Movie reviews: new releases for October 22


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  • 20th century workshops
  • Ron went wrong

13 Fanboy *

I guess one way to pay homage to the low budget slasher horror of the 1980s is to make a movie so sloppy that those other movies look brilliant in comparison. This is the story of an imitator who tracks down the actors of Friday 13 films – including co-writer / director Debora Voorhees (real name) in the film‘s prologue 13 years ago – focusing on “Scream Queen” Dee Wallace (playing herself) and granddaughter of Voorhees (Hayley Greenbauer) trying to stay alive. The premise presents an excuse for several cameos from former slasher students, with incongruous moments as Jason’s frequent portrait painter Kane Hodder receiving a full monologue. But unlike the Scream movies at their best, 13 Fanboy is terrible on its own as a serial killer thriller, with an excruciating edit that blunts every potentially interesting murder and a mix of murder motivations that don’t work at all in combination. Plus, you’ve got Corey Feldman as a shady producer allowed to over-act to a laughable degree. The Friday 13 The ‘quiz for your life’ game a victim is subjected to briefly suggests that this could have been an attack on toxic fan cultures, instead of just another cheap and unnecessarily violent piece of genre hacking. Available October 22 via and in theaters. (NR)

Become Cousteau ***
When the subject of a documentary has lived much of their life on camera, it’s actually a little harder to figure out what they were off camera. Director Liz Garbus portrays the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, retracing his long-standing fascination with the sea, including his service in the French Navy, and his role in the development of technologies such as the demand regulator “aqualung” which allowed deep diving without tether. He also played a role in the development of offshore oil drilling – oil dollars funded the Calypso in his early years – and Garbus finds a compelling arc in Cousteau’s growing environmental awareness and his repudiation of his own contribution to harming the world’s oceans. Much of the rest of the film, however, touches on the outlines of things that would have painted a more complete picture of the man, including his sometimes distant relationship with his older sons and the extent to which he thought about himself. . as a filmmaker, and in particular not as a director of “documentaries”. We get many images of Cousteau in his trademark red beanie on the deck of the Calypso, and the underwater images captured by his crew, such as Become Cousteau helps convey how influential his subject was and how much he wished he had more influence. Available October 22 in theaters. (PG-13)

Dune ***
See the feature review. Available October 22 in theaters and via HBO Max. (PG-13)

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in The Electric Life of Louis Wain - AMAZON STUDIOS

  • Amazon Studios
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in Louis Wain’s electric life

Louis Wain’s Electric Life ** 1/2

I’ve spent so much time complaining about the way biopics make their way through their entries on Wikipedia that I think I should be more thankful for what director / co-writer Will Sharpe is trying to do here. . His subject is Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), born in the nobility of Victorian England but whose life took strange turns: marrying the governess of his sisters, Emily (Claire Foy); coping with mental illness; and make himself known as an artist thanks to his whimsical drawings of anthropomorphized cats. Sharpe’s approach gives a boost to some of the more conventional rhythms of the “troubled artist” profile, with iris flashbacks, kaleidoscopic imagery, and the judicious use of omniscient storytelling (by the colleague of Foy The crown Queen Elizabeth, Olivia Colman). Unfortunately, once attention shifts to Louis and Emily’s relationship, the narrative drifts through too many episodes of disconnected sensations, which may represent Louis’ increasingly fragmented state of mind, but still allows approximate viewing. And Sharpe doesn’t always strike the right tone between the whimsical images and taking Louis’ mental health issues more seriously. The result is a noble effort, admirably devoted to avoiding clichés – like the ubiquitous “real person images at the end” – without finding quite enough to replace them. Available October 22 in theaters and via Amazon Prime. (PG-13)

Ron was wrong ** 1/2
A well-intentioned survey of the complexities of adolescence in the digital age, this animated feature from directors Sarah Smith (Arthur Noel) and Jean-Philippe Vine (another Aardman veteran) doesn’t quite crack the code to find a real emotional hook. Barney Pudowski (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) is a lonely college boy whose single dad (Ed Helms) can’t afford the personal “best friend” robots that have become all the rage – until dad finds one that literally fell off the back of a truck, and the damaged robot called Ron (Zach Galifianakis) begins to complicate Barney’s life. There is a lively energy to the story and the vocal performances are uniformly strong, especially Grazer, who adds to his Luca work to create a great double this year. But even though the tale convincingly hints at what it’s like to desperately need connection as a youngster, there’s no way an effort like this for kids is going to be ready to dig into. the potentially darker corners of teens and tweens devastated by becoming social media outcasts, or being bullied. The result is something too keen on being awesome to share a valuable lesson, as if someone is trying to make a PG-rated animated version of Eigth year. Available October 22 in theaters. (PG)


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