Pretty good week here for new films, though I will skip Taken 3. How much suffering can one family go through?
To start off with, then, there is Taken 3 (29), where Liam Neeson’s particular skills are used against the police when he’s framed for murder. Judging by the reviews, one hopes this is it for the franchise, unless (drumroll) there’s a reboot! Maggie Lee: “A mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire that abandons chic European capitals for the character’s own backyard.”
Now, on to good films. Selma (89) is definite Oscar material, despite quibbling about the actions of President LBJ. Scott Tobias: “DuVernay stages well-known public events like the “Bloody Sunday” march with scrupulousness, scope, and a gut-wrenching visceral power. But Selma’s true success is as a chamber piece, not a thundering historical epic.”
Inherent Vice (81) should be heralded both as the latest P.T. Anderson film, and the first movie filmed from a Thomas Pynchon novel. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a private eye on the beaches of California. Rodrigo Perez: “Big, wonderfully oddball, sometimes confounding and beautiful, Inherent Vice supplies good dosages of stoner giggles. But its doobage is potent and reflects some heavy ideas you’ll need to unpack and meditate on for a long while.”
Opening at one theater here in Vegas is a movie you may have heard of: The Interview (52). Josh Bell: “This dopey comedy, which is more of a lowbrow bromance than a political satire, doesn’t benefit from all its controversy.”