Things are very light on this week in relation to new cinema releases. Here goes…
MY TOP PICK TO SEE
PALO ALTO tells the story of shy, sensitive April who is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy. Emily, meanwhile, offers sexual favors to every boy to cross her path – including both Teddy and his best friend Fred, a live wire without filters or boundaries. As one high school party bleeds into the next – and April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual affection – Fred’s escalating recklessness starts to spiral into chaos. It doesn’t look like an outstanding movie, but according to Variety’s Peter Debruge, While Palo Alto doesn’t seem to be saying anything new exactly, it boasts a clear and confident voice of its own, and it will be exciting to see where the young Coppola goes from here.
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY has been advertised on our screens for ages! It’s finally here. The Kadam family clashes with Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, after they open their own nearby eatery, until undeniable chemistry causes the Madame to take gifted young chef Hassan under her wing. I’ve been to see it and I agree with the general public that it is an average movie – but enjoyable (my review will arrive soon!). The critics, generally, are not happy with this one. The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde says, It delivers the kind of sentimental sledgehammering I found myself willing to forgive – the presence of Helen Mirren goes a long way in that regard – but once the story goes off on a pointless tangent, the whole soufflé collapses.
Surprisingly, in the Maybe/Maybe Not category is THE EXPENDABLES 3. Barney Sylvester Stallone Stallone) augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates. I’ve generally enjoyed the stupidity of the previous iterations of this series. So may give it a go despite what Austin Chronicle’s Marjorie Baumgarten’s take on it: What the movie ultimately demonstrates is that the sum total is less than the individual parts when you add together Rocky, the Terminator, Indiana Jones, Mad Max, Blade, Zorro, Hercules, and the Transporter. We’ll see.
ONE TO AVOID
GOD’S NOT DEAD is about college philosophy professor Mr. Radisson’s curriculum which is challenged by his new student, Josh, who believes God exists. I will post my review of this one shortly, but The A.V. Club’s Todd VanDerWerff summarises it well: Even by the rather lax standards of the Christian film industry, God’s Not Dead is a disaster. Watch out for my more in-depth (but brief!) review!
That’s it for this week. See you at the movies!
NB: synopses of movies are adapted from IMDB. Opinions are mine unless quoted from cited sources.