By Original-Cin Staff
The studios penciled in a couple of reboots of well-known titles, and then patched together some movies to fill the slots. Men In Black: International (Rating: C-) raises the question: In what universe can actors Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson stand in for the duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith? Reviewer Jim Slotek explains how a movie that includes Emma Thomson, Liam Neeson, and French dancing sensations “Les Twins” still feels like a creative black hole.
Similar news for the latest iteration of Shaft (Rating: C), starring a trash-talking Samuel L. Jackson as the incorrigible detective, with J.T. Usher as his sensitive, millennial son, which reviewer Liam Lacey says is a negligible extended sitcom.
On the less mainstream side, Karen Gordon is high on Jim Jarmusch’s meta-zombie film, The Dead Don’t Die (Rating: B+), a night-of-the-living deadpan social satire of environmental crisis and denial, featuring an ace cast (Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny, Tom Waits, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover). Karen also stayed up for Late Night (Rating: C+), starring Emma Thomson as a fading talk-show host needing a boost, in an uneven screwball comedy, written by and co-starring Mindy Kaling.
Two new documentaries do a great job cutting through thickets of deception: Jamie Kastner’s powerful There Are No Fakes (Rating: B+), reviewed by Karen Gordon, is a quintessentially Canadian tale that begins with a member of The Barenaked Ladies purchasing of a possibly fake Norval Morrisseau painting and leads to a heart-of-darkness tale of conspiracy, abuse and Indigenous exploitation.
For a better-known American crime tale, we have Charles Ferguson’s two-movie documentary package, Watergate (Rating: B) which takes us in microscopic detail through the downfall of the Nixon presidency, in a movie that never mentions the “T word” but resonates with the current political world.
Finally, this week’s podcast. We talk Jarmusch, Watergate, how Gwyneth Paltrow forgot she was in a movie, and celebrate two outstanding Canadian films: Patricia Rozema’s Mouthpiece and Jamie Kastner’s before-mentioned There Are No Fakes.
Have a Raptor-ous weekend.