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NEW THIS WEEK

Information is correct at press time. Film release schedules are subject to change.

Draft Day StarStarStar

See review p. 39. Opens April 11 at theaters valleywide. (PG-13)

Le Week-end StarStarStar.5

Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) have been married a long time. As Le Week-end opens—on the train from London to Paris for a getaway—the practiced ease of their togetherness, all reflexive sniping and easy intimacy, is plain. Apart from the simple pleasure of spending cinematic time with intriguing yet realistic people, exploring the conundrums of life in an engaging and sympathetic way, we have here the unusual pleasure of seeing a couple of fresh, funny 60-somethings enjoying the world and trying to figure out their places in it. They're at a new sort of crossroad for the 21st century: He, a philosophy professor, is being forced into early retirement, and she's bored with her teaching job, but they've each likely got decades of good health ahead of them. Do they really want to spend those years together? Director Roger Michell smartly holds back any filmic showiness—we barely even glimpse Paris's famous landmarks—and lets his marvelous cast steal the show as Nick and Meg attempt to unpack the meaning of happiness, and whether they have found it with each other. Opens April 11 at Tower Theatre. (R)—MaryAnn Johanson

Oculus StarStarStar

Yes, it's about a haunted mirror—and it's better than any film about a haunted mirror ought to be. Directed, co-written, and edited by Mike Flanagan, it's an expansion of his 2006 short, and the extra practice he's had is evident in the way he creates atmosphere, builds suspense and overcomes our objections to the premise. That premise: 11 years ago, a brother and sister saw their parents' sanity undone by a malevolent antique mirror that causes hallucinations and evil thoughts. Now, with the brother (Brenton Thwaites) freshly released from a mental hospital, the sister (Karen Gillan) is determined to prove the mirror is supernatural—and then destroy it. Flanagan shows us both timelines, 11 years ago and the present, and though the tension of the flashback story is diminished by already knowing how it ends, Flanagan cuts between them expertly, letting the past and present bleed together. Telling a story about a mirror that plays mind games means Flanagan gets to play mind games too. He revels in keeping us off-balance, not letting us figure out what's real any sooner than the characters do as the creepy story unfolds. Opens April 11 at theaters valleywide. (R)—Eric D. Snider

The Raid 2 StarStarStar.5

See review p.39. Opens April 11 at theaters valleywide. (R)

Rio 2 StarStar

I remember as a young parent having one of those baby play areas; you lay an infant down on his back, and he stares up at some bright, colorful thing that spins around, makes music and distracts him long enough that you can maybe do the dishes. That's Rio 2, an instantly forgettable sequel to the instantly forgettable 2011 movie, which now finds rare macaw couple Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) learning that maybe they're not so rare after all, and there's a whole flock hiding away in the Amazon rain forest. There are antagonists aplenty, from Jewel's traditional dad (Andy Garcia) to the original movie's sinister cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) to a businessman (Miguel Ferrer) illegally logging in the rain forest. So, yes, there's an environmentally conscious message, and a couple of moderately amusing jokes and a couple of diverting musical numbers. But there's not a single engaging emotional beat or worthwhile idea or even an appealingly quirky vocal performance. It's just there to keep moving and make amusing noise, the cinematic equivalent of jingling your keys in front of the kid for 100 minutes. Opens April 11 at theaters valleywide. (G)—Scott Renshaw

The Unknown Known StarStarStar.5

In recent years, some of Errol Morris' most intriguing documentary profiles (Standard Operating Procedure, Tabloid) have focused on people presumed by the public to be monsters, yet who turn out to be far more mundanely creepy. Here he turns his Interrotron on Donald Rumsfeld, the much-reviled former Secretary of Defense, who opens up about his 40-plus years in government—or perhaps "opens up" is a bit of an exaggeration. What's most fascinating about Rumsfeld is that, despite the oceans of memos he generated leaving a paper trail of his concerns, he remains almost adamantly unreflective about crucial moments and insistent upon his version of events despite evidence laid out by Morris that those versions simply don't hold water. Is he simply an oily politician practiced in the art of the spin, or has he actually come to believe the story that he presents for public consumption? The fascinating suggestion of both the film's title—coming from one of Rumsfeld's most famous quotes—and his on-camera comments here is that maybe they've become the same thing, and that a willingness to self-question is an inconvenient quality in a contemporary leader. Opens April 11 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (PG-13)—SR

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

12 Years a Slave

At Viridian Events Center, April 10, 7 p.m. (R)

GMO OMG

At Park City Film Series, April 10, 7 p.m. (NR)

The Missing Picture

At Main Library, April 15, 7 p.m. (PG-13)

Tolerable David

At Edison Street Events Silent Films, April 10-11, 7:30 p.m. (NR)

CURRENT RELEASES

Captain America: The Winter Soldier StarStarStar

It starts with a terrific concept: Gung-ho patriot Captain America (Chris Evans) fighting for his country when its enemies and their motives are a murkier business, and even S.H.I.E.L.D. might be infiltrated by bad guys. The story wrestles copious material into a cohesive form, including Cap's place as an ideological man out of time, yet this is also a super-hero adventure that at times it feels like The Avengers Lite, with Black Widow, Nick Fury and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) joining the action. It's most similar, though, to Iron Man 3, which similarly maximized the unique qualities of its central character before eventually resorting to a far less interesting blow-everything-up finale. That's the tension in Marvel movies: Even comic books occasionally have the luxury of devoting an issue to character-advancing narratives that don't demand the same rigid blockbuster structure. (PG-13)—SR

Ernest & Celestine StarStarStar.5

It's ridiculously cute—not in a sappy, insipid way, but in a way that transforms adorableness into something honest, wise and deeply satisfying. It's the simple story of a mouse, Celestine, and a bear, Ernest, who overcome the "natural" animosity between their kind to become best friends. There are no humans in this world, just bears living above ground and mice below, each with their own complex cultures. The animation—hand-drawn, with a flavor of watercolors about it—is lovely, crammed with little touches that amp up the squee-able perfection. The story's little lessons—about the trials and rewards of being a nonconformist, the evils of intolerance, the power of love—go down ever so smoothly and effortlessly amidst such cute overload. (G)—MAJ

Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 [Incomplete]

There's a wee problem with of reviewing just part one of Lars von Trier's epic sex drama: It's not actually a movie. Yes, it's a filmed narrative, as a woman named Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) relates her autobiography of ravenous sexual appetites to a bookish man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). But it's only half a movie, with the end of Vol. 1 merely the place where an intermission ought to go. Things are certainly intriguing (and graphic) leading up to that intermission, with young Joe's (Stacy Martin) often-harrowing tales undercut by Seligman's matter-of-fact digressions into subjects ranging from mathematics to fly-fishing. Where is von Trier going with this clash between the animal and the intellectual? It's not clear yet, but if you can stomach von Trier's over-the-top theatricality, it might be worth finding out it in a couple of weeks. (NR)—SR

Enemy StarStar.5

Unforced dream logic is a difficult state for most movies to attain. This Prisoners reunion of director Denis Villeneuve and star Jake Gyllenhaal whiffs more than it hits on the subconscious level; the moments that do work, though, are shivery and wild. Set in a vaguely dystopian Toronto, it follows a college professor (Gyllenhaal) trapped in a fossilized relationship, whose stasis is interrupted when he discovers an actor who seems to be his exact double. As in Prisoners, Gyllenhaal works hard to suppress his natural charisma, resulting in a film that's less a reflection on mirror opposites, and more one where both facets are disagreeably grumbly. Barn-broad Freudian as much of it is, though, the ending is a jolt, bringing together random discordant notes for a final shot that's difficult to shudder away. Genuine WTF moments should be respected. (R)—Andrew Wright

The Lunchbox StarStarStar.5

Mumbai's dabbawallahs are real, every day ensuring that hundreds of thousands of office workers get hot lunches from home delivered right to their desks. This is the (fictional) story of one of their rare mistakes—a charming, chaste love affair forged over food and cemented by kindred spirits. Ila's (Nimrat Kaur) husband is indifferent to her food and to her, but she finds an appreciative audience in Saajan (Irrfan Khan), who somehow keeps ending up with the lunches intended for Ila's husband. It's when the lunchbox comes back empty, again and again, that Ila realizes someone else has been enjoying—actually enjoying—her lovingly prepared meals. Writer-director Ritesh Batra blends glorious food porn with the old-fashioned romance of far-flung correspondents sharing their written hopes and dreams to create a lovely film that will leave you, literally and figuratively, hungry for more. (PG)—MAJ

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