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On your Marks...

...supercritic Scott tackles movie releases both old and new

Good at being bad: Sir Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann in Operation Finale.
Good at being bad: Sir Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann in Operation Finale.

September doesn't start until tomorrow, and Fall's not for another three weeks, but Scott Marks has shaken off the torpor brought on by a slew of summer snoozefests and lept back into the fray like it's the first day of school and he wants to impress the teacher.

For starters, there's his interview with Operation Finale star Sir Ben Kingsley, an actor who works the high-low as well as anyone. (From his review, it sounds like Sir Ben was the best thing about the feature.)

Then he pauses to collect himself, and also to collect a few releases from last week: he liked The Happytime Murders more than most, and A-X-L as little as the rest of 'em.

Then it's on to this week's arty offerings. Scott loves lovingly shot old movies, and he also loves musicals, so if he didn't like the film version of My Fair Lady, there's probably a very specific reason why. That reason is Cecil Beaton. Small surprise, then, that he was not especially taken with the documentary Love, Cecil. Nor did he swoon over the period drama The Bookshop. (As Duncan Shepherd might have said, it's no You've Got Mail. It's not even The Shop Around the Corner.)

Movie

40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie ***

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Lee Aronsohn was attending the University of Colorado “looking to major in sex and drugs.” Little did the future sitcom writer/producer realize that he was planting the seeds that, four decades later, would flower into this fond endeavor to recapture fleeting youth. A local band, going by the name of Magic Music, took up permanent residence in Aronsohn’s headspace, and with no tangible memories to guide him — the group never released an album — he set about reuniting the band’s original members for one last waltz. When asked if The Beatles would ever get back together, Paul McCartney famously replied, “You can’t reheat a souffle.” If <em>40 Years</em> is any indication, Sir Paul was wrong. Having never seen an episode of <em>Two and a Half Men</em> or <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>, I can still say it’s good they exist, if for no other reason than the proceeds from those hit TV series afforded Aronsohn the opportunity to direct this heartfelt music documentary.

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He did, however, manage to find something to enjoy: the looking-back-on-lost-youth doc 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie. The Digital Gym does it again! It may even prove enough of a pick-me-up to send him out into the wide-release desert for Kin and Searching!

As for me, I very much enjoyed the spooky elegance of The Little Stranger, though its muted tone may prove...insufficient for people who like their ghost stories gussied up with jump scares. And I had high hopes for the offbeat approach to sports documentary offered by John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, but found it to be so much French noodling. Quel dommage.

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Good at being bad: Sir Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann in Operation Finale.
Good at being bad: Sir Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann in Operation Finale.

September doesn't start until tomorrow, and Fall's not for another three weeks, but Scott Marks has shaken off the torpor brought on by a slew of summer snoozefests and lept back into the fray like it's the first day of school and he wants to impress the teacher.

For starters, there's his interview with Operation Finale star Sir Ben Kingsley, an actor who works the high-low as well as anyone. (From his review, it sounds like Sir Ben was the best thing about the feature.)

Then he pauses to collect himself, and also to collect a few releases from last week: he liked The Happytime Murders more than most, and A-X-L as little as the rest of 'em.

Then it's on to this week's arty offerings. Scott loves lovingly shot old movies, and he also loves musicals, so if he didn't like the film version of My Fair Lady, there's probably a very specific reason why. That reason is Cecil Beaton. Small surprise, then, that he was not especially taken with the documentary Love, Cecil. Nor did he swoon over the period drama The Bookshop. (As Duncan Shepherd might have said, it's no You've Got Mail. It's not even The Shop Around the Corner.)

Movie

40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie ***

thumbnail

Lee Aronsohn was attending the University of Colorado “looking to major in sex and drugs.” Little did the future sitcom writer/producer realize that he was planting the seeds that, four decades later, would flower into this fond endeavor to recapture fleeting youth. A local band, going by the name of Magic Music, took up permanent residence in Aronsohn’s headspace, and with no tangible memories to guide him — the group never released an album — he set about reuniting the band’s original members for one last waltz. When asked if The Beatles would ever get back together, Paul McCartney famously replied, “You can’t reheat a souffle.” If <em>40 Years</em> is any indication, Sir Paul was wrong. Having never seen an episode of <em>Two and a Half Men</em> or <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>, I can still say it’s good they exist, if for no other reason than the proceeds from those hit TV series afforded Aronsohn the opportunity to direct this heartfelt music documentary.

Find showtimes

He did, however, manage to find something to enjoy: the looking-back-on-lost-youth doc 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie. The Digital Gym does it again! It may even prove enough of a pick-me-up to send him out into the wide-release desert for Kin and Searching!

As for me, I very much enjoyed the spooky elegance of The Little Stranger, though its muted tone may prove...insufficient for people who like their ghost stories gussied up with jump scares. And I had high hopes for the offbeat approach to sports documentary offered by John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, but found it to be so much French noodling. Quel dommage.

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Comments
7

Kinglsey is just weird looking and I seriously DOUBT ANY Nazi bigwig wore that much face make-up.

Sept. 14, 2018

His name is Kingsley.

Sept. 14, 2018

This scene is from a flashback. The makeup, disconcerting though it may be, only lasts for a minute or two.

Sept. 14, 2018

C'mon lick, that Irish-UK coproduction was nearly into it's second hour before there were any scares at all!!!

Sept. 14, 2018

I don't believe the film is supposed to be scary. It's not a horror movie.

Sept. 14, 2018

But Nazis make the best monsters!

Sept. 14, 2018

The running time is only 122 minutes. (I know. It only felt like four hours.) If you're going to blame the producers for anything, it should be their choice of a director.

Sept. 14, 2018

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