Friday, February 8, 2019

Weekend Movie Guide

Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old

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.

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 (but 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.

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.

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.