Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases For the Week of  6/15/18

The Incredibles 2  (PG)

Starring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Katherine Keener

Directed by: Brad Bird

The man who services our water softener admits “I’m not into kid movies…but Incredibles 2 is something else.” He’s spot on. Brad Bird and everyone else involved in this winner from Pixar knows that “It’s the story, stupid,” and they spent years getting it right. Building on the Mr. Mom concept, Elastigirl (aka Helen) takes a new job, so Mr. Incredible (aka Bob) must assume the Super Dad persona and cope with the 24-7 challenges of a teen daughter, faster-than-a-speeding-bullet son, and a multi-talented, fire-flaming, laser-vision, disappearing baby who defies the laws of physics. Be sure to see this intelligent, brilliantly animated, fun for everyone kind of movie about a family a lot like ours (well, maybe not exactly like ours but still instantly identifiable to any parent trying to decipher “New Math” homework with their kids).

4 pieces of Pixar is incredible toast 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13) 

Starring: Fred Rogers, Tom Junod, Joanne Rogers, Francois Clemons, Yo-Yo Ma

Directed by: Morgan Neville

I can’t imagine what Fred Rogers would think of our world today. The sweater and comfortable shoe-wearing children’s TV icon used his avuncular, calming voice and persona to share values which he thought of as Christian, but are much more universal—kindness, empathy, tolerance, dignity, willingness to accept other ideas, insatiable curiosity and quest for knowledge, tackling difficult issues head-on, and, most of all, being an all around nice person. To misquote the old Alka-Seltzer commercial, “Oh, what a relief he is.”

4 pieces of where’s the nice guys today toast

Tag (R)

Starring: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb

Directed by: Jeff Tomsic

Inspired by a story that must be true since it appeared in the Wall Street Journal, this light-hearted look at extended adolescence involves a group of high school buddies who still play tag with each other well into adulthood. Whoever gets “tagged” just before midnight each May 31st, has to “wear the shame” of this until he can pass it on a year later. This time, the target is a guy getting married whose buddies travel to the wedding with elaborate schemes directed against the supposedly hapless groom. The over the top “tagging” sequences are the only reason to see the movie, and the ensemble cast is great in the slow-mo slapstick, Unfortunately, the rest of the script includes a tasteless running joke about miscarriages, and is studded with F-bombs.

2  pieces of wait until you can fast-forward everything except the “tag-you’re it” bits toast 

Gotti (R) 

Starring: John Travolta, Spencer Rocco Lofranco, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Stacey Keach, Kelly Preston, Ella Blu Travolta

Directed by: Kevin Connolly

Based on a son’s memoir about John Gotti (aka Dapper Dan) the tabloid-dubbed “Godfather” of the Gambino Family crime syndicate, this movie is a complete mess. Travolta, wearing a ton of silly-putty makeup, attempts to channel Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone—except the slices of orange peel keep slipping around in his mouth. The script is filled with Italian mobsters, Irish cops, money-grubbing wives, slippery lawyers, and every single one is a burlesque-stage stereotype. The problem may stem from the fact that 44 producers are listed in the credits, and not one of them had the sense to say “This stinks!”

1/2 piece of there’s lots of nothing crammed into this 105 minutes toast

Comments? E-mail gilmansergh@comcast.net