Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 5/19/17
Alien: Covenant (NR)
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Damian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo
Director: Ridley Scott
The Covenant is a deep-space colony-ship whose passengers are all couples of childbearing age. They are headed for an Earth-type planet on the far side of the Galaxy where everything looks bucolic and friendly including the cultivated field of Terran wheat they discover. But there is something not quite right about this place. As one colonist asks “You hear that? Nothing. No birds, no animals. Nothing.” Well, she’s wrong, of course. There is something out there. Gigantic, slimy, ravenous creatures that will populate our nightmares for decades
3 and 1/2 pieces of ties in with the established Alien timeline toast
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (PG-13)
Starring: Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Aztalos, Tom Everett Scott, Alicia Silverstone
Director: David Bowers
The faces have changed (after all, kid actors do eventually age-up) but the fourth-grade humor tropes are omnipresent. The storyline involves a “this may be our last chance to see her alive” visit to Meema’s house. Imagine all the catastrophes from the National Lampoon Vacation road trips, the Little Miss Sunshine road trip, the Are We There Yet? road trip and then screw up the comic delivery, the comic pauses, and comic set-ups, have the generic cast mouth the script without conviction, and generally destroy a once original franchise. It will probably make zillions!
1 and 1/2 pieces of “tain’t funny McGee” toast
Everything, Everything (R)
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Raquera, Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Taylor Hickson
Director: Stella Meghie
Imagine the Boy In the Bubble is a pretty adolescent girl, and you have the concept behind Nicola Noon’s popular YA novel that inspired this film. The immunodeficient girl is confined to her hermetically-sealed house. The boy (there has to be a boy doesn’t there?) lives next door. This close proximity leads to endless (and I mean endless) shots of the girl staring out her bedroom window. Both teens must have platinum credit cards, because they own and use the newest, whiz-bang Apple phone, computer and other peripherals, as well as a tricked-out Toyota pickup which of course, screams “product placement.” Aside from the GIGANTIC plot hole of having the couple go for romantic beach walks with “contact sport” kissing, the biggest problem for this “feels like an afterschool TV special” film is that we don’t cry at the end. For a “weepie,” that’s unforgivable.
1 and 1/2 pieces of was the book as calculatingly formulaic as this movie? toast
The Lovers (R)
Starring: Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula, Melora Walters, Aiden Gillan
Directed by: Laura Poitras
An older couple in the middle of a divorce begin cheating on their current lovers with their still legally married spouse. Played as a comedy-romance instead of a dramatic confrontation, Azezel Jacobs directs Oscar-nominee Debra Winger and Tony and Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts with a gentle hand and lets their on-screen chemistry shine forth. When their college-age son comes home, the antagonistic couple are forced to share the same bed, with each sleeping as far away from the other as they can. In the morning, they wake up face to face, make passionate love, and rekindle their romance (or at least their mutual lust). The rest of the film involves the couple trying to keep their “affair” a secret—from the son and his girlfriend, and from their respective lovers. Lush, orchestral music infuses every scene with aural clues for the audience—apparently to ensure that we know this romantic comedy is chock-full of suburban irony.
3 pieces of see it to enjoy Debra Winger and Tracy Letts toast
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