Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 9/29/17
Battle of the Sexes (PG-13)
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carrell, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Fred Armisen
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
In 1973, an over-the-hill tennis champ and serial self-promoter Bobby Riggs (astoundingly personified by Steve Carrell) is certain that no female can ever beat him. So after stunts like playing tennis dressed as Little Bo Peep (complete with her sheep), he challenges the World’s #1 women’s tennis champ, Billie Jean King to a Battle of the Sexes, $100,000 prize tennis match televised from the Huston Astrodome. Coincidentally, King has just come out of the closet. What could possibly go wrong?
3 and 1/2 pieces of “that was then” toast
Year By the Sea (NR)
Starring: Karen Allen, Yannick Bisson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tyler Haines
Director: Alexander Janko
Based on Joan Anderson’s best-selling semi-autobiographical novel about gracefully growing old and alone, after her son’s wedding, a woman realizes that her husband never has and never will love her. So she relocates to Cape Cod where friends old and new (including Murdock Mysteries Yannick Bisson, Law and Order’s S. Epatha Merkerson, and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s Celia Imrie) provide her with bromides stolen from Sea Scout motivational posters.
2 pieces of an identity crisis crammed full of maritime metaphors toast
American Made (R)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleason, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Jayma Mays
Directed by: Doug Liman
Tom Cruise uses all five of his facial expressions (grimace, grin, anger, laugh and earnest interest) to play Barry Seal, a pilot who flew fighter jets, and TWA airliners before the CIA recruited him to transport drugs for the Medellin drug cartel. Shot in the faded colors of Reagan-era photographs, the director has chosen to bypass the illegalities and venality of those involved in the Iran-Contra fiasco. Instead, this American Made pilot is presented as a larger-than-life mythological figure like Robin Hood or Captain Jack Sparrow.
2 pieces of another “based on actual events” movie toast
Starring: Kristen Dunst, Pilou Asbaek, Joe Cole
Directed by: Kate and Laura Mulleavy
Two “visionary” fashion designers decided to make a movie about what happens to feelings of isolation, paranoia and grief after ingesting huge quantities of “potent cannabinoid drugs.” To add the right “look,” the pair let a Finnish cinematographer use film techniques that were “cutting edge” in 1897 (i.e. upside down cameras, color filters, psychedelic color wheels and closeups that reveal every single tiny little pimple on an actor’s face and the spinach caught in their teeth). The plot involves a medical marijuana clerk so grief-stricken over euthanizing her terminally ill mother that she consumes more cannabis than Alice in Wonderland.
1 piece of truly uninteresting toast
Starring: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons. Kiefer Sutherland
Directed by: Niels Arden Opelev
Its been 25 years since a group of medical students unwisely decided to stop their hearts to experience death first-hand. Apparently, the newest crop of hubris-fueled medical students are as stupid today as they were when the first movie was made. I assume Kiefer Sutherland (who appeared in the first film) shows up to warn the newcomers about the dangers of tempting fate, and (surprise, surprise) the kids ignore his advice.
Unavailable for critics to screen