Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 8/11/17
The Glass Castle (PG-13)
Starring: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Sarah Snook, Max Greenfield
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Jeannette Walls’ memoir of growing up in her dysfunctional, nomadic family provides the basis of Destin Daniel Cretton’s film The Glass Castle. We first meet Jeannette as a New York Magazine gossip columnist who is the personification of circa 1980‘s success. But her carefully hidden past suddenly intervenes when a shabbily dressed man leaves his wife to continue dumpster diving while he threatens Jeannette’s limo. It turns out these are Jeannette’s parents, and we flash back to the Jeannette’s nomadic childhood when the family lived out of their station wagon. When Jeanette was 10, Dad was a charming man who dreamed of building a house made of glass, and Mom was an artist who paints whenever the mood strikes her. However, Jeannette begins to notice the cracks in her family’s way-of-life, and the increasing conflicts dreamers have with the reality of raising a family. To survive, Jeannette develops a number of coping mechanisms that subtly transform her identity and create the building blocks critical to becoming a “success” in the Big Apple.
3 pieces of Neitzsche said it before Kelly Clarkson sang it toast
Turn It Around (NR)
Starring: Iggy Pop, Billie Joe Armstrong, Miranda July, Silas Howard, Michael Pritchard
Director: Corbett Redford
If you believe that Punk music was created by reactionary East Bay musicians railing against the mellow vibes of the flower-power folk sounds from San Francisco, and you remember music by Green Day, Rancid and Operation Ivy with fondness, then this documentary is for you. For everyone else, the myriad scenes of people invoking a musical group’s name accompanied with a nostalgic nod provides little or no context or backstory. Even Iggy Pop’s pasted-on narration doesn’t help to make this collage of photos, archival footage, talking heads and roughly animated interstitials into a cohesive whole. To make things worse, the film’s 160 minutes seems to want to display every little bit of ephemera that survived.
2 pieces of only for those who recall the East Bay Punk scene with fondness toast
The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (PG)
Starring the voices of: Will Arnet, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jacki Chan
Directed by: Cal Brunker
Not too subtly hidden behind the baggy-pants hijinks of animated rodents (including an army of Chinese mice trained in kung-fu), this film tells a cynical tale of corrupt public officials willing to exterminate any fluffy animals that stand in the way of bigger profits. The chef villain is a sadistic “little girl” who delights in terrorizing cute critters before shooting them. There are “nuts” here all right—certifiably psychotic nuts.
1 piece of the not recommended for anyone under 120-years-old toast
Annabel: Creation (R)
Starring: Stephanie Stigman, Talitha Bateman,
Directed by: David E. Sandburg
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. What do a wheel-chair riding orphan, a nun, a mansion in the middle of nowhere complete with malfunctioning plumbing, dangerous electrics, drafty, secret passageways, creaking doors, stairs, hallways and even creakier plot devices have in common? Answer: they’re all here as well as a deep-dark well, a dead child, locked room wallpapered with pages from the Bible, a masked phantom and a dollmaker landlady whose favored creation is a demonic doll. Meh!
1 piece of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys would love this movie toast