Papa Sing Day (This Week’s Movies)


Giovanni Ribisi, Adrian Sparks, Joely Richardson, in Papa: Hemingway in Cuba

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Papa: Hemingway in Cuba. “Some of the humid atmosphere of the real Havana seeps into the picture.” (In case of Herald paywall, Weekly link here.)

Mother’s Day. “Expect pratfalls and giant misunderstandings and a huggy conclusion.”

Sing Street. “Carney has sharp memories of the era.”

Dough. “Get set for a few scenes of uptight people getting adorably high.”

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I speak of the late Dan Ireland, founder of SIFF and movie director; casting controversies; and the great Only Angels Have Wings. Listen here.

Hey folks, did you know Scarecrow Video is a nonprofit, and thus available for this year’s “Give Big” fundraiser? The official Give Big day is May 3, but you can pencil in a donation (with lots of matching-fund possibilities available) already. Check out the link here, and consider giving.

Movie Diary 4/28/2016

The Family Fang (Jason Bateman, 2016). Two messed-up adults (Bateman and Nicole Kidman) contend with their bizarre childhood as sidekicks to performance-art parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett). Odd as the subject is, there’s not quite enough that’s distinctive about it all. (full review 4/29)

Captains of the Clouds (Michael Curtiz, 1942). Really peculiar film; the early part wants to be Only Angels Have Wings in Canada, then it shifts to WWII rallying cry as James Cagney (wound up as ever) and his bush pilot pals enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Brenda Marshall is the woman who must be punished for her fun-loving ways, and Dennis Morgan is Mr. Dependable.

Movie Diary 4/27/2016

Dough (John Goldschmidt, 2015). One of those British comedies about staid people doing naughty things, like ingesting pot accidentally added to the dough at the kosher bakery. But there will also be a lesson about how we can all come together as peoples. Jonathan Pryce is in it, and you can’t blame him. (full review 4/29)

The Collector (William Wyler, 1965). This thing was shown on afternoon local TV sometime in the 1970s, and what a strange choice that was. I don’t think I’ve seen it since then. Wyler’s treatment seems too old-fashioned for what the movie is, although there’s a great exchange between kidnapper Terence Stamp and victim Samantha Eggar about how he can’t comprehend The Catcher in the Rye or Picasso and strongly suspects everybody else is making up their enthusiasm for art.

Movie Diary 4/26/2016

Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016). The combination of Stillman and an obscure Jane Austen book proves as tasty as you would imagine. It’s so discreet that you will really have to pay attention, which is a good thing. The great Brit cast makes it a real ensemble piece, though undeniably led by Kate Beckinsale. (full review 5/27)

Mother’s Day (Garry Marshall, 2016). Another holiday-themed party from Marshall, who lands a few zingers in amidst the generic sitcom material. This, truly, is comedy from another era, practically another galaxy. (full review 4/29)

Movie Diary 4/25/2016

Sing Street (John Carney, 2016). The guy who made Once and Begin Again goes it one more time with a music tale, this one not especially believable but often likable. (full review 4/29)

Papa: Hemingway in Cuba (Bob Yari, 2016). Another go-round with the legend, as young reporter Giovanni Ribisi meets the author in Havana. Hard to get around the awkward biopic stuff, but the movie is sincere, anyway. Adrian Sparks plays Hemingway, in a close physical take on the role. (full review 4/29)

Mysterious Island (Cy Endfield, 1961). A childhood touchstone, out of Jules Verne. The thing with the giant bee walling in Michael Callan and Beth Rogan is still creepy. Music by Bernard Herrmann, effects by Ray Harryhausen.

My Golden Room Ahead (This Week’s Movies)


Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Collinet: My Golden Days

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

My Golden Days.”The movie glows.” (In case of Herald paywall, Weekly link here.)

Green Room. “From the very beginning, you can feel we’re in the hands of a confident storyteller.”

The Huntsman: Winter’s War. “The movie overall has a jovial tone, which doesn’t always blend well with the royal villainy.”

Elvis & Nixon. “Enjoyable but mostly pointless.”

Miles Ahead. “What it fails to do is get very deep into Davis’s music.”

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I do some talking about Green Room, Elvis & Nixon, and My Golden Days, and why we’re drawn to certain kinds of movies. Listen here.

Movie Diary 4/19/2016

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, 2016). That’s a very cool director name. So this is the sequel to Snow White that lacks Snow White, but does have a coven’s worth of female talent: Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, and Charlize Theron. As much as you might wish they were all doing Chekhov, here they are in a visual-effects-groovy fantasyland, not entirely without its share of amusing quips. It also has Chris Hemsworth. (full review 4/22)


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