By Original-Cin Staff
Looking to take in something solid at the multiplex this weekend? Here is what’s new and notable, as reviewed by Original-Cin’s intrepid writers.
The combination of director-actor Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star is Born came out of the Toronto International Film Festival on a wave of audience and press hype. Still, our Karen Gordon went in skeptical about the necessity of a fourth version of this showbiz fable. But she was won over by the depth of the performances, both dramatic and musical, though the story was somewhat hampered by clichés. (Original-Cin Rating: B). But nobody says Cooper and Gaga aren’t cute and for a bonus, Bonnie Laufer has given us some exclusive photos of the A Star is Born after-party with Cooper, Gaga and Sam Elliott.
Karen also reviewed and admired The Sisters Brothers, a darkly comic Western based on the celebrated 2017 novel by Canadian writer Patrick deWitt, directed by French auteur, Jacques “The Prophet” Audiard, and starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as Charlie and Eli Sisters, a couple of assassins out to get a famous prospector (Riz Ahmed) with Jake Gyllenhaal as a detective helping their mission. (Original-Cin Rating: A). Once again, Bonnie Laufer provides some useful background: An interview with Patrick deWitt on the aftershock of having a hit novel and his “relief and happiness” at seeing the adaptation of his book.
It feels like weeks since we’ve had a new Marvel movie. Now there’s the superhero origin story, Venom, starring Tom Hardy as a gruff TV journalist who finds a toothy alien symbiote living inside him. In his review, Jim Slotek feels the film only “approaches entertaining” with some smart-aleck symbiote dialogue and visual eye candy, but a talented cast — Hardy, Michelle Williams as his fiancé and Riz Ahmed (again) as a tech mogul — were poorly used and the action too tame. (Original-Cin Rating: C).
That’s not a criticism you could make of Let the Corpses Tan, which had its premiere at TIFF’s Midnight Madness program back in 2017, and which Liam Lacey says is a cine-fetishistic retro French-language crime drama from the exhaustingly creative Belgium-based team of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani. (Original-Cin Rating: B+). The plot is incomprehensible but 90s indie queen Elina Löwensohn has presence to burn as a bohemian painter who takes a gang of robbers in her seaside commune to face a police shootout.
Have a great long weekend.