Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 7/15/16
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Charles Dance, Chris Hemsworth
Directed By: Paul Feig
Those who enter the hallowed movie theater should Ignore all the mean-spirited, online commentaries and revel in the “Sisterhood is Powerful” vibes of the four funny and very talented women who don the fabled Ghostbusters jump suits, acquire a well-used hearse for transportation and do battle with copious amounts of slimy ectoplasm. Since the rent on the original firehouse has shot through the roof. the quartet moves into an empty upstairs office in NYC’s Chinatown. Each of the new Ghostbusters has a specific set of skills and include: a physics professor; her long-time pal; a mad-scientist inventor; and a subway worker. There’s cameos from the original film’s surviving stars, familiar music themes, an overabundance of CGI effects and to complete the gender-shift, some hunky office eye-candy in the form of Chris Hemsworth.
3 pieces of often quite funny toast
The Innocents (R)
Starring: Lou de Laage, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza
Directed By: Anne Fontaine
In the closing days of WWII, Russian soldiers raped the nuns in a Polish convent and left several of them pregnant. Months later, a Communist doctor attends to the first birth, and counsels six other pregnant nuns. Filmed in black and white using natural light during the time of winter snowfalls, the plain convent surroundings and Communist-era concrete buildings contrasted with an occasional shaft of sunlight on a nun’s face evoke a slice of brutal history and a (supposedly) hopeful future.
2 and 1/2 pieces of historic shades of grey toast
The Infiltrator (R)
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Diane Kruger, Amy Ryan
Directed By: Brad Furman
Combining the characters he portrayed in Malcolm In the Middle and Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is perfectly cast as the dual-identity suburban father/U.S. Customs agent and a sleeze-ball drug cartel money-launderer. One persona is married with children, while the other has a bejeweled mistress on his arm as he whisks by private jet from one coke-fueled and machine gun protected rendezvous to the next. Unbelievable (but true) the plot is like a 1980’s “Miami drugs” TV show where you shake your head in disbelief as our hero survives one life-or-death situation after another.
2 and 1/2 pieces of the stars make this undercover drug cop movie work toast
Starring: Sam Neil, John Dennison, Rima Te Wiata. Rachel House, Taika Waititi
Directed By: Taika Waititi
Youngster and world-weary curmudgeon movies have been around for a century, but this New Zealand film, based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, manages to add a Monty Python-style originality to the familiar tale. You see, there is this orphan boy, and this white-bearded foster father who escape from overzealous welfare workers to the beautiful wild places of the Tangariro forest where the surreal exists side-by-side with Maori storytelling.
3 pieces of you’re gonna like this one toast
The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensamble (PG-13)
Starring: Yo Yo Ma, Christina Pato, Wu Man, Kinan Azmeh, Kahan Kalhor
Directed By: Morgan Neville
Marco Polo would enjoy this collective amalgamation of virtuoso musicians with roots in the ancient past and the modernity of Weil Hall. Chinese lutes, Spanish bagpipes, Iranian kamancheh, and Ma’s Stradivarius cello are only part of the film’s treasures, as the on and off stage interaction between musicians (whose only common language is their music), add nuanced cultural context.
3 pieces of much more than astounding music toast