FILM NEWS: AUGUST 8-14 | Cinema Clips | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

FILM NEWS: AUGUST 8-14 

New This Week, Special Screenings, and Current Releases

Pin It
Favorite
click to enlarge cinema-clips.png

NEW THIS WEEK

Film release schedules are subject to change. Reviews online at cityweekly.net

The Art of Racing in the Rain
[not yet reviewed]
I think there's, like, a dog voiced by Dennis Quaid and his owner is a race-car driver, but honestly, I have no idea what's going on with this one. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (PG)

Brian Banks 2.5 Stars
Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (PG-13)

Dora and the Lost City of Gold 2 Stars
This live-action adaptation of the kiddie cartoon is ... fine. Unless you know that it's from director James Bobin and screenwriter Nicholas Stoller, who gave us the marvelous recent Muppets movie reboots, in which case it's a bit of a disappointment. Raiders of the Lost Ark lite, for kids? Nothing wrong with that. But it takes Lost City a solid 35 minutes to get there, first indulging in a pointless detour with the teenaged Dora (adorable Isabela Moner) forced to attend high school in Los Angeles, where she does not fit in at all. Then it's back to her South American jungle home for the rescue of her explorer parents (the splendid pair of Michael Peña and Eva Longoria) from treasure-hunter kidnappers, all of them bent on finding a fabled lost Incan city. Even once Lost City settles into itself, it's still poop and fart jokes and kiddie-style slapstick, stuff that drives a grownup viewer to distraction, though kids may not notice or care. This live-action Dora remains a great role model for girls and boys alike, but her movie should better than it is. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (PG)—MaryAnn Johanson

Ecco
[not yet reviewed]
An assassin trying to start a new life is pulled back into his old one. Opens Aug. 9 at Megaplex Theatres. (R)

The Kitchen
[not yet reviewed]
When a group of 1970s Hell's Kitchen crime bosses go to prison, their wives take over their operation. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (R)

Light of My Life
[not yet reviewed]
A father (Casey Affleck) and his daughter try to survive a world in which a pandemic has killed off most of the world's female population. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (R)

The Peanut Butter Falcon 3 Stars
It's hard not to get a touch of a Rain Man vibe from writer-director Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz' picaresque drama, but that sense of familiarity is transcended by strong performances. Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a 20-year-old man with Down syndrome who is a ward of the state in North Carolina, flees his care facility to pursue his dream of being a pro wrestler. While one of his caregivers (Dakota Johnson) searches for him, Zak winds up tagging along with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a down-on-his-luck fisherman who has his own reasons for not being found. The tale is mostly episodic, and focuses almost entirely on the hardened Tyler warming up to his role as reluctant guardian, which risks turning Zak into one of those characters who exists exclusively to change someone's heart. But Gottsagen does get a few solid scenes, and LaBeouf is terrific at conveying the way Zak begins to fill a hole in Tyler's life as they move through a landscape dripping with authentic Outer Banks atmosphere. Despite a bumpy climax, the emotion generally feels real, and honestly earned. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (PG-13)—SR

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
[not yet reviewed]
Teenagers face the horrors that come to life from a book's pages. Opens Aug. 9 at theaters valleywide. (R)

Them That Follow 3 Stars
There's a razor's-edge margin for error in telling a story of Pentecostal snake-handlers in rural West Virginia that doesn't play as "laugh at the yokels," so credit to Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage for their restrained meditation on insular religious communities. Alice Englert plays Mara, daughter of this community's pastor (Walton Goggins), whose furtive relationship with an apostate member of their church (Thomas Mann) results in a pregnancy she must hide, especially when another church member asks to marry her. While Poulton and Savage depict ceremonial snake-handling, the intent isn't to single out this belief system as particularly weird. Instead, they look thoughtfully at how people within religious groups deal with feeling like they don't belong, when admitting such feelings might lead to ostracism, while another subplot involves a convert (Olivia Colman) who truly believes the faith saved her life. The climax plays out with surprising excess relative to the tone of the rest of the film—practically a Requiem for a Dream horror montage—but using this exotic sect allows for a wider-ranging exploration of what happens when you can't believe in the God of your fathers. Opens Aug. 9 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (R)—SR 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

10 Things I Hate About You
At Gateway Legacy Plaza, Aug. 14, dusk. (PG-13)

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EVERETT RUESS
At Main Library, Aug. 13, 7 p.m. (NR)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
At Tower Theater, Aug. 9-10, 11 p.m. & Aug. 11, noon. (R)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
At Thanksgiving Point, Aug. 9, dusk. (PG)

CURRENT RELEASES

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 2.5 Stars
Two supporting tough guys from the Fast & Furious franchise get a blithe spinoff that keeps with the F&F aesthetic by disregarding the laws of physics and ultimately declaring itself to be about "family." The CIA recruits government agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and British ex-spy Shaw (Jason Statham) to work together—though they ostensibly hate each other—along with Shaw's siter/rogue MI6 agent (Vanessa Kirby) to stop a deadly virus from falling into the hands of a semi-bionic bad guy (Idris Elba). Shaw used to be a villain, but all is forgiven now, I guess. He and Hobbs squabble amusingly, and director David Leitch carries off well-choreographed fight sequences and chases. But everything in between, especially Hobbs' tacked-on family issues, is tedious, and it overstays its welcome by a good 30 minutes. Like I said, it's a Fast & Furious movie. (PG-13)—Eric D. Snider

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood 4 Stars
Quentin Tarantino enters the world of 1969 Hollywood to tell the tale of fading TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his longtime stunt double/personal assistant Cliff (Brad Pitt), and Rick's new next-door neighbor, rising starlet Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). The looming spectre of the Manson Family murders hangs over the narrative, but not enough to blunt the comedic force of the performances by DiCaprio and a never-better Pitt. But this feels like far more than a nodding recognition that all things must pass, or a simple valentine to the days of celluloid and studio back lots. It's Tarantino's most complicated statement yet on his love of filmed stories. Yeah, people read them in dangerous ways, and yeah, the business can crush you. It's also miraculous when everything comes together, and when you can somehow imagine worlds much better than this one. (R)—SR

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

More by Scott Renshaw

Latest in Cinema Clips

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Trending in the Alternative Press

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation