By Original-Cin Staff
A couple of years after Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird, we have another case of an actress, Olivia Wilde, directing a winning coming-of-age teen girl comedy. Booksmart (Rating: A) follows two high school nerds (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who decide, after four years of academic grinding, to cut loose and find out what the cool kids know. What follows is a night to remember and a film reviewer Kim Hughes says is filled with wit and unabashed exuberance.
You can’t read Gordon Lightfoot’s mind, but you can read Jim Slotek’s review of the new doc about Canada’s folk poet laureate, Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (Rating: A), an illuminating look at the 80-year-old songwriter, with evocative archival footage and interviews with his peers. Judging by our site traffic, the Gordie doc is really taking off.
Our wish for this week’s blockbuster Aladdin (Rating: C+) is that this cluttered Broadway musical/CGI-padded remake of the 1992 animated film didn’t feel as though it lasted 1001 Nights. Still, the original songs are there, says reviewer Liam Lacey, performed by a likeable cast, including Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, with Will Smith as the big blue fun-dad genie. Our Bonnie Laufer has a video interview with Massoud, Toronto’s own Aladdin, about his breakthrough role.
After a career bringing Shakespeare plays to the movies, Kenneth Branagh stars as the Bard himself in All Is True (Rating: B), a somewhat over-worthy account of the playwright’s last three years. Based mostly on speculation, it features an ace cast filled with Dames and Sirs, including Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, and Ian McKellen as Shakespeare’s male muse.
Next, we go to the Kansas burg of Brightburn (Rating: C+), a sardonic horror movie based on the conceit that an alien baby boy raised by a Midwest farm couple is not Superman but a disturbed brat who uses his laser vision, levitation abilities, and super-strength for evil. Unfortunately, the title Superbad was already taken. (Mwaa-haa-haa… that might be THE slag of the year — Ed.)
In this week’s podcast, we talk Quentin Tarantino, Booksmart, Gordon Lightfoot and the upcoming Godzilla movie. Because… Godzilla.
Have a great weekend.