Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 8/05/16
Suicide Squad (PG-13)
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Karen Fukuhara, Adam Beach, Ben Affleck
Directed By: David Ayer
The idea of releasing villains from prison to utilize their talents to aid the government is hardly new, and the concept of using seven desperados to save innocents has inspired Kurasawa and Sturges and scores of other imitators. Don’t be fooled by the humorous previews, this is an uber violent collection of suicidal nihilists who ISIS would recruit in an instant. Aimed directly at the wallets of 13-year-old boys, the filmmakers chicken-out regarding the best character onscreen. Margot Robbie plays the pig-tailed psychotic, Harley Quinn with elan, but director David Ayer keeps relegating her part to serving as eye-candy for the adolescents in the audience.
1 and 1/2 pieces of even Will Smith can’t save this one toast
The Witness (NR)
Starring: Bill Genovese
Directed By: James D. Solomon
Highly publicized murders effect the victims family and friends for a long, long time—perhaps forever. This documentary focuses on an infamous 1964 case where 38 witnesses declined to help when 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside their apartment building. Her brother Bill was 16 at the time, and after losing both legs in Vietnam, he became the primary investigator into the events surrounding that fateful evening. The film is like a detective story—complete with clues, leads and suspects. Instead of leading to a solution however, the conclusion is that Kitty should be remembered for much, much, more than the last 10 minutes of her life.
3 pieces of grappling with the past toast
Nine Lives (R)
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Arnell, Cheryl Hines, Malina Wasserman, Christopher Walken
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
A self-centered businessman needs a wowser of a last-minute gift for his daughter’s eleventh birthday, and buys a cat from a magical petshop. Presto-chango, the guy becomes the cat and discovers how much he is disliked (even hated) by everyone he knows. His task (should he wish to accept it) is to bring his family back together—or stay a cat forever. There are five writers listed on IMDB, and the film was not screened for critics. Neither of which give much hope that this will be a good movie.
This film was not screened for critics
Newly Released DVDs
Here’s a much better film about a cat!
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peels, Method Man, Tiffany Hadish, Luis Guzman, Nia Long, Will Forte, and the voice of: Keanu Reeves
Director: Peter Atencio
Keanu is a kitten. A cute little guy who appeals to the inner child of everyone in this movie—including the cousins played by comedy duo Key & Peele, and the South-Central druglords they must confront to get the kidnapped feline back (I thought of using “catnapped” in this sentence, but if I do, it has an entirely different meaning). Underneath it all is a comedy sketch stretched to 100 minutes, and two fine actors who can change their personas from “Suburban Sam” to “Downtown Brown” with a wink and smile. And then there’s that kitten. Did I already mention he’s really cute?
3 pieces of it took 7 cats to play the lead toast