Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

 

New Releases for the week of 1/30/15

Black or White (PG-13)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Ehle, Bill Brr, Jillian Estell

Directed By: Mike Binder

“We had a bad night, last night,” the white granddad tells his bi-racial granddaughter, and eventually lets her know the grandmother who cared for her since she was an infant has died. This grandma and grandpa are White while her other grandma is a proud African American, who thinks thinks her granddaughter “isn’t being raised black enough”—and sues for custody. The issues raised are complex (to put it mildly), and many will argue that a melodrama with a Hollywood ending is too glib a vehicle for the subject matter, but I say, see Black and White with someone whose point-of-view you respect, and talk about it afterwards.

3 and 1/2 pieces of playing the “Race Card” toast

 

 

Two Days, One Night (R)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizo Rongione, Pili Groyne, Simone Caudry

Directed By: Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne

Add the Belgian film, Two Days, to that small collection of films portraying the everyday lot of female factory workers. While Sandra was recuperating in the hospital, her boss decided the solar panel assembly team had one too many parts. The workers were given a choice—take a one-time bonus and fire Sandra, or keep her on and take a cut in pay. On her return, the others have chosen the bonus, but  there is an escape clause—if she can convince them to change their minds (and give up the bonus), she can stay. Although the repeated pleading of her case to various co-workers may seem redundant, wait for the payoff. The non-Hollywood film style and unexpected ending may surprise you.

3 and 1/2 pieces of “workers unite” toast

 

A Most Violent Year  (R)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alber Brooks

Directed By: J.C. Chandor

Cinematographer Bradford Young has chosen to film A Most Violent Year in the colors of dirt, and, as a result, it was difficult at times for me to understand what was happening in the monochromatic darkness. Too bad, the story best online casino of young man trying to pay back his loans to the mob while other “connected” wannabes see his struggling heating oil business as ripe for plucking, is stylishly laid out with all the necessary elements )i.e. clandestine meetings, family dinner parties, high speed chases through decaying cityscapes). But that deadly, dirty, dull palette…it just brought me down.

2 and 1/2 pieces of muted by muddy tones toast 

 

Black Sea(R)

Starring: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Konstantin Kahbenskiy

Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

With clandestine Russian submarines, greedy treasure hunters, and fortunes in sunken bullion making headlines, this film about a bunch of misfits attempting to steal the gold aboard a sunken Nazi submarine beneath the watchful eye of submarine sonar arrays from several different nations is a timely thriller. However, those of you subject to claustrophobia should take head. Those WWII subs were really really cramped inside, and seven decades of corrosive pressures at the bottom of the Black Sea has made things that much worse.

3 pieces of let’s cram a bunch of odd-balls into really tight spaces toast