Movie reviews: new for June 3

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  • neon movies
  • Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart in Future Crimes

Future Crimes **1/2

It’s been a good 20 years since David Cronenberg has done anything of that quintessentially old-school Cronenbergian style, full of weird world-building and unsettling body horror. It’s sure to please his oldest fans, while also reminding me that I like Cronenberg best when he adds a little more humanity to his outrageousness. In the undetermined future, humans have lost the ability to feel pain, while some individuals have begun to grow unusual new organs, individuals like Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), who teams up with his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) to unravel the mysteries of his body. in performance art. Cronenberg fills the scene with bureaucrats (Don McKellar and Kristen Stewart) monitoring these changes in human development, and an activist (Scott Speedman) encouraging new flesh, and it’s all pretty weird when the story revels in stuff like a ” breakfast chair” made of bone. But the social satire isn’t particularly well thought out, drifting between the aftermath of environmental collapse and a word-so-stated subtext of “surgery as new sex” that allows for plenty of horny cases. I’m not saying it’s not fun enough to just let the madness – like Stewart’s nervously nervous performance – overwhelm you. It just comes across as superficially transgressive rather than a disconcerting food for thought, the kind of thing a 79-year-old veteran should have gotten out of his system by now. Available June 3 in theaters. (R)

Eiffel **1/2
I’m not convinced that the two parts of director/co-writer Martin Bourboulon’s story really work together, even if they’re quite effective individually. From the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower to the Paris Expo in 1889, we look back three years to the widowed engineer Gustave Eiffel (Romain Duris) – already famous for his work on the Statue of Liberty – who postulated to create the work that will be the Expo exhibition. master piece. At the same time, he reconnects with Adrienne (Emma Mackey), an old flame who broke his heart some 20 years earlier and who is now married. Another level of flashback explores this initial romance, though the story is most interesting during the 1886-1889 timeline as the tense triangle unfolds, with Bourboulon finding effective insertion shots of outstretched hands and even a menacing hustle. of a cup of tea. Meanwhile, there are some interesting things about the politics and logistics of the tower’s creation, combined with Eiffel’s unique vision for the tower as a national symbol, which makes it a feat not only of engineering, but of individual will. That these two stories seem to take place mostly in parallel is quite disappointing, despite the fact that the tragic love story generates some head, especially in a scene where Eiffel and Adrienne share a dance. The historical drama adds some interesting details, but the whole package doesn’t have the same kind of precise construction design that Eiffel would have demanded. Available June 3 in theaters. (NR)

Fire Island ***
See feature review. Available June 3 via Hulu. (R)

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Hasan Majuni and Amin Simiar in Hit the Road - KINO LORBER FILMS

  • Films Kino Lorber
  • Hasan Majuni and Amin Simiar in Take the road

Take the road ***1/2

Ah, the family road trip – that rite of passage that guarantees almost everyone will drive themselves crazy in the end. Writer/director Panah Panahi, son of legendary Iranian director Jafar Panahi, takes that basic notion and turns it into one of the most heartbreaking dramas of the year. Older son Farid (Amin Simiar) drives the car carrying his father (Hasan Majuni), mother (Pantea Panahiha) and younger brother (Rayan Sarlak), but it soon becomes clear that this is not just a carefree family outing ; they head to the border to smuggle Farid, released on bail for an unspecified offence, out of Iran. Very occasionally, Panahi introduces elements that suggest a suspense thriller about whether the family will escape detection, but that’s not really the goal here. Instead, it’s about a family dealing with the typical chaos of a long journey stuck together, especially when a nervous child is involved, all underpinned by the realization that this will likely be their last time together. The performances are sensational, especially Majuni’s as the grumpy dad, who shines in a hilarious but charming scene by a river, trying to give Farid some last words of wisdom. It’s poignant, insightful, and funnier than almost any conventional comedy you’ll find. Available June 3 at Broadway Center Cinemas; June 10 via (NR)

Hollywood Stargirl ***
Sounds more than a bit like a self-criticism of 2020 star girl feature when Stargirl Caraway (Grace VanderWaal) responds to the storyline premise outlined by aspiring screenwriter Evan (Elijah Richardson) by observing the relationship between the female lead and the male lead, “So she’s only in the story only to help her?” Evan counters that “she has her own story to tell,” and it sounds like a similar fix to the original adaptation of Jerry Spinelli’s novel, which focuses on a troubled boy who falls for an eccentric girl. Here, Stargirl and her mother (Judy Greer) move from Arizona to California, and Stargirl tries to bond in her new town. Julia Hart returns as director and co-writer (with husband Jordan Horowitz), now fully committed to making Stargirl a fully realized character dealing with melancholy and loneliness, which VanderWaal captures without completely abandoning Stargirl’s idiosyncrasies. Of course, she also serves as a muse for others – not just Evan and his brother Terrell (Tyrel Jackson Williams), but a grumpy neighbor (Judd Hirsch) and former singer-songwriter (Uma Thurman) – and it shows. sometimes as a bit of a showcase for VanderWaal’s musical talents as well as a narrative. But Hart has a firm grip on restrained, engaging performances and building this sequel to determine who Stargirl is on her own without being a device in someone else’s story. Available June 3 via Disney+. (PG)

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story ***
Music documentaries can sometimes turn into blurry broadcast systems for performance footage, but directors Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern turn their exploration of the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival into a mini-lesson in its city’s fascinating history. host and his music. There’s the history of the festival itself, of course, with founder George Wein and festival director Quint Davis on hand to provide details of its origins from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, its first incarnation in 1971, and how the 2005 festival helped inspire hope after Hurricane Katrina. We’re also getting plenty of interviews from participating artists at the 50th festival of 2019, and it can start to feel a bit fragmented when everyone from Ellis Marsalis to Jimmy Buffett to Pitbull makes you wonder what it really means. the “jazz” part of the festival title. And that’s where we learn a lot about the Big Easy’s place as a cultural melting pot, the unique musical forms that have emerged from it, and why everything from funk to hip-hop to gospel can be part of it. from the same artistic family tree. As musician David Shaw says of New Orleans, “It’s not a music business city; it’s music Culture city,” and understanding why that’s the case—all while reveling in great music—makes the film, like the festival, about the whole city as much as anyone on stage. Available June 3 in theaters. (PG-13)

Observer **1/2
Thanks to writer/director Chloe Okuno for choosing not to do another one of those “it’s about trauma” psychological horror thrillers, but despite tapping into something primitive about the experience of being a woman in this world, she kind of fluffs the landing. Maika Monroe plays Julia, who moves to Bucharest for work for her husband Francis (Karl Glusman), unable to speak Romanian and with no particular plan for how to spend her days. She soon finds too much time spent worrying about the man who appears to be watching her from an apartment window across the street, and possibly even following her around town. It would indeed be a bold move in 2022 for Julia to simply be hysterical and paranoid, so clearly something is going on. That leaves most of the burden of the film’s success on Monroe’s performance and Okuno’s ability to evoke a sense of free-floating dread, and both do an effective job of conveying what it’s like to live in a perpetual state of anxiety that anyone might want. to hurt you, when the world around you doesn’t even speak the same language. Once it’s time for the script to answer questions, however, it’s considerably less intriguing and quite confusing as to the nature and motivations of its antagonist. Observer finds fertile artistic ground in gender-based violence; he just doesn’t know how to harvest what he has planted. Available June 3 in theaters. (R)

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