Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 5/05/17

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (R)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki
Director: James Gunn
This follow up to James Gunn’s 2014 antihero hit allows plenty of screen time for the two breakout stars Groot, the tree sapling and Rocket the racoon. The basic plot is revealed by the muscular saxaphonist, Drax the Destroyer, who explains: “There are two types in the universe—those who dance and those who do not.” This Yoda/Zenness allows for action scenes to blur into the background while the Guardians do their dances. Closely aligning itself to Joseph Campbell-style archetypes, the multi-species who guard the galaxy form a “family” for the now orphaned Quill—albeit a bickering, wise-cracking, decidedly alternative family. Interspersed with all the 70’s pop songs, and zinging one-liners, are encounters with a golden empress, a kidnapping pirate, and a couple new characters—a father-figure named Ego whose female sidekick, Mantis, is an empath.
3 pieces of lets shake up the stodginess of superheroes movies toast

Norman (R)
Starring: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Shen, Cgarlotte Gainsborough, Steve Buscemi, Dan Stevens, Hank Azaria, Josh Charles
Director: Joseph Cedar
As played by Richard Gere, Norman Oppenheimer is a con-man whose “mark” is himself. He wishfully carries a card as a “Consultant who finds solutions”—but the main purpose of such a label is to get Norman into soirees and meetings which provide free food and drink. Through a series of events, Norman offers a visiting Israeli politician a pair of shoes spotted in a shop window. When this guy ends up being Prime Minister, Norman can finally say, “I bet on the right horse.” Director Joseph Cedar marinates every scene with wry Jewish humor so instead of Norman being just a hustler, he is a fellow who engages with others solely to offer his unique type of assistance.
3 pieces of whimsical Richard Gere toast

How to Be a Latin Lover (PG-13)
Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Selma Hayek, Raphael Alejandro, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Corddry, Michael Cera
Directed by: Ken Marino
This “comedy” opens with a morbid origin story where a boy named Maximo loses his father in a truck explosion. We next see Maximo as a young man at a hotel pool seducing a wealthy older woman. 25 years later, the guy’s beer belly forces him to putt from inside his golf cart, while the still wealthy wife takes a Lamborghini salesman as her boy-toy and throws Maximo into the street. Forced to move in with his often angry sister, the broadly-acted goofiness continues as Maximo attempts to rekindle his sex appeal.
2 pieces of Mexican machismo sexism, racism, ageism, and sizeism dressed up as “jokes” toast

Phoenix Forgotten (GPG-13
Starring: Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin MAtthews, Luke Spencer Roberts
Director: Justin Barber
The origin of the latest “found footage” cheepie, is the mysterious lights that appeared over Phoenix two decades ago. You probably never heard of the disappearance of three teenagers that occurred in the same area a few days later. Seems the teens set out to make a film about the lights, and (gasp of surprise) the tape they made still survives. Sophie was only six when all this happened, but since her brother was one of the kids who disappeared, she is determined to see if “the Truth is out there.”
1 piece of of derivative shaky handheld footage that ends abruptly toast

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