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is best enjoyed by disconnecting your logic circuits and just enjoying the pretty colors and sounds. (Sherilyn Connelly)
MEASURE OF A MAN By shifting events in Robert Lipsyte’s One Fat Summer from the 1950s to 1976, screenwriter David Scearce adds new layers of poignancy
to the young-adult novel’s end-of-an-era narrative. There’s the economics of a single-income middle-class family being able to afford several months vacation
in a modest lakeside cabin, a luxury that would soon be out of reach for midlevel white-collar workers like Marty Marks (Luke Wilson), even if they’re prudent with investments. Scearce (A Single Man) primarily explores cultural shifts through the perception of Bobby Marks (Blake Cooper), an overweight 14-year-old trying to hide his body — and himself — during a revealing summer in the tube-top era. Everyone around him seems to glide eas- ily through life, while he feels the effort of every step. Bobby ponders how to assert his individuality while searching for a trustworthy authority figure, a role filled by his demanding employer Dr. Kahn, played with deliciously prim rectitude by Donald Sutherland. Director Jim Loach (Oranges and Sunshine) takes an egalitar- ian approach by making other changes — homemaker Lenore Marks (Judy Greer) attending law school, teenager Michelle Marks (Liana Liberato) testing sexual boundaries — into notable storylines,
not just background for Bobby’s coming of age. Loach even turns a humane eye on Bobby’s bully, Willie Rumson (Beau Knapp), who resents that his family’s for- mer property is now owned by “summer people.” Loach relies too heavily on pop songs and voice-over narration for emo- tional substance, which is already there in the low-key, perceptive performances. The portentously titled Measure of a Man is at once an escapist fantasy and sensi- tive portrait of adolescent transforma- tion. (Serena Donadoni)
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR We can say this much for Thanos. For the greatest vil- lain in all the universe — a tyrant whose chin might be lumps of grape mashed potatoes scored with a fork to resemble Devil’s Tower — he’s got some ideas that aren’t all that bad: He aims to blink away half the population of existence. When he announced this, not too long into Avengers: Infinity War, I admit to think-
ing about the film’s running time and daydreaming that he might vacate his as- teroid lair for the editing bay. Infinity War does claim a body count, the specifics of which, I’m happy to report, fans probably won’t guess. As the third Avengers film, it has an air of senior year about it: There are some drearily solemn speeches,
but you’ll remember the blowouts, and there’s plenty of time to wonder which of these faces you’ll see again. This epic, the first of two final Avengers films, finds the Class of ’12 — the core Avengers — getting together for one last rager, joined by select newbies and spazzes from
the ranks of sophomores. The biggest surprise here is that much of Infinity War fairly zips along, as directors Joe and
Anthony Russo and their armies of previz teams and editors cut between dozens of competing characters and cliffhangers. The second biggest surprise, after many spectacular faceoffs and showdowns,
is the ending, about which I’ll just say this: I didn’t see it coming — literally. I thought there must still be half an hour of fighting to go. What higher praise can one give a movie that takes all day than, “I got caught up enough that I didn’t no- tice how much day it had taken”? (Alan Scherstuhl)
DISOBEDIENCE While Sebastian Lelio’s Foreign-Language Oscar win for A Fantastic Woman this year marked him
as a Hollywood hot prospect, his first English-language film, Disobedience, was actually already nearing completion by the time he accepted the trophy. Starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, Disobedience is an adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name, about a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish com- munity and the prodigal daughter who returns to poke holes in its way of life. Co- written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida), Lelio’s interpretation of the text is a light-handed drama with hazy stakes and only flashes of the enigmatic tension he so fully realized in his last film. Here, the director attempts to give three charac- ters their own separate little movies, but each is given too little room. Weisz plays Ronit, a New York photographer who’s called back to the U.K. and the commu- nity she left long ago when her religious leader father dies. But before Ronit actually shows up at the doorstep of her old friends Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and Esti (McAdams), she mourns her father in her own way in New York in a quick succession of buzzy, dreamlike mo- ments. When the Orthodox community cautiously welcomes Ronit in to mourn her father, Lelio gives us a glimmer of
her potential to blow their world apart with a wryly humorous dinner scene, where the wild child challenges both the women and the men in their patriarchal beliefs. But Lelio soon switches focus to Esti, who’s attracted only to women — an orientation that’s obviously verboten in this community. As a whole, the film is directionless, with few individual char- acter-study scenes making it compelling enough. (April Wolfe)
OVERBOARD There’s a simple reason that the plot of Overboard sounds like the sort of over-the-top, highly implausible, downright cruel and unscrupulous stuff you’d see in some wrongheaded comedy from the ’80s. The new Overboard is
a gender-swapped reimagining of the 1987 comedy of the same name, the one where a stuck-up heiress (Goldie Hawn) suffers amnesia and gets convinced
by a vengeful carpenter (Kurt Russell) that she’s a blue-collar wife and mother. Overboard in 2018 is mainly a vehicle for its star-producer, Eugenio Derbez. Just as in Instructions Not Included and How to Be a Latin Lover, Derbez goes the playboy route. He’s Leonardo Montenegro, the spoiled-rotten bad boy of a rich Mexican family who literally tosses Kate Sullivan (Anna Faris), a pizza-delivering, carpet- cleaning, single mom of three, off his
yacht when she refuses to serve him a mango. Karma, of course, hits Leonardo like a mofo when he falls off the boat.
He ends up washed up ashore with no recollection of who he is. Kate’s best gal pal (Eva Longoria) persuades Kate to convince Leonardo they’re husband and wife and to take him home so he can help out around the house. At their core, both Overboards are traditional rich-person- learns-how-to-be-a-real-person farces, the type of films Frank Capra and Preston Sturges used to direct in their sleep. But that premise is hopelessly jacked up. Faris is too likable a presence to despise no matter who she’s playing, but Kate
is essentially committing kidnapping and, later, when wife and husband get conjugal, rape. Still, Derbez displays an amusing, almost neurotic vulnerability that reminds me of Gene Wilder back in his prime. (Craig D. Lindsey)
GO A QUIET PLACE “It’s Sound!” screams a briefly glimpsed newspaper headline flapping in the wind at the start of actor-director John Krasinski’s marvelously tense, surprisingly melan- choly horror thriller, A Quiet Place. That headline is no longer news to the family of five we meet, communicating via sign language, smiles and, when a toy nearly crashes to the floor, looks of pure terror. A tragic prologue sets the ground rules for this desolate new America: Make any sort of sharp, unexpected sound and a mantis-like alien creature will zoom out of nowhere to swoop you away to an instant, grisly death. A year later, that family has settled on a vast wheat farm, living in the basement of the main house and the barn’s fruit cellar. The mother (Emily Blunt) — the characters are never named — is pregnant, due
in three weeks, and while she and her husband (Krasinski) never discuss the question the impending arrival raises, moviegoers aren’t likely to stop worry- ing over it: In a life that must be lived
in silence, how do you manage a crying baby? The answer is ingenious, like so many of the survival tactics engineered by the father, who has hooked up sur- veillance cameras and strung holiday lights all across the farm, which will turn out to have a color scheme of special significance. A Quiet Place is Krasinski’s third film as director but feels like the work of an old pro who has been newly inspired. It’s completely gripping, and in a film fully reliant on facial communica- tion, exquisitely acted by those amazing kids, and by Krasinski and Blunt, who’ve never been better (and who also hap- pen to be married in real life). (Chuck Wilson)
Michael R. Roskam’s The Racer and
the Jailbird is a kind of contemporary Shakespearean romantic tragedy, with the Flemish as the Montagues and the wealthy French as the Capulets. Romeo and Juliet tales of star-crossed lovers from different worlds are timeless, for sure, but this one, about a rich young woman who drives race cars and inex- plicably falls in love with a bank robber with a heart of gold, never reveals its why now? or raison d’etre. Matthias
Schoenaerts plays Gigi, a Flemish gangster who was driven to crime by a poor upbringing and churlish friends. He meets young Bibi (Adele Exarchopoulos) after she emerges from a race car, takes off her helmet and shakes out
her hair like some motor sport angel of light. Gigi asks Bibi for a date in exactly two weeks. And Bibi asks that Gigi not bring her flowers, signifying that she’s
a “cool girl” who can drive cars real fast and take shots and definitely won’t nag when Gigi disappears for a week on a bank job. Bibi is in for a treat if she’s at- tracted to misery, because not a single thing that happens after this first date could ever be considered the least bit happy. This is melodrama, after all, but borderline boring melodrama, painting over scenes of potentially high tension with blasé realism. Still, Schoenaerts and Exarchopoulos exhibit the kind of empathetic, in-sync performances that legitimize onscreen romances, almost selling why Bibi would throw her life away to be with a man who incessantly lies to her. Had Roskam focused more fully on these two, the narrative might not have gotten stuck in the mud of confusing and unnecessary side plots. (April Wolfe)
GO TULLY Following Juno (2007) and Young Adult (2011), Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman complete their trilogy of self-delusion with Tully, a gently sardonic look at a 40-year-old woman who finds herself in a cluttered house, with a clueless spouse, preparing to have a
third child. The staid suburbia Marlo (Charlize Theron) inhabits is defined not by conformity but by all that’s left unsaid. This deliberate silence can be played
for laughs, such as when her boring husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), tries
to describe his number-crunching job and no one can muster enough interest to get a decent explanation out of him. But everyone functions as if not utter-
ing words like postpartum depression
or autism spectrum will keep their fears from being realized. Marlo sinks further into isolation after the birth of Mia, her maternity leave succinctly rendered on- screen as a groaning cycle of fatigue with contrapuntal onesie snaps. The arrival
of night nurse Tully (Mackenzie Davis),
a ghostly figure tapping on the textured glass of their modest middle-class house, signals a shift in Marlo’s perception. She doesn’t know what to make of this boho caregiver in high-waisted jeans and crop top, bubbling with enthusiasm and ready to dive into Marlo’s life. Tully soon be- comes a confidante and sounding board, the kind of supportive female friend this overextended working mom didn’t realize she’d been missing. Cody often employs a third-act surprise, but with Tully she reveals a downright Shyamalanian ca- pacity for alienating an audience with a major plot twist. She takes the calculated risk that viewers will treat the story of
a woman re-evaluating her life with the same seriousness as a mathematician tackling an unsolvable equation — and it works. (Serena Donadoni)
May 15th and 16th 12:30pm and 2:30pm
Landmark Regent - 1045 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
May 17th and 18th 12:30pm and 2:30pm
Landmark Regent - 1045 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
| | LA WEEKLY // May 11 - 17, 2018 //

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