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Baked Sausage, undercooked Dragon, and stewed Streep

For a good movie this week, try Hell or High Water

Skip the half-baked Sausage Party
Skip the half-baked Sausage Party
Movie

Hell or High Water ****

thumbnail

The stars align in the Western sky. <em>Hell or High Water</em> is the sort of film that tempts the critic — well, this one, anyway — to start writing the sort of copy that might end up as a promo-poster pullquote. “Timeless and yet supremely timely,” “A movie with tremendous action that, wonderfully, doesn’t turn into an action movie,” “Hooks you hard and reels you in, but not before it pulls your sympathy in every conceivable direction.” That sort of thing. Chris Pine and Ben Foster star as Toby and Tanner, luckless but savvy brothers just setting out on a controlled spree of bank robberies. Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham star as Marcus and Alberto, the aging Texas Rangers out to stop them. The outlaws believe their cause is just, or something close to it: they were dealt a bad hand at the outset, and that was before the house started rigging the game. The Rangers, on the other hand, have the luxury of simply enforcing the law. (Then again, that means they have to chase gun-toting outlaws.) And the rotten world keeps on spinning. Director David Mackenzie tells a sad story about desperate characters that is somehow as thrilling as it is heartbreaking.

Find showtimes

With the Lickona bunch vacationing in New York, this week’s aggregation of new releases falls on my watch.

Speaking of aggregation, according to the generally aggravating Rotten Tomatoes, Hell or High Water is Certified 100% Fresh! Matthew joins in the cheers as well as sharing a few moments with director David Mackenzie and co-star Gil Birmingham.

The laughs are on Mike Birbiglia whose Don’t Think Twice exposes audiences to the cutthroat side of stand-up comedy. See the movie, read my interview.

Animation fans need not leave the house. A deep and abiding respect for the genius of the late Charlie Callas made the remake of the otherwise unwatchable Pete’s Dragon a must-to-avoid. Matthew was not impressed. Besides, if Robert Redford can’t makes sense of it, what chance do I have? In hindsight, I should have grabbed Pete and slipped the invitation to Sausage Party in my partner’s mailbox.

Fans of triumph-of-the-human-spirit documentaries need look no further than AMC Fashion Valley where Gleason begins an exclusive run. If it’s an old-school reconciliatory comedy/drama between father and son you’re after, visit the Digital Gym for The Tenth Man.

A retired actor rides the coattails of his talentless, delusional, syphilitic wife in what’s being sold as a delightful romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. If nothing else, my review of Florence Foster Jenkins gives you an excuse to Google “dark cully.”

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Skip the half-baked Sausage Party
Skip the half-baked Sausage Party
Movie

Hell or High Water ****

thumbnail

The stars align in the Western sky. <em>Hell or High Water</em> is the sort of film that tempts the critic — well, this one, anyway — to start writing the sort of copy that might end up as a promo-poster pullquote. “Timeless and yet supremely timely,” “A movie with tremendous action that, wonderfully, doesn’t turn into an action movie,” “Hooks you hard and reels you in, but not before it pulls your sympathy in every conceivable direction.” That sort of thing. Chris Pine and Ben Foster star as Toby and Tanner, luckless but savvy brothers just setting out on a controlled spree of bank robberies. Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham star as Marcus and Alberto, the aging Texas Rangers out to stop them. The outlaws believe their cause is just, or something close to it: they were dealt a bad hand at the outset, and that was before the house started rigging the game. The Rangers, on the other hand, have the luxury of simply enforcing the law. (Then again, that means they have to chase gun-toting outlaws.) And the rotten world keeps on spinning. Director David Mackenzie tells a sad story about desperate characters that is somehow as thrilling as it is heartbreaking.

Find showtimes

With the Lickona bunch vacationing in New York, this week’s aggregation of new releases falls on my watch.

Speaking of aggregation, according to the generally aggravating Rotten Tomatoes, Hell or High Water is Certified 100% Fresh! Matthew joins in the cheers as well as sharing a few moments with director David Mackenzie and co-star Gil Birmingham.

The laughs are on Mike Birbiglia whose Don’t Think Twice exposes audiences to the cutthroat side of stand-up comedy. See the movie, read my interview.

Animation fans need not leave the house. A deep and abiding respect for the genius of the late Charlie Callas made the remake of the otherwise unwatchable Pete’s Dragon a must-to-avoid. Matthew was not impressed. Besides, if Robert Redford can’t makes sense of it, what chance do I have? In hindsight, I should have grabbed Pete and slipped the invitation to Sausage Party in my partner’s mailbox.

Fans of triumph-of-the-human-spirit documentaries need look no further than AMC Fashion Valley where Gleason begins an exclusive run. If it’s an old-school reconciliatory comedy/drama between father and son you’re after, visit the Digital Gym for The Tenth Man.

A retired actor rides the coattails of his talentless, delusional, syphilitic wife in what’s being sold as a delightful romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. If nothing else, my review of Florence Foster Jenkins gives you an excuse to Google “dark cully.”

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