The Bounty tells the story of H.M.S. BOUNTY, Captain Bligh, and the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian. It features a delightful, Vangelis synth score, magnificent overacting by a young Mel Gibson, and a glacial pace. If that sounds like your cup of coconut water, have at it.
Ricki and the Flash
Ricki and the Flash tells the story of an aging would-be rock star in a San Fernando Valley cover band, the ex-husband and children she left behind to pursue her dreams, and the year when the chickens come home to roost. It’s solid material, anchored by a powerhouse Meryl Streep performance, some subtle work from Kevin Kline, and even a solid turn by Rick Springfield in a supporting role as Ricki’s lead guitarist and love interest.
This is the kind of character study that depends utterly on its star, and it will surprise no one to find that Ms. Streep is entirely up to the task. She makes us want to watch her even when we don’t like her, and want to watch her even more as or perceptions begin to change. Truly, this actress Can Do No Wrong.
Hey, do you like Westerns? Do you like Mads Mikkelsen and Jonathan Pryce? Me too, but I’m sorry to report that not even Mssrs. Mikkelsen & Pryce can save this Western.
The Salvation is your basic revenge tale, with Mikkelsen going after the thugs who do away with a couple of barely sketched out characters named, I think, “Wife” and “Son.” Things spin out of control, there’s a showdown, blah blah blah. The movie looks cheap, the villain lacks complexity, and the whole thing is a drag. If you’re really in the mood for a Western, go watch Open Range again, instead.
Let Me In
Let The Right One In is a brilliant, Swedish take on the modern vampire story. Let Me In, the American remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz, lacks the beauty and subtlety of the original and exchanges it for ugliness and plodding literalism. Stay outside.
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book is a triumph of storytelling and technical filmmaking. It’s beautiful, engaging, age-appropriately scary, and entirely convincing. We loved it.