Silence: Andrew Garfield ponders the limits of God’s mercy.
  • Silence: Andrew Garfield ponders the limits of God’s mercy.
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Underworld: Blood Wars

Hmph. Happy New Year, indeed. All y’all out there in movie-pass land had a chance to win tickets via the Reader to see an advance screening of Underworld: Blood Wars. But not us critics. Like Henry Hill at the end of Goodfellas, we have to wait around like everyone else.

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Hidden Figures ***

Speaking of Underworld, I recently had occasion to revisit star Kate Beckinsale in Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco. Amazing. Well, maybe not amazing in the “unbelievable” sense; she was back in front of Stillman’s lens for last year’s Love and Friendship, and it’s clear she hasn’t forgotten how to act. Still: five Underworld movies? Small wonder that Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese says cinema is gone.

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Train To Busan (Bu-San-Haeng) ***

Not that he’s doing much to keep it going, not with his long-delayed passion project Silence, anyway. A young priest’s crisis of faith in the midst of horrific suffering and tangled social circumstances should be catnip for me, but...well, I’ll let Scott’s review suffice. Hmph.

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Cameraperson ***

What does it say when Scott prefers a period biopic such as Hidden Figures to the master’s latest? (At the very least, maybe it says that he’s not quite the “ignorant, obviously racist...troll” that at least one of Moonlight’s passionate defenders accuses him of being (see the comments). Hmph!)

As for me, I found all my New Year’s cheer at the Digital Gym, first with the genre excellence of the zombie drama Train to Busan, then with the genre-busting innovation of the memoir-in-documentary-film-clips Cameraperson. Score another one for women in cinema. On the wide-release front, A Monster Calls was a hot psychological mess full of good intentions and grim execution. Pretty visuals, though, the monster excepted.

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