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Average User Score: tbdMay 24, 2019As it seems only the British can do, there are 2 scenes in "All Is True" that are master classes in acting which would be expected fromAs it seems only the British can do, there are 2 scenes in "All Is True" that are master classes in acting which would be expected from Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen but a much younger actress, Kathryn Wilder, gives no quarter in being their equal in one of the most important scenes of the movie.
In the particular scene I am referring to William Shakespeare (Branagh), his wife Anne (Dench) and one their daughters Judith (Wilder) are exposing family truths as the screenwriter Ben Elton imagines they would speak yet bringing it in to today's world. When I had time to think about it later I could just imagine a theatre audience seeing it on stage in a play written today and stunning them.
The other scene, between Shakespeare and Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, (McKellen) looks into the supposedly love affair between them when both were young men and Shakespeare wrote his sonnets. At one point, without changing a thing, Shakespeare starts talking by reciting one of his sonnets and the Earl recites it back to him. It is as if the two men, not acting, are having a conversation expressing their feelings. Neither sex nor nudity is involved yet you believe you are seeing and hearing both!
While very little is known of Shakespeare's home life, such as the death of his son, Elton presents a plausible story of what may have taken place for the 3 years that Shakespeare returned home to family life after spending most of his life alone in London at the Globe Theatre which had burned down in 1613.
The only fault, which made it slow moving for only a 100 minute film, is the director's holding on to many unnecessary and lingering nature scenes with the director being Kenneth Branagh.
"All Is True" might not all be true but it is certainly worth seeing for the acting alone, which shouldn't be but will probably be forgotten at award time.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7May 21, 2019"The Sun Is Also A Star" has everything going for it so why does it just miss being an exciting love story? The leads, Yara Shahidi and"The Sun Is Also A Star" has everything going for it so why does it just miss being an exciting love story? The leads, Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton, are an attractive couple who meet 'cute'--he saves her from being run over--and the premise is an interesting one. He believes in love, she doesn't and, via the screenplay, he has 24 hours to prove it to her. DUH! Guess what happens?
His parents are immigrants from South Korea who own a successful black hair care product store in Harlem and she has been living in New York for 9 years with her Jamaican parents who are about to be deported.
A lot of successful love stories have been filmed in New York City and "The Sun Is Also A Star" takes advantage of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs with aerial shots, walks through the city parks and streets and even a tram ride from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island and many glorious shots of the Statue of Liberty.
The soundtrack, except for a karaoke scene, adds a lot but.... There isn't a reason this movie shouldn't involve the audience's emotions but it doesn't. Maybe if more had been looked into regarding the immigrant aspect it would have rounded out the story of the lovers more.
John Leguizamo should have been brought more into the story because the scenes with him would have given more meaning to the fact versus fate argument that motivates the love story. (Besides they never explain the accident he was in which was distracting!)
"The Sun Is Also A Star" has a lot going for it but just not enough, none of the 'magic' that makes 'happily ever after".
PS Don't leave when the screen goes dark or you will miss the ending.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.0May 17, 20191) Many years ago I was taught to leave logic at the door when I go to the movies.
2) Have you ever seen a couple that made you question1) Many years ago I was taught to leave logic at the door when I go to the movies.
2) Have you ever seen a couple that made you question how/why they ever got together?
3) Is there another woman, besides Julia Roberts, as beautiful to look at in print and film as Charlize Theron?
4) In 2003 I said that if Theron didn't win the Oscar for "Monster" I was never going to the movies again--WHEW! She did!
Okay, now that I got that out of my system, let's talk about "Long Shot". Take away the 'F' word, a 'fluid' shot and a not quite nude sex scene and you have one of those delightful, romantic comedies of the past. Though there doesn't seem to be any chemistry between the leads Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, his beard doesn't help, nor the fact that at the age of 16 she baby sat him at 13, they are both excellent players and Theron adding another genre in her performance here as a comediane.
The comedy lines work better than the romantic scenes but together it makes for a pleasing, charming movie. Supporting performances like those of Seth Rogan's best friend O'Shea Jackson Jr., or Theron's assistants Claude O'Doherty and Ravi Patel with Bob Odenkirk as the President of the United States all work well and know their way with the zingers supplied by screenwriters Dan Sterling and Paul Scheer. The direction by Jonathan Levine but could have cut the movie sharper to move it a little faster.
The only one I question in the movie is Alexander Skarsgard who in normal circumstances would have been Theorn's romantic interest but in this is just charmless, by design(?) or 100% miscast.
"Long Shot" isn't a classic but it is a lot of fun and you get to look at, admire and, maybe, be jealous of Charlize Theron for 2 hours! :O)… Expand
Average User Score: tbdMay 14, 2019Since I saw the preview I had been wondering what the title was about and it opens with the definition: Someone who is an outsider, unusual,Since I saw the preview I had been wondering what the title was about and it opens with the definition: Someone who is an outsider, unusual, extraordinary, unlike others. There is no denying Rudolf Nureyev was just that from his dancing and his personality. The former captured the world while the latter turned off and betrayed all those around him. Basically, he was not a nice man. The film centers around the time Nureyev who at the height of the cold war in 1961 was dancing in Paris and made the decision to defect from Russia. This was before facebook , Instagram, twitter and all the media coverage something like that would draw 24/7 but it did with what was available. Along with the defection he partnered with Margot Foynton -- though she has another name in the movie--older than he was, and already a major star in the English ballet, to both their advantages.
Ralph Fiennes directed the movie and stars as Nureyev's first major teacher. The dance scenes are excellent as is first-time actor Oleg Ivenko doing them and conveying Nureyev's look but is not quite up to the line readings though the screenwriter, David Hare, doesn't really help him with some pretty lame lines.
The biggest mistake Fiennes makes is not telling the story in a linear matter but jumps back and forth between the 1940s, 50s and 60s going from Leningrad to Paris back to Leningrad and though Nureyev was 22 when he defected we see him at many different ages which really doesn't add to the movie. The last 20 minutes, the defection scene is edge of the seat filmmaking even though the ending is well known
The movie is rated R for frontal nudity and for a change it is not female but male full nudity!
"The White Crow" is much better than I expected with an excellent cast, better dancing, and shows an artist gives everything on stage leaving nothing for relations off stage.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8May 6, 2019"Sauvage/Wild" is a story about prostitution, not like Vivian (Julia Roberts) in "Pretty Woman" rescued by the handsome prince Richard Gere or"Sauvage/Wild" is a story about prostitution, not like Vivian (Julia Roberts) in "Pretty Woman" rescued by the handsome prince Richard Gere or is it Julian (Richard Gere) in "The American Gigolo" wearing Armani suits but more like Anna Magnani in "Mamma Roma" or Giulietta Massina in "Nights of Cabiria" before it was turned into the Broadway Musical with Gwen Verdon as "Sweet Charity" or the movie version with Shirley Maclaine who are no longer prostitutes but dance hall girls!!
The nameless 22-year-old male makes a living and lives on the street. He drinks the rainwater from the streets, steals an apple when he can, eats trash from a dumpster, basically wears the same clothes every day and if he gets lucky sleeps in a bed if the trick allows him to stay all night.
The abuse his body takes finally catches up with him but all he wants is to live one more day, fall in love and be loved. Like life the one he loves doesn't love him and the one who loves him isn't loved by him.
This is not a love story with a 'happily ever after' ending but a nitty gritty story about a kid who lives on the streets, takes each day as it comes, does what he has to do with who he has to do it in order to survive so he can get up the next day and find that elusive love he wants to give and get.
The writer-screenwriter Camille Vidal-Naquet refers to the boy as Leo in press releases and makes no apologies for the nudity as this is the way Leo, and the others hustling, live. He puts Leo in many degrading situations which Leo accepts as the price for the way he lives. We know nothing about the boy before we meet him nor do we know about what happens to him after the last shot which will linger in your head for hours if not days.
Felix Maritaud, as Leo, gives his all and pulls us into the pain he is feeling and the moments of joy that come his way sparingly. There is a scene with a female doctor, played by Marie Seux, that gives you some of the insight to the pain he is living with but then Maritaud lets you see all of him, not only physically. He lives for the moment and draws you in to live those moments with him.
"Sauvage/Wild" is a movie that will show you a world that exists and you can no longer say you didn't know. These, if not your kids, are your neighbors kids, your kids schoolfriends and many pushed out of homes and on to the streets to find there is only one way to survive and which you probably couldn't.
Leo is 22 and sells his body on the street for a bit of cash. The men come and go, and he stays right here - longing for love. He doesn't know what the future will bring. He hits the road. His heart is pounding.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.4May 3, 2019In 1999 Judi Dench won an Oscar for her 6 minutes on screen in "Shakespeare In Love" and here she spends a little more time on screen in "RedIn 1999 Judi Dench won an Oscar for her 6 minutes on screen in "Shakespeare In Love" and here she spends a little more time on screen in "Red Joan". She has a fiery speech near the end that expresses the movie's moral stance. Dame Dench is no longer a newcomer to the big screen and is more or less wasted in a role that seems to say 'many people in the audience came to see her so let's have her face on the screen for a minute or two every now and then'.
As many movies do these days it goes back and forth between Joan Stanley in her 80s and Joan in her 20s, played by Sophie Cookson, which would have been more effective after the opening seeing Joan being arrested for being a spy during WW 2. Cookson could have easily aged as the story is told and brought off a coup that has been done by others.
It supposedly 'inspired by the true story' of a KGB spy Melita Norwood though her name is never mentioned. She a graduate student at Cambridge in physics and gets involved with 3 men--I think--and soon rationalizes passing off papers about the atomic bomb that she feels would put Rusian on equal footing with the USA.
With all respect, if Judi had made fewer appearances it might have made more clear who became her husband and who was the father of her son played by Ben Miles. The other men in her life are played by Tom Hughes and Stephen Campbell while Tereza Srbova becomes her friend and introduces her to her cousin Leo with whom Joan has an affair with and begins getting involved with the politics of the time.
I had many questions regarding who she had affairs with, who the father of her son was, whom she married, how did she get back from Australia and why was she forgotten so many years.
"Red Joan" is a typical Britsh quiet spy movie without the noise and fast pace of the Bond movies. It also is bringing out of the closet many stories about women who did a lot during the war but were not giving respect as the men were during that era. She was just a woman who got the tea instead of supplying the important answers that the world was asking for.
For me it just makes me want to find out who the true Melita Norwood was an what happened to her.
Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) is a widow living out a quiet retirement in the suburbs when, shockingly, the British Secret Service places her under arrest. The charge: providing classified scientific information—including details on the building of the atomic bomb—to the Soviet government for decades. As she is interrogated, Joan relives the dramatic events that shaped her life and beliefs: her student days at Cambridge, where she excelled at physics while challenging deep-seated sexism; her tumultuous love affair with a dashing political radical (Tom Hughes); and the devastation of World War II, which inspired her to risk everything in pursuit of peace. [IFC Films]… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Apr 26, 2019I don't want to say it but I can't help myself--forgive me! "Her Smell" should have been entitled, "She Smells". For the first hour and aI don't want to say it but I can't help myself--forgive me! "Her Smell" should have been entitled, "She Smells". For the first hour and a half, we watch a rock star spiral down from fame after too many drugs, not being able to handle fame, care for her daughter, losing her ex, not showing up on time for concerts if even showing up at all, doing a recording session, basically having a complete breakdown. The director, Alex Ross Perry, shows us all of it through a regular camera, a handheld camera, a phone camera while traveling back and forth in time not to forget having all the cameras swirling, upside down, going ever each way.
The director, who also wrote the script, convinced us, showed us, that she was having a breakdown but instead of telling it in 15 minutes he took 90 minutes. Perry is the sort of director that if he shows two women kissing he has to show them kissing 10 times just in case we missed the point! I was ready to leave at the 30-minute point and said so to Allen at least 5 more times!
For the last 40-45 minutes of the film, we see her recovery and then get to the 'Hollywood' ending.
Elisabeth Moss has proven herself an excellent actress and draws many audience members to see her television series but if the audience at today's showing is any indication, 3 of us, she isn't a movie draw! Okay, will give her a benefit of a doubt because the final Avengers did open today also.
I won't rewrite my opening play on words but this film is definitely on my worst films of the year but "The Climax" is still in first place!… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Apr 12, 2019I am the first to admit that I am a sucker for a love story and the last couple of years I have gotten hung up on young adult love stories,I am the first to admit that I am a sucker for a love story and the last couple of years I have gotten hung up on young adult love stories, where one is usually struck with a life-threatening disease such as "5 Feet Apart" and "The Fault in the Stars" so I suggested we go see "After" not knowing anything about it except it was based on a YA book.
There is no medical crisis in the movie but there is Tesa, a very good girl who is smart, has a boyfriend who she has known since she was 5, is pretty, follows the rules and is majoring in economics to make a living, though her real love is literature with a leaning towards Jane Austen. Walking into her dorm room this sheltered girl finds her tattooed, noserings, pierced, multi-colored hair roommate, not that there is anything wrong with that, is more than willing to educate the newbie. Tesa is played by Josephine Langford who does a fine job with what she is given to play.
Now you know a good girl like this with a roommate like Steph, played by KhadijhaRed Thunder, will meet the 'bad' boy and he shows up in the hunky body of Hardin, played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin, a nephew of actors Joseph and Ralph Fiennes. He has the looks of the former only more smoldering but not quite the acting talent of the former, though this movie really doesn't give him a chance to show any talent. Trying to make him a combination of Darcy and Heathcliff, and he quotes them both, the director and screenwriters let his character down.
With actors like Peter Gallagher as Hardin's son, Selma Blair as Tesa's mother, Meadow Williams Tesa and Landin's English professor and Jennifer Beals plus the young actors including Shane Paul McGhie, Inanna Sarkis and others the leads get good support but the director Jenny Gage and the script by Susan McMartin let the cast and the audience down.
The movie is agonizingly slow getting the love story started, goes off in a few directions that either lead nowhere or are dropped when they should have been expanded but the biggest letdown is when what motivates Hardin, one regarding Tesa and the other himself, is revealed which should have but doesn't move the audience.
(An aside: Allen and I were the whole audience!)
"After" is not a good movie due to the script and direction.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Apr 5, 2019Last year we had the best picture Oscar winner "Green Book" which was a 'feel good' movie about the relationship between a white man and aLast year we had the best picture Oscar winner "Green Book" which was a 'feel good' movie about the relationship between a white man and a black man while we also had the intense, involving "BlackKlansman" a best screenplay Oscar winner about a KKK white man and a black policeman who must be played by a white policeman when it comes to a meeting at the Klan which was emotionally involving.
Now we have "The Best of Enemies", based on a true story, about the leader of a KKK group in Durham, N.C. and an angry single black mother who works for an advocacy group and is not afraid to stand up to anyone of any color.
What should have been an emotionally involving and feel good story fails on both counts in spite of some excellent performances. My dictionary defines cliche as 1) made stale and uninteresting by repeated use and 2) a trite stereotype expression and both define "The Best of Enemies."
I, and by listening to comments by other audience members, learned a new word 'charrette' which is a French word used in problem serving and was what motivated Ann **** (Taraji P. Henson) and C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell) to each head a panel of their own race and decide whether schools should be desegregated among two other resolutions.
Without getting into spoilers, though I did not nor did I ever hear of this particular story, I knew where the story was going and was more interested in how the journey to the ending would go and it was more 'Hollywood' than reality.
Rockwell was excellent as the KKK leader married to Anne Heche, who I did not recognize, with 3 children, 1 an autistic child in a hospital, as we follow the arc of his character and how he changes.
I love Henson as Cookie in her television series "Empire" but in the last half a dozen movies I have seen her in, including this one, she just doesn't come across to me in movies. I will add that Allen thought she did a very good job as Ann.
Others in the cast including Babou Ceesay and Bruce McGill were spot on in their performances while Wes Bentley, who I have been a fan of since 1999 when he was in "American Beauty" seems to have gotten back on track after a problem with addiction.
Though I found "The Best of Enemies" disappointing, moving too slowly and not avoiding the 'Hollywood' touches I did learn a new word--charrette--and a part of history that was new to me and has made me interested in learning the whole story.
I, also, found the ending credits interesting showing the real people in the story!… Expand
Average User Score: 5.7Apr 2, 2019"The Mustang" is not "Black Stallion", "Black Beauty" or "National Velvet" but it really tries to be a good movie and there are some very"The Mustang" is not "Black Stallion", "Black Beauty" or "National Velvet" but it really tries to be a good movie and there are some very effective scenes but it fails. (There was a movie last year about a horse and trainer that was excellent but as much as I tried to remember and search I couldn't find it--anyone remember it? A true story with mostly non-actors.)
I thought it was me but I asked a few people if they understood what, if any, they understood what the cell mate was saying and/or the daughter's voice over but they agreed with me that they didn't.
Getting to the movie, there is no faulting Matthias Schoenaerts as the 12 year prisoner who gets into a training program involved with training the wild mustangs gathered by helicopters to be auctioned in 4 weeks. He is in prison for almost killing the mother of his daughter with the latter forced to taking care of the former. This is just one instance where the screenwriters Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, who also directed, Mona Fastvold and Brook Norman Brock. I am willing to suspend logic in movies but Gideon Adlon in no way looks old enough to be left alone to take care of the mother starting 12 years ago and there is no mention of anyone else involved.
The screenwriters also let the audience down in what should have been a powerful scene between father and daughter. There is a group therapy session lead by a favorite of mine, Connie Britton, which is a waste of time and talent while Bruce Den is effective as an old time trainer.
The film feels both rushed and extra scenes put in to expand it to 96 minutes while more time should have been spent with why Ramon (Schoenaerts) is the way he is but the scenes between him and the supposedly crazy mustang make up for the many mistakes made in other aspects of the film.
I question the so fast training of the horse but then this city boy wouldn't know about such things!
Aside from what could be seen as inhumane treatment of the mustangs there really isn't any obvious harm or violent scenes against the horses.
"The Mustang" is worth seeing if only to learn about the government p[rogram regarding the prisoners and horses but it leeft me feeling empty. Summary: Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict in a rural Nevada prison who struggles to escape his violent past, is required to participate in an “outdoor maintenance” program as part of his state-mandated social rehabilitation. Spotted by a no-nonsense veteran trainer (Bruce Dern) and helped by an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider (Jason Mitchell), Roman is accepted into the selective wild horse training section of the program, where he finds his own humanity in gentling an especially unbreakable mustang.… Expand