFQEpHM
UNSANE  Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Amy Irving, Matt Damon, Joshua Leonard, Aimee Mullins, Colin Woodell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy5QHGMxIi4

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday June 26
BLACK LIGHTNING (Netflix) Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycirMQhyzc4
SPINNING MAN Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Jamie Kennedy, Clark Gregg,  Alexandra Shipp
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ol57wXObak
TYLER PERRY'S ACRIMONY  Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Danielle Nicolet, Jazmyn Simon, Ajoina Alexis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sUMCWfLvHk

NEW DVDs... starting Tuesday July 3
7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE  Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Lior Ashkenazi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuTBea8_-LY
ANOTHER WOLFCOP Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Yannick Bisson, Lawrtence Gowan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUcxwVcLa0Q
BEIRUT Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris, Larry Pine, Shea Whigham, Mark Pelligrino
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLCqedsPUFE
BLOCKERS  Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ4fjTk5K28
BORG VS McENROE  Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason, Stellan Skarsgård, Leo Borg, Robert Emms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ4fjTk5K28
FINDING YOUR FEET  Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59EpMGDFV0o
JOURNEY'S END Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones, Tom Sturridge, Stephen Graham, Paul Bettany
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkDTlxBOBtM

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 10
LEAN ON PETE  Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Travis Fimmel, Steve Zahn, Thomas Mann
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzlazAyylw8

NEW DVDs ... starting Tuesday July 17
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE  Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sophia Taylor Ali
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mljg0BA9Hvo
DISOBEDIENCE Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola, Anton Lesser, Alexis Zeggerman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEVonh8bjC0
I FEEL PRETTY  Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I2JrgIQuyE
RAMPAGE  Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6E8DWTPjcs