Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases 8/27/14
The One I Love (R)
Starring: Mark Duplass, Eizabeth Moss, Ted Danson, Marlee Matlin, Mary Steenburgen
Directed by: Charlie McDowell
You can’t help but grow fond of the two main characters in this look at the challenges a youngish couple face after the man scratches a seven-year-itch. Following their counselor’s advice, the pair have a weekend getaway at a bucolic retreat where they recall the “honeymoon phase” while grappling with the ‘what’s going on with us now?” phase. I don’t want to give too much away, but the spontaneity of the filmmaking style, and the on-screen chemistry between the stars is wondrous. Okay, just one hint—bacon plays an important role in this film.
3 pieces of “bringin’ home the bacon” toast
November Man (PG-13)
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Will Patton, Luke Bracey, Eliza Taylor
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
By appearing in this film, Pierce Brosnan has lost my respect as an actor (even more than his terrible singing in Mamma Mia). In November Man, the former James Bond plays an assassin brought out of retirement who shoots anyone who he thinks might be a threat(to him (or to the Russian defector he is trying to protect or to the street hot dog vendor—in short, anyone who comes into his line of vision). I use clips from James Bond films to show how women have become more and more victimized in movies over the past 50 years. No longer content to just show a gold-plated woman dead on a bed, in this film, director Roger Donaldson (and too many other filmmakers) include up-close-and-personal torture and rape scenes of unclothed female victims. Ugh!
1/2 piece of Pierce Brosnan I’m disappointed in you toast
Land Ho (R)
Starring: Earl Lynn Nelson, Paul Eenhoom, Daniel Gylfason, Alice Olivia Clarke Elizabeth McKee
Directed by: Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens
I recently wrote a long column about movies to watch that feature the places I will be visiting soon in Norway. If I ever go to Iceland, this film would fit nicely in a piece about that little country. Artfully filmed scenes of incredibly beautiful landscapes abound, but unfortunately, the story is very, very sparse. We follow an aging banker and surgeon who travel to Iceland to be revitalized by the land of thermal vents, hot springs and ice. The doctor dreams up the trip, pays the bills for both of the men, and is a control-freak because of this. The duo are one-note caricatures that made me wish that Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthew were still around so they could add the zest this film lacks.
2 pieces of Iceland is beautiful toast
As Above So Below (R)
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman
Directed by: John Erik Dowdle
There are several news stories about how this was the first feature film shot in the “not-available-to-the-public” areas of the bone-strewn catacombs beneath Paris. Too bad it’s a gore-and-guts, slasher film.
Unavailable for preview but Gil doesn’t review slasher films so he wouldn’t see it anyway toast
NEW DVD RELEASES
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson, Sam Reid
Directed by: Amma Asante
In this period drama, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and a Negro woman is raised by the Captain’s family to “fit in” with a time and place that has nowhere for a mulatto to go—except servitude. When she is old enough to marry, suitors are attracted by her exotic beauty, her wit, and her wealth. But others have decidedly different aspirations for the young woman—involving the potential abolition of slavery in the British Empire despite the cataclysmic economic fallout this will cause. Well directed, acted, written and presented, this is a tale worth watching —and discussing.
3 and 1/2 pieces of complex layers of Jane Austenish toast
The Love Punch (PG-13)
Starring: Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Spall, Marissa Berenson
Directed by: Joel Hopkins
A happily divorced but still trading one-liners couple’s carefully constructed world falls apart when their daughter heads off to college and a hostile takeover by a French company wipes out the pair’s nest egg. The answer, crash the French guy’s wedding and steal a $10 million diamond necklace. What? Seriously? Yes, this is really the plot. The only thing making things palatable is the comfortable way the two stars carry roles that fit them like favorite sweaters (cashmere, of course).
2 and 1/2 pieces of don’t think too much about the improbabilities in this one toast