Talking with fellow Boston Online Film Critics Association members Bob Chipman, Steve Head and Megan Kearns about this month’s repertory offerings. The discussion covers children in peril, how much we miss Bernie Mac, the decline of shopping malls in youth culture, and once again I push for a Men of BOFCA calendar. – BOFCA, 08/31/2015
“It’s a crude scene, and damned effective. The rest of No Escape is just plain crude. It’s also a piece of stupid xenophobic trash, released at a time when another piece of stupid xenophobic trash is surging in the polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, so The Weinstein Company might have a hit on their hands.” – Movie Mezzanine, 08/28/2015
“Of interest perhaps only as a glossy bit of Eliot Spitzer fan-fiction, this tawdry tale is presented by co-writer/director Mora Stephens with a cautionary seriousness bordering on hysteria. It feels like one of those alarmist anti-drug films shown in high school classrooms: Just Say No to two-thousand-dollar-an-hour escorts.” – Movie Mezzanine, 08/28/2015
THE MEND * * * *
Starring Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen, Mickey Sumner and Austin Pendelton. Written and directed by John Magary.
“For about half the movie, it’s a wild ride. Then it becomes something else altogether; a journey of healing and advocacy, about coming to terms with a horror almost impossible to imagine, trying to take all that pain and turn it into something positive. Being from Boston I was familiar with Crimmins’ story, but I still wasn’t ready for how deep the film cut.” – Movie Mezzanine, 08/21/2015
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON * * *
Starring Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, R. Marcos Taylor and Paul Giamatti. Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff. Directed by F. Gary Gray.
“Wickedly amusing in its depiction of just how helpless and ineffectual these kids are from the moment they step out of their bubble, Fort Tilden is like a darkly comic adaptation of those hand-wringing articles about how millennials are so coddled they can’t hack it in the real world. These two can’t even get themselves to the beach, for Chrissakes.” – Movie Mezzanine, 08/14/2015
RICKI AND THE FLASH * * * 1 / 2
Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Audra McDonald and Rick Springfield. Screenplay by Diablo Cody. Directed by Jonathan Demme.
“A compromised work about how compromise eats the soul, it has a boozy, slouchy grandeur that troubles your dreams for weeks after the closing credits roll. This is Peckinpah’s final word on a genre he helped to define, and what a hopeless, despairing word that is. It’s the greatest movie you almost never got a chance to see.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 08/10/2015
“Nothing that follows matches the stripped-down smarts of the opening act, and the promising premise never develops into a proper story. The sparseness starts to feel more like emptiness. Watts seems to be shooting for the clockwork contraption quality the Coens brought to No Country For Old Men, but his screenplay is woefully short on mechanics.” – Movie Mezzanine, 08/07/2015