Movie Diary 4/12/2016

My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin, 2015). The director of my #1 films of 1996 and 2005 returns with a kind of prequel to How I Got Into an Argument…My Sex Life, and it is not only full of talk and love and philosophy, it also has a spy movie inside it. It’s not as exciting as those other pictures, but it glows. (full review 4/22)

Criminal (Ariel Vroman, 2016). The brain waves of CIA agent Ryan Reynolds are transplanted into the head of psychopath Kevin Costner, with zany results. Does anybody remember a 1970 TV movie called Hauser’s Memory, with David McCallum? It was based on a Curt Siodmak novel, which itself might have been a variation on the author’s own Donovan’s Brain. Anyway, this movie looks awfully familiar. It’s also got Tommy Lee Jones (very eccentric) and Gary Oldman (giving up). (full review 4/15)

Barbershop: The Next Cut (Malcolm D. Lee, 2016). Ice Cube and Company return to cutting heads, and the combo of comedy and social comment is much the same as before – very Capraesque, in a good way. Funny people here, and some of the same turf (but with a wildly different approach) as Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq. (full review 4/15)

Elvis & Nixon (Liza Johnson, 2016). A great pop culture moment gets the treatment, with Michael Shannon as E and Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick. There was no way this was going to be subtle, but Shannon manages to do some tasty stuff. (full review 4/22)

The Jungle Book (Jon Favreau, 2016). It’s a CGI wonderland for the Kipling-by-way-of-Disney characters. The movie keeps wanting to be like the tiger, when really, can’t it be more like the bear? (full review 4/22)

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