TAYLOR SWIFT: ERAS TOUR
**** The elusive goddess jumping into the sea of light. A flamboyant dancer in a shiny jacket. Soulful sadness sitting at a flower-painted piano. In less than three fleeting hours, the filmed version of Taylor Swift’s career-defining tour reflects her countless creative personalities and the boundless sincerity that unites them. Filmed from three August shows at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Eras Tour simultaneously intimate and galactic. Holding illuminated phones, the audience becomes a starry screen onto which Swift appears to project all her feelings—challenge, joy, regret, faith. It’s fun to watch her revel in her power (especially when she kisses one of her biceps before singing “The Man”), but she doesn’t force us into submission with her fame. Although the performance requires a truckload of props (bikes! Umbrellas!), Swift always returns to the dark and glittery stage, baring her heart on tender songs like “My Tears Ricochet” and “All Too Well.” For what it’s worth, coming from a non-Swiftie, I think what makes her cool is her persistent uncoolness. She is to music what James Cameron is to film: an artist impervious to irony, whose unflinching earnestness drowns out the cynical noise of pop culture. Sam Wrench (ur.Billie Eilish: Live at the O2) directed Eras Tour, but Swift is planning her own movie for Searchlight Pictures, which seems inevitable and necessary. Cinema, like the world itself, needs it. NO. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Empirical Theatre, Fox Tower, Joy Cinema, The Living Room, Lloyd Center, Pioneer Place, St. John’s Twin, Studio One, Milwaukee’s Wonderland.
SHE CAME TO ME
****It is impossible to describe the plot She came to me— a moody opera composer (Peter Dinklage) falls in love with a lusty tugboat captain (Marissa Tomei) — although it doesn’t sound like a joke. Yet somehow, writer-director Rebecca Miller finds genuine emotion amidst the joyful absurdity, creating a tender romantic drama with some acidic twists. Looking dapper under a bushy goatee, Dinklage plays Steven, whose work-in-progress is marred by a “time block.” Treatment? Captain Carina Trento, whose terrifying sexual prowess inspires him to write an opera about the murderous axe-wielding siren of the high seas. Weaving a web of mythical coincidences, Miller intertwines the romance of Katrina and Stephen (he is married to Patricia (Anne Hathaway), a therapist) with the plot of two young lovers (Evan Ellison and Harlow Jane) separated by formal charges of rape by a racist. stenographer (Brian d’Arcy James). Parts She came to me as noisy as Miller’s Maggie’s plan (2015), not least Patricia’s funny and touching quest to become a nun. Planhowever, he was cheerful and mocking, whereas She came to me – a sincere compatriot who loves true love, be it bright and young or weathered and real. The climactic escape aboard the tugboat Katrina feels like something out of the ordinary. A dream in a summer nightand like the Bard, Miller (yes, she’s Arthur’s daughter) reveals humanity through flights of fancy. Are we all just composers and captains looking for love? If so, then we really liked the joke. R. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Fox Tower.
***Music video director Grant Singer makes feature film debut Reptile, a crime thriller he co-wrote with Benjamin Brewer and Benicio del Toro. After a real estate agent is brutally murdered, veteran detective Tom Nichols (del Toro) is drawn into an investigation involving the realtor’s sleazy boyfriend, her mysterious husband and other nefarious characters. Reptile The film is a little long and sluggish at 136 minutes, but Singer unfolds the story with confidence and a David Fincher vibe. The performances are all well cast, from Justin Timberlake as a smug real estate agent to Michael Pitt as a creepy suspect who is clearly a red herring. Yet it is del Toro who rises above the more familiar aspects of the film, delivering a masterfully restrained performance. He and Alicia Silverstone (who plays Tom’s wife, Judy) make a believable couple, and Tom’s little quirks allow del Toro to be playful at times (one joke about Tom wanting a new kitchen sink is a great touch). In the end, Reptile gets messy and leaves some storylines unfinished, but Singer’s film is an impressively cohesive and slippery procedural. R. Daniel Rester. Netflix.
*** Director Kitty Green’s sequel to her acclaimed #MeToo office drama. Assistant (2020) is on full display during the first scene with the bartender. Two young women – American tourists who say they are Canadian – share drinks on their first night in a remote Australian mining bar. In Green’s hyper-observant style, it’s a disturbing ecosystem: leather men shout dirty jokes, fight, leer, scream for booze from all 270 degrees of the bar counter. Hannah and Liv (Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick) also live above the pub. They’re really not in Kansas, uh, Canada anymore. As subsequent scenes showcase the local charm and vastness of the desert, Greene plays with genre as much as her audience does. It’s coming soon Australian Chainsaw Massacre? Or wait, no…Eat Pray Love? However, this spectrum depends on Hannah and Liv’s fluctuating sense of security. Royal Hotel constantly notes how the bar owner (Hugo Weaving) does and does not promote the safety of his employees. One drunken night’s ally becomes the next night’s ally, and Liv can bask in the rage 24/7 while Hannah’s discomfort shrinks even further. After all, there is no chainsaw, but the onslaught of a threat – tangible, perceived, what difference does it make at a certain point? – frying all your nerve endings in the red dust of the outback. R. SOLEM-PFEIFFER CHANCE. Bridgeport, Downtown, Lake Theater, Living Room.
*** Georgie (Lola Campbell) is doing just fine on her own. Secretly living alone after the death of her mother, a 12-year-old girl cleans out her suburban London flat, taking out the rubbish and stealing bicycles to pay the rent. This sad state is made almost delightful by the energetic filmmaking and Georgie’s precocious but tenacious energy. IN ScrapersCampbell channels the con artist’s soul in ways not seen since teenage Kaitlyn Dever. Reasonablebut before neighbors and teachers discover Georgie is living unattended, her long-lost father Jason (Harris Dickinson of Triangle of Sadness fame) surfaced after years of partying in Ibiza. Georgie finds his reflection in his father – sometimes the same, sometimes the opposite. He may look like a football hooligan, but he shares Georgie’s work ethic and has a childish, eccentric sense of humor that brings out the dubious adult in his daughter. Scrapers Director Charlotte Regan, who hails from a working-class London background, effortlessly captures how the community wildly intersects in the shared spaces around their pastel, caramel-colored apartments. While the sudden detours into mockumentary, magical realism and observational aesthetics make it feel like she’s emptying a bag of styles in her feature debut, Regan still manages to succeed by empowering her actors, be they the stars of last year’s Palme d’Or. winner or 12 years old. NO. SOLEM-PFEIFFER CHANCE. Living room.
*** A little more than half an hour has passed, and I just want to think. Strange way of life an episode of an old Western quasi-anthology broadcast from an infinitely stranger universe. Commissioned by Saint Laurent, Pedro Almodóvar’s soulful, frothy fun bouquet could easily glide through familiar patterns with the droll grace of the seafoam-clad suede of Silva (Pedro Pascal) as he crosses paths with Sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke) for the first time. time since they expanded south of the border decades ago. Although Almodóvar famously refused to lead Brokeback Mountain Two decades ago, echoes of this film swirl around SWoLThe story of a heated reunion between aging gunslingers. Thankfully, the usual hesitations about social stigma and repressive barriers are blithely avoided in favor of genuine mano a mano passions fueling the climactic duels. At the Cannes premiere, Almodóvar teased that SWoL could serve as a prelude to a future feature film, but as charming as the main characters are, expanding the narrative further would almost certainly result in diminishing returns. As Jake foresaw years ago, even the most tempting connections between inherently incompatible partners can be too easily broken over time. R. JAY HORTON. Cinema 21.
** Funeral wants to be many things: a David vs. Goliath narrative reworked into a legal drama that’s also a buddy comedy, a commentary on the use of showmanship as a courtroom tactic, and a meditation on America’s third history with its own racist roots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stick to any one idea to make a satisfying watch. Based on the story of how flamboyant personal injury lawyer Willie Gary (Jamie Foxx) went beyond his knowledge to take on the case of Mississippi funeral home owner Jeremy O’Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) against the corporation that was trying to force him into bankruptcy . Funeral peppered with only fleeting moments of greatness. Foxx can herald and perform with the best of them, and there are strong supporting performances from Mamoudou Athie, Jurnee Smollett and Bill Camp, but Jones seems lost in the shuffle (his affection for the good old boy is so repressed that it robs him of his charm ). Meanwhile, Doug Wright and director Maggie Betts’ script never goes beyond passable – and its attempts to be anti-racist, while noble, can’t change the fact that the story should have focused more intensely on the predatory nature of capitalism and the value of community and solidarity being higher profit and power. Funeral is serious and emotional enough to appeal to many crowds, but ultimately ends up being a stale, stilted and formulaic trip down south. R. MORGAN CHAUNETTE. Amazon Prime.
DO NOT ANSWER
** Basic concept Don’t look away It’s simple enough: the killer mannequin kills anyone who breaks eye contact, apparently unable to move while someone is looking at it. Michaels (Bafaro and Mitton) directed, produced and wrote the film, and their best work falls into the former category. At its best Don’t look away it’s really creepy and scary; the mannequin is at its most frightening when it’s furthest away, but is still obnoxious enough that our grad school characters struggle to ignore it. Unfortunately, the dummy is most interesting mechanically, and Don’t look away doesn’t really delve into this at all, implying that his power can be undermined through the use of mirrors, but never clearly explains how or why. Much of the film follows the main character, Frankie, played by Kelly Bastard, who has an unsatisfactory relationship with her boyfriend, which almost, but not quite, becomes interesting when he is self-absorbedly convinced that the whole mannequin ordeal is due to her passive behavior. persistently tries to get away from him. The other characters are unfortunately too boring to have much emotional impact when they are inevitably killed off. NO. WILLIAM SCHWARTZ. On demand.