Movie reviews: new releases for October 1


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  • Sony Pictures
  • Venom: let there be carnage

The Addams Family 2 **

Full Disclosure: I haven’t seen the 2019 movie that kicked off this animated franchise version of Charles Addams’ often-portrayed cartoon family. Still, I feel pretty comfortable, given that the material relies on individual gags of dark, incongruous humor, I haven’t missed anything crucial to understanding this story, which centers around family – Gomez ( Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Mercredi (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton) —taking vacations across the country to dodge someone claiming Wednesday didn’t is not in fact a biological parent. It puts this story squarely in the realm of other coming-of-age family stories based on a youngster wanting to distance himself from his family, which is just one of many ways. Addam 2 feels cut from a familiar fabric. The animation’s energy level remains high throughout, but the jokes are thin and obvious, with occasional two-way or pop culture references to let adults feel there’s something going on for them. . “The extra ‘d’ in Addams means ‘different,'” Gomez notes at one point, but given how much it feels like plugging a bunch of familiar characters into a 21st century CGI-animated feature formula, it’s is more like you I’ve seen it before even though you haven’t seen it The Addams Family 1 before. Available October 1 in theaters and on VOD. (PG)

Love at first sight for the Figaro **
What if you put all the basic elements of a romantic comedy together, but forget to include personalities for the characters? Veteran director Ben Lewin is co-credited for the screenplay (with newcomer Allen Palmer) on Millie Cantwell (Danielle Macdonald), an American fund manager for a London financial firm who is giving up her cushy job to pursue her dream of being opera singer. Leaving her boyfriend (Shazad Latif) behind, she travels to a small Scottish village to study with retired diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (Joanna Lumley), and confronts Meghan’s only other student, Max (Hugh Skinner) ). The premise sets up a number of potential conflicts – Millie as a fish out of water; the challenges of Meghan’s abrasive teaching style, all of which would have required giving participants a minimum of depth. But Millie is impatient and kind with no rough edges to sand, Meghan’s irascibility comes with no real information about her past, and Max’s own ambitions remain completely unexplored. Even the inevitable burgeoning romance between Millie and Max, while laudable for making tall Millie an object of desire, feels like it pops up out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly. Until the Big Competition which will mark the climax, it’s a good-natured movie full of genre signifiers that never does the job of blackmailing those signifiers… well, sing it. Available October 1 in theaters and on VOD. (NR)

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Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guilty - NETFLIX

  • Netflix
  • Jake Gyllenhaal in the guilty

The Culprit *** 1/2

A uniquely set claustrophobic drama can find plenty of ways not to feel like a filmed play, and one of them is having a dynamic central performance to anchor it. Adapting a 2018 Danish film, director Antoine Fuqua and screenwriter Nic Pizzolato tell the story of Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), an LAPD officer working on 911 while on suspension from active duty for an initially unspecified reason. On his last scheduled party, Joe receives a call from Emily (Riley Keough), a woman claiming to have been kidnapped by her ex-husband (Peter Sarsgaard), which prompts Joe to embark on an obsessive quest to save her. Framing the story during a series of wildfires in Southern California raises the stakes and provides plausible obstacles to Joe’s efforts, while Fuqua does an effective job of creating tension from unsettling moments. which take place entirely at the end of a phone call from Joe. Most of the time, however, Fuqua accentuates the work of Gyllenhaal, which captures a certain type of police mindset – titled, narrowly hurt, and totally convinced he’s always right – that oozes from his pores even when ‘he doesn’t shout threats at someone. It’s a huge job explaining how Joe isn’t necessarily the right guy in this piece, which makes it a bit disappointing that Pizzolato’s adaptation leaves him a little off the hook. The ugliest side of Joe Baylor – and Gyllenhaal’s ability to manifest it – is what makes 90 Electric Minutes. Available October 1 via Netflix. (R)

The music of Jesus ***
You might fear that a documentary on the 50-year history of contemporary Christian music is just great preaching – and yes, there is a lot of it – but it’s also a surprisingly insightful and broad look at a rarely reported component of the American music industry. The faithful of Christian cinema The Erwin brothers (I can only imagine) start from the early 1970s Calvary Chapel “hippie church” in Southern California and the introduction of counter-culture generation components into the formula of traditional church music. From there, they tackle a wide range of genres with practitioners embracing Christian themes, from the bubbly 1980s pop of Amy Grant and hair-metal of Stryper, to the hip-hop of DC Talk and Kirk. Franklin. The Talking Heads provide insight with much more than a gee-whiz perspective, speaking honestly about their own individual failures and challenges of the wider Christian community: hysterical criticism of Christian rock as a wolf menace in sheep’s clothing; moral dismissal of artists who stumble; permanent segregation between white and black Christian churches. Although the last 25 minutes wander around a bit trying to bring everything home on an upbeat note, along the way you will have a perspective not only on those who celebrate God by singing, but how often their obstacles do not come. of the secular world, but of those who should be most receptive to the message. Available October 1 in theaters. (PG-13)

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Agathe Rousselle in Titane - NEON FILMS

  • Neon Movies
  • Agathe Rousselle in Titanium

Titan *** 1/2

After 2016 Raw and this honored feature film at Cannes, screenwriter / director Julia Ducournau monopolizes the market on a brand of provocative body horror entangled with the consequences of traumatic childhood experiences. A prologue shows how preteen Alexia survives a car crash and ends up with a metal plate in her skull (“titanium” is French for “titanium”); In her thirties, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) works as a model in car shows, showing strange and perhaps violent predilections. It’s best to stay vague on what follows, as the consequences of Alexia’s actions lead her to some desperate choices, and she finds herself entangled in the life of firefighter Vincent (Vincent Lindon). But Ducournau uses his crazy premise to explore a host of complicated subjects: notions of masculinity; how and when the “avenging angel” trope goes too far; what it looks like when a parent truly loves a child unconditionally. And she manages to do it in a way that is often embellished with touches of improbable dark humor, in addition to the gloriously bizarre imagery of Ruben Impens cinematography. At least one more viewing might be needed to really find out if Ducournau nails her metaphors on sexual and gender fluidity, or if she perhaps tries to cover too much thematic ground. It’s much clearer that this is a filmmaker with a lot of things on her mind and some weirdly exciting ways to share them. Available October 1 in theaters. (R)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage ** 1/2
Does the fool “The Incredible Hulk by means of All of me“Energy of the Venom filming a welcome change of pace from the cookie-cutter professionalism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies? Sure, but that’s not exactly the same as saying they’re “good” movies. Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock, the San Francisco reporter inhabited by a symbiotic alien consciousness, and who inadvertently creates a rival beast called Carnage when serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) tastes his infected blood. It’s hard not to recognize that you are in the presence of something unique once Hardy and Harrelson begin to engage in a performance contraction for the ages with the screen barely able to contain their readings of. crooked lines. And that’s pretty funny for a while, especially in a skinny 90-minute narrative that treats the alien exposure as … well, like an unwelcome alien symbiote. Eventually, however, it all comes down to a massive showdown between our two monsters, and director Andy Serkis – experienced though the Gollum actor can relate to tormented divided psyches – can’t get anything interesting out of the crash-bang. boom in its action rhythms. As long as Let there be carnage focuses on Eddie / Venom as an old bickering couple, or a precarious Venom holding a court at a rave, it’s at least weirdly fun in a way that another big comic book finale seems unable to deliver. Available October 1 in theaters. (PG-13)


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