Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases For the Week of  6/01/18

On Chesil Beach (R) 

Starring: Saoirise Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson, Samuel West

Directed by: Dominic Cooke

For those of us who want to shout at the movie screen to make characters tell each other what’s important, this may be the most distressing film about miscommunication ever made. On Chesil Beach continues to perpetuate the mythology that British people (at least those living back in 1962) may pine for each other, but believe that actually having sex is to be something avoided at all costs. The handsome couple at the center of this beautifully filmed drama are both virgins on their wedding night—and are likely to remain so. Events onscreen unfold like a seminar in sexual dysfunction with premature ejaculation, and disgust of bodily fluids that prompt accusations and recriminations enough for thirty films. Primarily set in the honeymoon suite, flashbacks and flash-forwards set up the “whys” of what happens before and after that fateful night, but doesn’t hide the sadness that underlies the tale.

3 pieces of unconsummated marital toast 

Adrift (PG-13)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin

Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur

A novice sailor agrees to join her boyfriend on a trip to deliver a sailing yacht from Tahiti to San Diego. Instead of a romantic sea cruise, the boat runs into one of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history. She wakes up to find him seriously injured, and barely able to teach her what to do to sail, navigate, find food, and nurse him back to health while falling in love with the guy at the same time. Bottom line—the “females can do anything if they put their mind to it” trope provides punch to what could have easily devolved into a sappy Nicholas Sparks style Romance vs Mother Nature story.

3 pieces of a based on a true story hero tale toast 

Upgrade (R) 

Starring: Logan Marshall Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Simon Maiden

Directed by: Leigh Whannell

In the near future, a technophobe named Grey is paralyzed during a mugging that kills his wife, and must learn to adapt to having an implanted computer chip nicknamed STEM control all his bodily functions. So, of course, the guy chooses to track down and stomp on his muggers. But wait. There’s more. Turns out that STEM can talk and learn on its own, and has it’s own agenda for what Grey’s body will accomplish. The result is a throwback-style film which fits into the cyber/punk, gonzo, grungy, gallons of fake blood, horror/action genre popular at the dawn of VHS tapes.

3 pieces of cutting edge technology in a back to the 80’s genre toast

Action Point (R) 

Starring: Johnnie Knoxville, Camilla Wolfson, Chris Pontius,  Dan Bakkedahl, Matt Schultze

Directed by: Tim Kirkby

Johnny Knoxville’s patented mix of crude sexual content, drug use, graphic nudity and slapstick humor are crucial to the potential box office for this film about the owner of an amusement park where deferred maintenance is the park policy. This is so much NOT a film for everyone, they didn’t screen it for critics.

Screenings not available to critics

Comments? E-mail gilmansergh@comcast.net