“Together” an intelligent story of pandemic relationship
Nia DaCosta’s COVID-delayed ‘Candyman’, co-written by Jordan Peele, finally hits theaters this Friday as a less than spectacular summer film season wraps up. Meanwhile, if you are looking for an anti-rom-com with crisp edges and two wonderful performances, take a quick break to see “Together”.
Stay at home? Check out the Oakland thriller “Clickbait” on Netflix.
Here is our weekly roundup.
“Together”: Anyone who spent last year’s shutdown with an annoying 24/7 person will be able to relate to this acerbic and hilarious two-handed game. Director Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”) wisely steps down to allow James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan to take control of the stage, er, the screen, playing a British couple who verbally quarrel about everything – ideology , politics, economics, even how they argue. It’s that clever bickering and the occasional unexpected poignant insight, thanks to Dennis Kelly’s slam-bang storyline, that keeps “Together” with you. Of the recent batch of relationship films that have emerged from the pandemic, this one is hands down the best. Details: 3½ stars out of 4; opens August 17 in select theaters, available on request September 14.
“Click on the bait”: Oakland gets another close up with this addicting eight-part Netflix limited series built around well-played twists and a thoughtful message about our too hip times. Adrian Greneier of “Entourage” plays Nick Brewer, a beloved physiotherapist with two brilliant teenage sons and a busy wife (Betty Gabriel – a star). Nick leads a cushy, charmed existence that quickly falls apart when he becomes a viral sensation, a battered, bloody and targeted star in a video that shows him holding up a sign declaring that he is abusing women. It’s supposedly a kidnapping plot, but Nick’s sister (Zoe Kazan) senses a rat and, with the help of an Oakland detective (Pheonix Raei) tries to find the brains. Principal director Brad Anderson and creator Tony Ayres have concocted one of Netflix’s most serpentine series to date; with each episode coming from a different perspective and leaving in its wake a trail of new red herring. It’s captivating from start to finish and serves a stunning conclusion. Details: 3 stars ; available now.
“No man of God”: This psychological thriller is the first of two new films to revisit famous serial killer Ted Bundy. It’s a good movie too, which doesn’t focus on the bloody recreations of Bundy’s horrific crimes, but the intense in-prison exchanges between actual FBI profiler Bill Hagmaier (Elijah Wood) and the ’70s killer (Luke Kirby), which was performed in Florida in 1980. While no shocking new details emerge, Amber Sealy’s evocative feature is well told and well acted, especially by Kirby. It covers twisted territory similar to that of the top Netflix series “Mindhunter,” but runs its course in its own way. “No Man of God” is an ominous cat and mouse story with a dark ending that leaves the soul feeling as if it is completely detached and will never find a home. Details: 3 stars ; opens in theaters and on request on August 17.
“Final set”: A French tennis player in his mid-30s ignores his broken body to train like hell to take on a young hotshot. While filmmaker Quentin Reynaud doesn’t take sports drama in new directions, “Final Match” is a winner, adept at probing the obsessive state of mind of a star athlete and his tortured battle with his ego and failures. spent in the field. Leading the way, Alex Lutz gives a worthy performance of phenomenal physical and emotional skills while Kristin Scott Thomas, as his frank and formidable mother, and Ana Girardot, as the wife who sacrificed her career for the his, have succeeded in their well-written support. the roles. “Final Match” didn’t receive much fanfare, but sports fans and athletes should put it at the top of their list. The beautifully shot tennis scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat. Details: 3½ stars; available August 17 as part of the Virtual Cinema series at the Smith Rafael Film Center.
“Nice girl”: What begins as a promising dismantling of Big Pharma collapses like a crumbling French pastry shop. There is a nice twist, but it belongs to a better movie. It’s a shame, as this one spoils a solid performance from Jason Momoa. The “Aquaman” star skillfully plays a recent widower enraged that his wife’s death could have been avoided without the greed of a pharmaceutical company for profit. He and his daughter (Isabela Merced) seek blood justice in this cynical and violent exercise that never knows what story he wants to tell. Details: 2 stars; streaming on Netflix.
“My Beauty, My Beauty”: Need such a sexy French cinematic escape? Newbie filmmaker Marion Hill’s delivers just that with this relaxed stroll among the vineyards of southern France. The story revolves around a jazz singer Bertie (Idella Johnson), her musician husband Fred (Lucien Guignard) and Lane (Hannah Pepper) with whom they formed a romantic trio in New Orleans. When they all meet up in France, Lane’s flirtations with a painter (Sivan Noam Shimon) add a ripple to the romantic equation. Everything is very personable, laid back and fun to see, but needs a little more friction to spice things up. Details: 2½ stars; opens August 17 in select theaters.
“The colony”: Climate change will catch up with us. It’s the decent premise of a dystopian thriller that turns the earth into a water wasteland besieged by “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” types. Director and co-writer Tim Fehlbaum has created an intriguing waterlogged world, but his hero, an astronaut played by Nora Arnezeder, isn’t bad enough. Details: 2½ stars; opens Friday in select cinemas and on demand.
“Mosquito state”: Leeches of the pesky insect variety and those of the metaphorically human genre nestled in lower Manhattan during the precarious financial period of 2007 in this low-key curiosity. When the socially awkward Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) sensed the bad news about to crush Wall Street, he holed up in his exclusive, sterile apartment that appeared to have been sold to him by the “American Psycho” real estate agent. . Director-screenwriter Filip Jan Rymsza’s thriller is a strange bird, sometimes cute by Kafka, sometimes inspired by David Cronenberg. It’s an interesting experience more than a satisfying movie. Details: 2 stars, available today on Shudder.
Contact Randy Myers at [email protected]