Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases for the week of 7/17/15

‘Trainwreck’ (R)

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson

Directed By: Judd Apatow

Imprinted as a young girl by her philandering father’s mantra “Monogamy is impossible,” a young woman breezes through her pleasure-seeking life as an obnoxious jerk in ‘Trainwreck’. So it is no surprise that the girl who “never” actually sleeps next to the males she beds, gets involved with a decent sort of guy and somehow ends up in (gasp!) a “relationship.” Judd Apatow’s direction, the actors’ pitch-perfect comic timing, and Amy Schumer’s voice-over commentary as the “relationship” progresses offers a nice counterpoint to the traditional rom-com shenanigans that transpire.

3 pieces of distaff Judd Apatow comedy toast 

Holmes  (PG)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker

Directed By: Bill Condon

 A sort of “parallel universe” of conflicting storyline exists about the”missing years” for Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr’s Holmes is an athletic, seeming invincible, steam-punk hero. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes is a high-functioning sociopath who lives and breathes in our 21st Century. And now, Ian McKellen plays Holmes circa 1947, with the frail body of a 93-year-old and mental abilities somewhat diminished. Like the Holmes created by novelist Laurie R. King in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and a dozen other novels, this Holmes retired to raise bees in rural England, but unlike King’s detective, he remains a reclusive bachelor. As Holmes attempts to put his affairs in order, he is vexed by the unsolved case that prompted his retirement. With nothing else to do, Holmes decides to uncover the truth of crimes that occurred over thirty years ago.

3 pieces of a frail and aged Sherlock Holmes toast 

NOTE: You can listen to a podcast of my Word By Word conversation with Laurie R. King FREE on iTunes

Ant-Man (PG-13)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily

Directed By: Peyton Reed (and Edgar Wright)

The cardboard cut out of Ant-Man in the theater lobby stands 7-feet-tall—probably because nobody would notice Marvel’s diminutive super hero if he was life-sized. It summarizes the eight years of uncertainty that surrounds this latest installment of the Marvel Universe. The film’s original director Edgar Wright was hired for his ability to make tongue-in-cheek comedies, but the “Suits” didn’t like this approach, so he was kicked out and Peyton Reed inserted for the last few months of filming. The result is a pasted-together blandness involving a cat burglar recruited to “think small,” and wear the ant-suit in a younger, non-arthritic manner (unlike his predecessor played by Michael Douglas). Audiences catch glimpses of what could have been with the battle scenes inside the briefcase and girl’s bedroom but unfortunately, these scenes occur in the film’s final moments.

1 and 1/2 pieces of corporate suits mucking around with what should have been a comedy  toast