Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases for 5/17/13


Star Trek Into Darkness  (PG-13)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Alice Eve

Directed By: J.J. Abrams

Opening with Kirk and Bones being chased by spear throwing natives while Spock is trapped inside an eruptive volcano on a planet labelled as forbidden by the United Federation of Planets, the crew of the Enterprise literally gets sent back to school. Not for long however. As soon as a British -accented villain makes Starfleet’s London database evaporate, all hands are on deck for a rip-roaring action adventure loaded with great characters, a strong script, and a little Spock/Uhura style romance.

3 and 1/2 pieces of still “Boldly Going” toast 


Kon Tiki (PG-13)

Starring: Paul Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen,  Agnes Kitelsen, Tobias Santelmann

Directed By: Joacheim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Reading Thor Heyerdahl’s true-life-adventure Kon Tiki was a rite of passage in my half-Norwegian family, so I am delighted that the incredible 1947 journey from South America to a Polynesian island on a balsa wood raft was made into a good movie. The sailors are rugged, Heyerdahl is obsessed with his human migration theory (since proved wrong by genetics), the sharks circle, storms howl, and people fall overboard with regularity. Problem is, Heyerdahl never learned to swim.

3 pieces of six men on a tiny raft in a gigantic ocean toast


Starbuck (R)

Starring: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand, Domic Phile

Directed By:  Kent Scott

A single sperm donor who has “fathered” dozens of children (some of who may be unknowingly dating their half-siblings), is usually the stuff of tabloids and talk shows, but in this French Canadian comedy, the story is played for  gentle humor and feel-good moments. The set-up is that a pot-grower perpetually short of cash, would regularly make deposits in the local sperm bank under the code name “Starbuck.” Decades later, several of his biological children file a lawsuit to discover who Starbuck really is. One thing leads to another, and the audience bonds with the disparate group of people who learn to call Starbuck “Daddy.”

3  pieces of imagine all the Father’s Day cards he gets toast



Cloud Atlas (R) 

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent

Directed by: Tom Tyker, Lana and Andy Washowski
The list of actors (which includes four Oscar winners) is notable, and each must have been cajoled into this project with the conceit of getting to play multiple characters of differing ancestry in several different time periods. Halle Berry, for example is at one time a San Francisco newspaper reporter then an ancient Chinese revolutionary, a post-apocalypse primitive and the nude, red-headed wife of a 1930’s German-Jewish composer. Say what? Like 1963’s The List of Adrian Messenger, the audience spends to much energy trying to figure out who is under all that makeup, and the filmmaker’s secret reveals itself for the gimmick that it is. It’s Jim Broadbent, who has displayed his talent for playing dastardly villains and blow-hards before, who wears the least amount of makeup and turns in the most memorable performances.  The story? It’s like Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits on steroids, only without any sense of fun.

2 and 1/2 pieces of overly ambitious and way too gimmicky toast