Only one week remains until the summer blockbuster season starts, and we’re clearing out the spring stuff.
Our own Marco reviewed The Age of Adaline (51), a sudsy sci-fi-ish story of a woman who doesn’t age. It seems far too sudsy for me, and from what I’ve seen of her Blake Lively is not capable of holding a movie on her shoulders. James Berardinelli: “Haphazardly plotted, it not only falls prey to absolute predictability but chooses to have nearly every important conversation (except one) occur off-screen. That sort of laziness is unacceptable and results in a strong sense of audience dissatisfaction.”
I’m interested in Ex Machina, (78), which is yet another film about artificial intelligence (this time in the form of Alicia Vikander, va-va-voom), but it’s getting good reviews and seems to be more intelligent that the average film of its type (see Chappie). Kimberley Jones: “A rattling and ruminative piece of speculative fiction, Ex Machina is good enough to wish it were even better.”
When I first saw the trailer for Child 44 (41) I thought it was a remake of Gorky Park. I guess there’s room for another serial killer drama set in Soviet Russia. With the great Tom Hardy, so probably at least worth a rental. Chris Nashawaty: “It happens more often than it should: A cast of sterling actors is assembled for a movie that doesn’t come close to equaling the sum of its parts.”
Russell Crowe’s directorial debut is the historical epic The Water Diviner (51), which stars the actor himself. One wonders at the arrogance of a first-time director casting himself, of course sometimes the star is required to get the money. At any rate, this film, about a father looking for his sons after the battle of Gallipoli, is being knocked for completely ignoring the Turkish genocide of Armenians. Jeff Baker: “Crowe is a commanding lead actor who could have made it into something special if he’d stayed out of his own way. Maybe he should have stayed home. You should.”
Finally, there’s Wim Wender’s The Salt of the Earth, (83) a documentary about a Brazilian photographer. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Peter Sobczynski: “The result, though not without flaws, is an invigorating and interesting observation of the man, his work and the entire medium of photography.”