Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 6/23/17

Baby Driver (R)
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Baby is a guy who was born to drive. He can shift gears, flip donuts, and slide through gauntlets, with nary a scratch. Which is why a meticulous bank robber picks Baby to be his get-away driver for the latest heist. Baby only has a couple of faults. Because he was “dropped on my head as a child,” he has a constant buzzing sound in his brain which he masks by wearing earbuds playing the movie’s soundtrack. His other weakness is a short-skirted waitress with a Southern drawl who dreams of “hitting the road.” Director Edgar Wright brings the slightly-off-kilter quirkiness he used so well in Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to create a car-chase movie thats far, far better than anything fast and furious.
3 and 1/2 pieces of a heist, fast cars, fine acting, and a love story toast 

The Hero (R)
Starring: Sam Elliott, Nicjk Offerman, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Katherine Ross
Director: Brett Haley
I “discovered” Sam Elliott at my hometown Hermosa Beach movie theater starring in the 1976 film The Lifeguard. It told the tale of professional LA Beach lifeguard invited to his 15th high-school reunion who must face the realities of aging-out, skin cancer, failed relationships, and the adoration of a much younger woman. Elliott is back in Brett Haley’s The Hero. This time, Elliott plays a craggy western actor invited to receive a lifetime achievement award who must face the realities of aging-out, invasive cancer, a failed marriage and fatherhood, and the adoration of a girl the same age as his daughter. In other words, this is familiar territory for Elliott, and he plays well.  to summarize, here’s a quote from The Stranger (SAM Elliott) in The Big Lebowski: “Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there.”
3 pieces of “the Dude” resides toast 

Beatriz at Dinner (R)
Starring: Selma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Chloe Sevigney
Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Selma Hayak plays a Latina masseuse who is invite do have dinner with a collection of wealthy snobs when her car breaks down. The contrasts between the we-have-way-more-than-almost-anybody guests with the plucky, woman who survives by using her hands are obvious—including the inevitable “are you here legally?” question. Imagine David Mamet mixed with Luis Bunel and Alfonso Arau and you’ll get the idea. Especially since the movie evolves into a story imbued with deftly handled magical realism
3 pieces of skillful satire toast

Transformers: the Last Knight (PG-13)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Isabella Moner, Stanley Tucci, John Goodman
Director: Michael Bay
It is critical to understand that Michael Bay began his directing career making documentaries focusing on Playboy’s monthly centerfolds. Which may explain why the women in his films are usually portrayed as an assembly of sexy body parts. And like the artillery man shouts to Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, “Anything. Just Play It Loud,” Bay sets the loudspeakers above 11. Transformers: the Last Knight has added some A-list actors to “raise the tone control” as well. However, the guys come across like they are doing an SNL parody of themselves playing an actor in a Transformers movie. None of this really matters to the adolescent males of any age who are the target audience. Bay will hit another box-office milestone.
1 and 1/2 pieces of except for some boffo FX, we’ve seen everything before toast

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