Movie Reviews: He Named Me Malala, Just Let Go, Pan | Buzz Blog

Friday, October 9, 2015

Movie Reviews: He Named Me Malala, Just Let Go, Pan

Also: 99 Homes, Walt Before Mickey, Highway to Dhampus, Mississippi Grind

Posted By on October 9, 2015, 10:05 AM

  • Pin It
    Favorite
click to enlarge malala.jpg
Would-be inspirational movies hit Utah theaters in a bunch this week, as summer frivolity gives way to fall seriousness.

The documentary He Named Me Malala (pictured) profiles activist Malala Yousafzai in a way that humanizes her just enough to make it frustrating that it still feels too hero-worshipping. Just Let Go takes the true story of an Ogden LDS bishop struggling with a family tragedy and allows the inspirational elements to be swallowed up by sluggish pacing and a surprise revelation. Highway to Dhampus combines beautiful images of Nepal with a welcome focus on actual Nepalese characters, yet never finds a character arc that's truly compelling. Walt Before Mickey takes the early career of Walt Disney and reduces everything spiky and interesting about the guy into a twinkly, pre-digested tale of plucky determination.

Eric D. Snider praises Rahmin Bahrani's 99 Homes for its mix of acid-tongued humor and genuine emotion in exploring the moral side of the 2009-2010 mortgage crisis.

Danny Bowes notes that the narrative coincidence of the gambling-milieu drama Mississippi Grind still proves effective, thanks in part to the strong central performances.

In this week's feature review, the goofy fantasy of Pan crashes thanks to its ridiculous attempt to connect its hero-quest "origin story" to the famous boy who never wanted to grow up.

On Topic...

More by Scott Renshaw

  • Categorical Error

    Awards-season “category fraud” is an industry habit that everyone plays along with. But why?
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • Dames of Thrones

    Power collides with gender in the acidic The Favourite.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • Self to Shelf

    The King's English turns to its community for an anthology celebrating the local bookseller.
    • Dec 12, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Buzz Blog

  • Uncle Joe Comes to Town

    Former Vice President Joe Biden reflects on love, loss and purpose during U visit.
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • Categorical Error

    Awards-season “category fraud” is an industry habit that everyone plays along with. But why?
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • Council Raises Its Pay

    The Salt Lake City Council has voted unanimously to raise its salary more than $9,000.
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation