Actor Alex Wolff (Hereditary) is having a big week. He stars in two of the three movies we’re looking at – Old and Pork. The other, Val, is a documentary about actor Val Kilmer. Three films, all with short titles, so we’ll keep this intro short as well.
Oscar-nominated writer and director M. Night Shyamalan has big storytelling problems. Since earning two Oscar nominations in 1999 for his horror thriller The sixth sensethe filmmaker, best known for his twisty endings, has earned a steady following of fans who enjoy his supernatural tales and will forgive him for some of the unassailable movies he’s made in the past like The last air Master, After Earth and The event. While Old don’t fall into those depths of cinematic infamy, it’s getting damn close. The film tells the story of a group of vacationers who find themselves on the other side of an island paradise where everyone seems to be aging at a breakneck pace. Shyamalan spends much of the film’s runtime fueling his audience’s theories about what the characters think is going on. His ambition as a screenwriter exceeds his execution. What Remains is a film built on complex ideas that crumble under their own weight. Old is currently playing in theaters. 1.5 out of 5 stars (not recommended)
Oscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) gives her best performance since the 2013 indie drama Joe. In Pork, Cage plays Rob, a truffle hunter and former chef who lives a secluded life in the wilderness with his truffle pig. The only real human interaction he gets is a weekly visit from a young businessman (Alex Wolff), who passes by Rob’s log cabin to buy the high-priced mushrooms. When the pig is stolen, however, Rob sets out to retrieve it. This means he must re-enter the culinary world he abruptly left years ago. Although Cage hasn’t been very selective with the movies he’s chosen these days, Pork is a unique independent project that allows him to deliver the kind of dark and poignant performance that we would all like to see more of. Pig is currently acting in the cinema. 3.5 stars out of 5 (recommended)
Actor Val Kilmer bravely opens up his life to the public to reveal the ups and downs of his career and the current health situation he faces after his battle with throat cancer. The documentary, created from years of footage Kilmer captured behind the scenes on movie sets and at home, is touching and hopeful. Although it sometimes seems a bit organized, it’s the kind of self-portrait that few Hollywood stars, or even regular people, would allow others to see. It is rare for individuals to publicly put themselves in such a vulnerable place. The fact that Kilmer embraces the idea is what makes Val— the man and the movie – so special. Val is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. 3.5 stars out of 5 (recommended)
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