Indepence Day: Resurgence

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Three stars

I liked the elderly boat mensch adopts alotta orphans subplot. I thought Brent Spiner’s husband was Mandy Patinkin the whole movie and was really excited about that. I dug all the cgi destruction and definitely did a couple gettin-pumped, tense, inhalations of breath while I held my fist against my teeth and chin. Saw it in a full theatre. Somebody’s grandpa was sitting next to me and every time the aliens gained ground he said, “That’s not good,” out loud to his wife. It was really fun. Missed Will Smith.

D by: Roland Emmerich; W by: Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin & James Vanderbilt; P by: Markus Förderer; E by: Adam Wolfe; M by: Harald Kloser & Thomas Wanker; A by: Derrick Ballard, Jonathan Burdeshaw, Pyrokinesis, Alex Auriol, etc…w/Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Deobia Oparei, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, etc..120min, USA, 2016

Turbo Kid

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One star

There’s nothing surprising in Turbo Kid, you’ll know going in whether it’s your bag or not.  It’s ambitions are meager and it executes them with aplomb.  A penchant for gore & commercial 80’s youth nostalgia above all will get you into this robot girlfriend movie.  It is tired and thoughtless and niche but it has heart.  It’s somehow both sweet and mean.  It’s unfunny and boring.  Shares DNA with the inferior Hobo with a Shotgun and the superior (slightly) Beyond the Black Rainbow.  I watched it with people who loved it and you might too, I dunno man.  Pffffttt.

D & W by: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, & Yoann-Karl Whissell, M & P by: Jean-Phillipe Bernier, More M: Jean-Nicolas Leupi Le Matos, E by: Luke Haigh, FX by: Eric Thivierge, Olivier Xavier, Jean-Mathieu ‘Jib’ Bérubé, etc… S by: Marcello Bezina, Alex Stines, Jean-Francois Robitaile, etc..w/Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Anouk Whissell, Edwin Wright, Romano Ozari, Orphée Ladouceur etc..93 min, Canada, 2015

Weiner-Dog

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Two stars

Sometimes the loneliness catches up, the void inside.  Your own stupid voice.  You lie down in your fat and blood and wait for the call.  American brand names enter and exit your windshield.  The old lady up the block calls for Cancer.  There are other, funnier Solondz pictures.

D & W by: Todd Solondz, P by: Edward Lachman, E by: Kevin Messman, M by: James Lavino, w/Greta Gerwig, Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy, Zosia Mamet, Tracy Letts, Kieran Culkin, etc…88 min, USA, 2016

Finding Dory

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Four stars

All the ocean’s fauna (save one squid) rally behind the eponymous blue tang.  When beset by doubt they ask what she would do, “WWDD?”  Dory herself utilizes this trick, the guiding principle larger than the fish it represents.  Larger than the Christ it recalls, though come to think of it he, too, is symbolized by a fish.  Am I saying Ellen DeGeneres is Jesus?  No I am not.

D & W: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane, More W: Victoria Strouse & Bob Peterson, A by: Bert Barry, Don Shank, James W. Brown, Catherine Hicks, Kishan Ramjas, Leo Santos, Sikand Srinivas, Tsung-Yin Hsieh, etc..P: Jeremy Lasky, E: Axel Geddes, M: Thomas Newman w/Ellen DeGeneres,  Ed O’Neill, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Kaitlin Olson, Idris Elba, Sigourney Weaver, etc…97 min, USA, 2016

Heaven Knows What

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Three stars

Cinematic beacon on highway underpasses.  New York smells like cold old garbage.  That stink wriggles into the exposed arteries of the romantic street cutter.  There’s no cover from wind and rain but a needle’s fill of junk.  Headlights interrupt the night and she stands there indifferent to your “good intentions”.  Proselytizing on love she throws it all away again.  She lives aboard an ancient pizza box.  Her kiss a breath of rot from a cracked casket.  Her friends play French New Wave bikers for the camera.  Sexy crust punk spangers.  The ultimate freedom of addiction.  The real walking dead.  Hardstyle beatz & halfway houses.

D, W & E by: Josh & Ben Safdie, More W: Arielle Holmes & Ronald Bronstein, More E: Ronald Bronstein, P by: Sean Prince Williams, M by: Ariel Pink, Paul Grimstad, Isao Tomita & Headhunterz, w/Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, Buddy Duress, Necro, Yuri Pleskun, Elenore Hendricks, Robert Shulman, Manny Aguila, etc..97 min, USA, 2014

We Are Still Here

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One star

Gore besmirched Dad and the half-forgotten smile; gazes love into the earthen cellar.  The grave of the son, the cave of the smoke monster.  Whiskey sodden eddies of snow.  Alcohol flirts with marijuana.  A dude eats some socks.  A staircase eats a dude.

D & W by: Ted Geoghegan, P by: Karim Hussain, E by: Aaron Crozier & Josh Ethier, M by: Wojciech Golczewski, w/Barbara Crampton, Monte Markham, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Andrew Sensenig, Susan Gibney, Kelsea Dakota, Elissa Dowling, 84 min, USA, 2015

Entertainment

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Three stars

Morose man mutters “daughter” into dry desert air.  Remember, Neil Cassidy abandons Kerouac in Mexico.  There’s prisoners & airplane carapaces & botched men’s room pick-ups.  Poolside of frat bro’s, the nothingness sets in.  This is it.  The Neil Hamburger movie.

D, W & E by: Rick Alverson, More W: Gregg Turkington & Tim Heidecker, P by: Lorenzo Hagerman, More E: Michael Taylor, M by: Robert Donne w/Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, David Yow, Amy Seimetz, Tim Heidecker, Dean Stockwell, etc…, 103 min, USA, 2015

Parallels

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Three stars

God-the-father, a top floor junkie in a derelict building downtown.  He awaits true love’s kiss.  In his beard are spiders and pizza bits.  Every 36 hours the building hops to an alternate dimension. 

In one of the dimensions they dropped the bomb.  God’s children stowaway and hop with him.  They’re incestuous cage fighters who just wanna get home. 

In one of the dimensions technology is really really advanced.  God’s friends stowaway and hop with him.  They’re tommy-gun toting baddies who look like Woody Harrelson.

In one of the dimensions everything’s underwater.  Nobody can find God even though he’s just above them.  The stairwell is sealed and the elevator busted. 

Did you think, like me, that the Zero Day Fox logo was a parallel universe joke?  A russian nesting doll?  The movie-in-itself hailing from an alternate reality, one where 20th Century Fox doesn’t exist but is Zero Day Fox instead?  Yeah, turns out it’s just a subsidiary.

D & W by: Cristopher Leone, More W: Laura Harkcom, P by: Bryce Fortner, E by: Ian Duncan & Thomas Verrette, M by: Corey Allen Jackson, w/Mark Hapka, Constance Wu, Jessica Rothe, Eric Jungmann, Davi Jay, Ian Casselberry, Yorgo Constantine, Michael Monks, etc…, 83 min, USA, 2015

Instructions Not Included

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Two stars

I’m interested in mainstream foreign cinema.  What translates?  What reveals?  Here’s a transformative-power-of-Fatherhood flick.  It’s kinda Big Daddy-esque.  Acapulco playboy stuffed with sun.  Baby on the stoop.  He jumps from cliffs, he sneaks into the states.  He has a custody battle, he’s haunted by wolves.  There’s a Johnny Depp impersonator & some weirdly timed poop jokes.  The colors are candy bright.  The twist has some chutzpah but ultimately contributes to an overarching feeling of artifice that left me feeling deadened & (I think) the wrong kind of sad when I should have been moved.  But y’know, my favorite movie’s The Holy Mountain so my opinions are likely very different from yours.

D, W, & E by: Eugenio Derbez, More W: Guillermo Ríos & Leticia López Margalli, More E: Santiago Pérez & Rocha León, P by: Martín Boege & Andrés León Becker, M by: Carlo Siliotto w/Eugenio Derbez, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Jessica Lindsey, Alessandra Rosaldo, Danny Lopez, Jesús Ochoa, Sammy Pérez, Ángela Moreno etc…, 122 min, Mexico, 2013

The Interview

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One star

This is the movie North Korea didn’t want you to see.  Eminem plays himself.  There’s some gore humor.  I feel like Trump supporters might really like it.  It’s mean, dumb, disparaging, racist, and nationalistic.  I felt bad for the tiger fictionally killed to service the Seth Rogen-sticks-a-thing-up-his-ass gag.  I still have a soft spot for James Franco though.

D & W by: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen, More W: Dan Sterling, P by: Brandon Trost, M by: Henry Jackman, E by: Zene Baker & Evan Henke, w/James Franco, Randall Park, Seth Rogen, Diana Bang, Lizzy Caplan, James Yi, Marshall Mathers, Bill Maher, 112 min, USA, 2014