July 10 New Releases
American Reunion was a “reboot” of sorts for this franchise. After the first three films with it’s regular cast, things kind of went off the rails as a series of mediocre spinoff films followed. I must admit it was kind of a novelty to see the original cast back in their old roles, looking a bit older (but not necessarily wiser). In that sense, the movie plays it safe, recycling a similar vibe with old gags given a twist for the update. It has some genuinely funny moments, to be sure. This formula, however, is kind of a crutch, and I couldn’t help thinking that this is all starting to feel old. In the end, it will be a movie that most fans will enjoy.
Being Flynn was a marvelous film. It’s probably the best role Robert DeNiro has had since This Boy’s Life. Based on the memoirs of writer Nick Flynn, whose father, a one-time criminal, and lifelong aspiring writer, ended up homeless and living on the streets, eventually wandering into the shelter where Nick works. The film has a mix of drama and caustic dark humor that is perfect for anyone looking for an arthouse film which is a bit more accessible. The performances are rock solid, and the fact that it’s based on a true story really gives some credibility. My favorite for the week
Margaret was an interesting film. It begins like a slap in the face, with Anna Paquin’s character Lisa witnessing an accident that she partially causes, and from there unfolds with her becoming more and more erratic as she deals with the aftermath. There are some wonderfully written scenes that expose Lisa as a spoiled rich girl who, on the surface, wants to do the right thing, but can’t seem to get out of her own way. My only beef with the movie was that it was too long, and there were too many redundant scenes smothering the really good ones. Trimmed by 30-40 minutes, this would have been a real gem. Otherwise, it’s a bit flawed with plenty of potential.