Lew's Movie Reviews

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IN THEATERS

 

BFG

@

Brilliant in Bridge of Spies, MarkRylance comes back to earth as the voice of a Big Friendly Giant.  Using a bizarre accent The BFG put me to sleep in short order.  I woke up once and thought I saw Penelope Wilton, but I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until the credits were rolling.  (2015). 

Finding Dory

***

I guess I'm getting tired of sitting through boring stories about cartoon characters touted as okay for adults.  This is probably as good as it gets in terms of voices and animation, but they don't make up for the fact that this is a kid's movie. (2015)

Deepwater Horizon

****

Even though you know what's going to happen, this one keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I have spoken to a number of peop;le who worked in the offshore industry and they assure me that the scenes on the rig were very realistic.  John Malkovich has a small but memorable turn as an industrial slimy guy. (2016)

Lion

****

This is a very good film based on a true story.  Two Indian brothers ages five and eight go to the local railway station.  The older brother orders the younger to wait for him.  When he didn't return right away, the younger finds a place to take a nap. Unfortunately the place is on a freight train which leaves before he wakes up.  When he is able to get off, the train has gone to Calcutta, a thousand KM from home.  The rest of the movie is about his attempt to find a way home.  Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman head a fine cast in this noteworthy docudrama.  If you go, make sure you stay to see the credits. (2016)

Miss Sloane

**

I felt as if I was trapped in a two hour episode of HBO's Newaroom with faces different but everything else the same.  If you are a fan of the TV show you will love this movie.  If not, pass it up.   It is easy to identify the bad guys - they are the older white guys wearing suits and supporting the NRA.  The good guys are women and minorities who don't like guns.  (2016)

Snowden

****

There are two movies about the Snowden saga.  One is called Citizen Four.  It is a documentary and dead boring.  This later film is a docudrama.  Usually I prefer the real thing, but this time the made up dialog and Hollywood actors are more interesting.  In both versions the unanswered question is this - was Snowden a traitor or a hero? (2016)

Tower

****

The 1966 sniper attack from the University of Texas at Austin Tower is documented in this interesting film.  The combination of archival material, animation, and interviews with some of the survivors is unique and effective.  There were a lot of heroes that day. Innocent by-standers and police officers risked there own lives by entering the plaza and moving badly injured victims to safety. (2016)

- chick flick alert

  @ -  Ambien (sleep inducing)

DVD/HBO/NETFLIX/MFAH

Watermarks

 @@

Unless you go to film festivals, you should have no difficulty in missing this enervating environmental screed.  Ostensibly a depiction of how we humans are squandering our water resources, the film features long spells of dirty water flowing and a dam under construction in China.  The five star system doesn't  work well for movies like this one so I am starting a supplemental ranking symbol - the Ambien (@).  Watermark has the sleep-inducing power of two Ambiens. (2016)

Welcome to Leith

****

Shown on PBS' Independent Lens.  A very small town (24 residents) in North Dakota is threatened when a group of neo-nazis starts moving in.  All of the local folks work together to stop the incursion of the white supremist group.  This is a documentary that really works well.  The interviews of the antagonists are are effective, the story line is developed well, the ending is not predictable, the background music is not intrusive.  (2016)

 

- chick flick alert

*           waste of time and money
**          coming soon to HBO
***        worth a trip to the neighborhood cinema
****      worth a trip across town
*****    don't miss