Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 8/25/17
Starring the voices of: Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mel Brooks
Directed by: Eric Summer, Eric Warin
It’s Paris in the 1870’s and when Victor and Felice break out of their orphanage, then both have dreams to fulfill. He wants to be an inventor and ends up working for a Monsieur Eiffel during the construction of the famous tower. She wants to be a ballet star and adopts a snobbish accent to wheedle her way into the prestigious Opera Ballet School. Cue the rip-offs from Hugo and Flashdance. Then imagine, just for a moment, if the girl wanted to be an inventor and the boy a dancer. Would we have something new and fresh, or just rip offs from Billy Elliot and Mulan?
2 and 1/2 pieces of not particularly original toast
Good Time (R)
Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robert Pattinson, Barkhad Abdi, Ben Safdie
Director: Ben Safdie, Joshua Safdie
In an admission I never thought I would make, Robert Pattinson can act. The former Twilight vampire stars as a charismatic, dangerous, and selfish petty crook named Constantine “Connie” Nikas. The film opens with Connie’s developmentally challenged brother, Nick, talking to his psycho therapist about being abused by his grandmother. Connie breaks into the office, and frees his brother so they pair can pull off a bank robbery. Suffice to say, the heist quickly becomes a rout, Nick ends up in the hospital, and Connie slips from one danger to the next as fate draws its net tighter and tighter.
3 pieces of an Indie film with a bigger budget toast
Ingrid Goes West (R)
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell
Directed by: Matt Spicer
Ingrid is a young woman with a smart phone super-glued to her hand who becomes obsessed with a social-media star named Taylor Sloan, and uses an inheritance to move to L.A. to stalk her. Both the stalker and the star are mentally ill, with Ingrid restyling herself to look more like her idol, and Taylor relishing the sycophantic relationship with her fan. Reality (if there is such a thing in a film like this) is personified by Ingrid’s fey landlord and Instagram is cast as both Devil and Savior.
2 and 1/2 pieces of a satire with some barbed edges toast
The Midwife (NR)
Starring: Catherine Frot, Catherine Deneuve, Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire, Mylene Demongeot, Pauline Etienne
Directed by: Martin Provost
The interesting premise of this film is that the skills learned by being a midwife can translate easily to those needed by people in the last months of their life. Since this is a French film, the woman dying of cancer is the former mistress of the midwife’s father. Underlying everything is the fact that modern medicine is claiming that midwifery is “obsolete,” at the same time the one-to-one relationship between mother-to-be and her midwife should obviously be highly valued. Several babies are birthed during this movie, which makes sure the rich randomness of real life is included.
3 pieces of watch it for the two Catherines together toast
Only Living Boy In New York (R)
Starring: Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon, Kiersey Clemons, Jeff Bridges
Directed by: Marc Webb
In a plot that I assume is based upon daydream fantasies, an aspiring 20-something writer decides to bed his father’s 40-something mistress for two reasons: #1, Break up the father’s affair, and #2, somehow make the writer more attractive to his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Now add in the old alcoholic writer living upstairs who offers unwanted advice to the young man and provides the narration for the audience to better understand the neurotic nuances of Manhattanites.
1 and 1/2 pieces of badly written toast