Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Release For the Week of 2/03/17
Strike A Pose (NR)
Starring: Luis Camacho, Oliver Crumes, Salim Gauwloos, Jose Extravaganza, Kevin Alexander Stea, Carlton Willborn, Sue Trupin
Directors: Esther Gould, Reijer Zwaan
Before the blogosphere, the “buzz” in 1991 was about how men were shown kissing each other in the documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare. That film took audiences behind the scenes of the singer’s cross country tour, and introduced us to the seven male dancers who performed with her onstage. Strike a Pose candidly revisits these men 25 years later. We discover that Madonna recruited her dancers with specific styles in mind. For example, the Voguing scene with its stylized moves derived from poses struck by high fashion models, and hip-hop with improvisations first done on street corners. They traveled as a family—vowing to stay friends forever. But we learn that one dancer sued Madonna for invasion of privacy and others sued for a share of the huge profits from the original documentary. I was surprised to hear the only heterosexual dancer in the group admit that before he went on the tour, “If someone was gay, I would punch them out.” One interesting footnote—Madonna was not interviewed for Strike a Pose, and it makes us wonder how she would react after a quarter century.
3 pieces of dancing history toast
Starring: Emma Suarez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Imma Cuesta, Michelle Jenner, Rossy de Palma
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar loves to splash the essential colors of red and blue across scenes of distraught women grappling with the complexities often found in Telenovellas—but in real life situations. Well, almost real life. His latest film, Julietta, is crowded with flashbacks, reverential homages to the complexities of a Patricia Highsmith murder plot a la Alfred Hitchcock, all fueled by improbable coincidences, eroticism, and profound loss. In other words, its an Almodovar movie based upon three stories from Alice Munro’s Runaway collection.
3 pieces of Almodovar’s idea of being low-key toast
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel
Director: Taylor Hackford
This is a movie about an insult comic who isn’t funny, he’s just insulting—and violent. He even ends up in jail for beating up a member of the audience who didn’t like his so-called jokes. Of course, even a jail cell can have a silver lining, for it it is here that he meets the much younger woman who he beds after serving his time. If this sounds like a strained plot device—it is only one of many. There are five screenwriters listed in the credits, and none of them can write a funny scene or a cohesive storyline. Except for hopelessly miscast DeNiro, the other actors vainly try to make something with the material they are given, but it’s just not enough to make the rest worth watching.
1 pieces of this is just goll-durn awful toast
Starring: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teagarden
Directed by: F. Javier Gutierrez
This is a sequel to the original movie about a videotape that kills people. The studio reportedly released it in hopes of making back a little bit of the $25 million they spent on the film. Insiders say that “profitability is doubtful.”
Not available for screening