4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pictures at a (Movie) Exposition

Visuals are the story in this week’s new movie releases, including Dunkirk and Lady Macbeth

Dunkirk: You. Are. There. Well, not really. But it gets at the feeling.
Dunkirk: You. Are. There. Well, not really. But it gets at the feeling.

Director Christopher Nolan wants to remind folks why they go to movie theaters — instead of, you know, watching a movie on a telephone. In this critic’s humble opinion, he succeeds admirably in that effort with his retreat-as-victory war movie Dunkirk. (The link takes you to showtimes for the regular release, but I highly recommend seeking out the biggest format — IMAX, 70mm, the broad side of a barn, what have you — you can find.) The poster might as well have a You. Are. There. tagline. It’s good, is what I’m saying.

Movie

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets *

thumbnail

Utterly unreal space story from Luc Besson (he of <em>The Fifth Element</em> fame), who seems to have watched James Cameron’s <em>Avatar</em> and decided he could make it sillier, more scattered, and less emotionally engaging. (Score one for Cameron’s brand of painfully earnest sentiment?) So once again, we are treated to a lithe race of CGI natives, living in harmony with nature and one another, whose planet is ravaged by cavalier, warmongering humanity. And once again, it’s up to a plucky, lovestruck white dude (Dane DeHaan) to save them. This time around, his sweetie is also his partner (Cara Delevingne), but the sparks between them are as artificial as the banter, the physics, the drama…you name it. The film wants to be madcap, screwball, swashbuckling, and moving. It winds up chaotic, dizzy, plodding, and hammy. But if you’re the sort who insists on looking for bright spots amid the endless blackness of space, there is, admittedly, a measure of day-glo visual razzle-dazzle, a smattering of not-terrible comic relief, and a riot of invention for its own sake.

Find showtimes

Visuals also rule the day in Luc Besson’s sci-fi romp Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. As in, the visuals are just about the only thing that’s interesting or engaging. In happy contrast to that is the fine debut drama Lady Macbeth, which keeps its words to a minimum and lets the pictures (and facial expressions) do much of the talking. (Coda for the unreviewed: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography is also big on pictures, as the title may have indicated.)

Of course, sometimes the most powerful pictures are the ones that never show up on screen. Case in point: Kôji Fukada’s Harmonium. As Scott notes in his review: “There are moments when you’ll feel inclined to look away, but don’t; what Fukada shows is nothing compared to the pictures his sly visual foreshadowing has already planted in your head.” And other times, there are pictures — indeed, whole scenes — that we would be better off not seeing. Case in point: Oliver Hirschbiegel’s botched-Hitler-assassination story 13 Minutes. As he notes in his review: “It puts one in the mind to make a meme: Hitler reacts to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s prosaic flashback transitions.”

Also opening but unreviewed: ladies’ Big Easy road-trip comedy Girls Trip and art-imitates-life-imitates-art Shakespeare riff Hermia and Helena.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Polo G and Chief Keef, Hallo-Wine Fall Festival, Cinema Under the Stars: The Graduate

Events October 22-October 25, 2020
Next Article

State density rules squeezing Del Mar into a corner

Watermark units on Jimmy Durante Rd. will include 10 'low affordable' ones
Dunkirk: You. Are. There. Well, not really. But it gets at the feeling.
Dunkirk: You. Are. There. Well, not really. But it gets at the feeling.

Director Christopher Nolan wants to remind folks why they go to movie theaters — instead of, you know, watching a movie on a telephone. In this critic’s humble opinion, he succeeds admirably in that effort with his retreat-as-victory war movie Dunkirk. (The link takes you to showtimes for the regular release, but I highly recommend seeking out the biggest format — IMAX, 70mm, the broad side of a barn, what have you — you can find.) The poster might as well have a You. Are. There. tagline. It’s good, is what I’m saying.

Movie

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets *

thumbnail

Utterly unreal space story from Luc Besson (he of <em>The Fifth Element</em> fame), who seems to have watched James Cameron’s <em>Avatar</em> and decided he could make it sillier, more scattered, and less emotionally engaging. (Score one for Cameron’s brand of painfully earnest sentiment?) So once again, we are treated to a lithe race of CGI natives, living in harmony with nature and one another, whose planet is ravaged by cavalier, warmongering humanity. And once again, it’s up to a plucky, lovestruck white dude (Dane DeHaan) to save them. This time around, his sweetie is also his partner (Cara Delevingne), but the sparks between them are as artificial as the banter, the physics, the drama…you name it. The film wants to be madcap, screwball, swashbuckling, and moving. It winds up chaotic, dizzy, plodding, and hammy. But if you’re the sort who insists on looking for bright spots amid the endless blackness of space, there is, admittedly, a measure of day-glo visual razzle-dazzle, a smattering of not-terrible comic relief, and a riot of invention for its own sake.

Find showtimes

Visuals also rule the day in Luc Besson’s sci-fi romp Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. As in, the visuals are just about the only thing that’s interesting or engaging. In happy contrast to that is the fine debut drama Lady Macbeth, which keeps its words to a minimum and lets the pictures (and facial expressions) do much of the talking. (Coda for the unreviewed: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography is also big on pictures, as the title may have indicated.)

Of course, sometimes the most powerful pictures are the ones that never show up on screen. Case in point: Kôji Fukada’s Harmonium. As Scott notes in his review: “There are moments when you’ll feel inclined to look away, but don’t; what Fukada shows is nothing compared to the pictures his sly visual foreshadowing has already planted in your head.” And other times, there are pictures — indeed, whole scenes — that we would be better off not seeing. Case in point: Oliver Hirschbiegel’s botched-Hitler-assassination story 13 Minutes. As he notes in his review: “It puts one in the mind to make a meme: Hitler reacts to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s prosaic flashback transitions.”

Also opening but unreviewed: ladies’ Big Easy road-trip comedy Girls Trip and art-imitates-life-imitates-art Shakespeare riff Hermia and Helena.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Driving a Pinto like it’s a Porsche

The pinnacle of automotive coolness
Next Article

U.S. Kids Chamber of Commerce gets mixed response in Encinitas

You pay to recycle and where does the money go?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close