Movie Diary 4/30/2019

Long Shot (Jonathan Levine, 2019). The political humor doesn’t fly because there’s no way to outstrip our current hellscape, and the R-rated bodily-function stuff is obligatory. But Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen click together. One admirable thing: the “unlikely” hurdle for the couple is not that she’s the elegant Secretary of State and he’s a crusty journalist, but that a person of principle should struggle to be with someone who compromises her positions for political gain. Which is a little more interesting than you might expect. The trailer has a bunch of lines that aren’t in the finished film, but they should have cut a long scene where Rogen and pal O’Shea Jackson, Jr., debate their politics, and Rogen is forced to admit his liberal intolerance, a scene that feels like a sop to part of the audience. Also, an unrecognizable Andy Serkis plays a Rupert Murdoch-esque media mogul as pure monster, the Gollum of our cultural landscape. (full review 5/1)

Tolkien (Dome Karukoski, 2019). Corny in the manner of Brit biopics, but pleasanter than most, largely thanks to Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins – though the emphasis is more on the importance of male comradeship than romance. (full review 5/9)