Some very different genres hit our screens this week.
MY TOP PICKS TO SEE
Top of the list is THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. I’ve just been to see this and will post my review very shortly. Variety’s Andrew Barker: Director Josh Boone is hardly the most distinctive cinematic stylist, but he’s smart enough to let his scenes linger for a few beats longer than most mainstream directors would, and seems to trust his actors to carry their own dramatic weight.
In a very different genre, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in the action sci-fi EDGE OF TOMORROW. An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy. The trailers look intriguing and the average ratings from public and critics are high. This one is definitely on my list to see. The Dissolve’s Keith Phipps: Edge Of Tomorrow’s finale can’t live up to what’s come before, though that’s mostly because what comes before is so rich and unusual, particularly in the middle of a summer blockbuster season that doesn’t always value richness or novelty.
OTHERS TO SEE
If you are lucky enough to be near a cinema showing OMAR then check it out. A young Palestinian freedom fighter agrees to work as an informant after he’s tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier’s killing. New York Post’s Farran Smith Nehme: Omar eventually becomes a sun-scorched neo-noir – and the fade-out is an unforgettable jolter.
If you are interested in cycling you might be interested in RISING FROM ASHES. ’Rising from Ashes is a feature length documentary about the first Rwandan national cycling team in their bid to make history and represent their country at the 2012 Olympics. Competing in a white man’s sport, reserved for the privileged, a rag tag group of cyclists coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France, are transformed into a powerful symbol of hope for a country recovering from one of the world’s most devastating genocides.’ (Anonymous) New York Daily News’s Joe Neumaier: Filmed over six years, “Ashes” is joyous and uplifting, full of spirit, memorable athletes (including Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti) and remarkable achievements, both big and small.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: HIM and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: HER are two movies that tells a story that reveals both perspectives of a couple finding their own paths to rebuild their lives and their love. Intriguing but I do wonder whether the idea will work in practice.
One movie to avoid this week is GRACE OF MONACO. It’s the story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly’s crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and France’s Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s. It’s been universally rated low. Give it a miss! HitFix: A hilariously ham-handed attempt to dig beneath the Kelly mystique, only to find further foil-wrapped layers of mystique beneath. Well, maybe not mystique so much as a perfumed blankness.
That’s it for this week. See you at the movies!