Life

Sean Means Reviews Movies for November 17th, 2016

Artsies:

A Long Way North (PG) – 3 Stars

LONG WAY NORTH is set in the late 19th century Saint Petersburg. Sacha, a young girl from the Russian aristocracy, dreams of the Great North and anguishes over the fate of her grandfather, Oloukine, a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from his latest expedition to conquer the North Pole. Sacha has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her grandfather and has the same calling as Oloukine to be an explorer. But Sacha’s parents, who already made arrangements for her marriage, strongly disapprove the idea to say the least. Defying her destiny, Sacha flees her home and launches an adventure-filled quest toward the Great North in search of Oloukine and his ship.

Director: Remi Chaye

Starring: Christa Theret, Feodor Atkine

 

The Uncondemned (NR) – 3 Stars

This documentary is about the first time rape was prosecuted as a crime of war. It’s been a crime of war since 1919, but wasn’t prosecuted until 1997, when a group of young prosecutors, activists and investigators went after that first conviction. The case was fought by legal underdogs, against the odds, and that it almost didn’t happen. Thanks to the extraordinary courage of Witnesses JJ, NN and OO (and their fearless leader Godelieve Mukasarasi), women from rural Rwanda changed history.

Director: Nick Louvel, Michele Mitchell

 

The Love Witch (NR) – 3 Stars

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the ’60s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Director: Anna Biller

Starring: Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise

 

The Handmaiden (NR) – 3 1/2 Stars

Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman’s plot to defraud her of her large inheritance. Powered by remarkable performances from KIM Min-hee (RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN) as Lady Hideko, HA Jung-woo (THE CHASER) as the conman who calls himself the Count and sensational debut actress KIM Tae-ri as the maid Sookee, THE HANDMAIDEN borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with PARK Chan-wook’s singular vision and energy to create an unforgettable viewing experience.

Director: Chan-Wook Park

Starring: Min-Hee Kim, Ha Jung-Woo

 

Fartsies:

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (R) – Not Screened

The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn, who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, has been hailed as a hero and brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the Iraq conflict with America’s celebration back home.

Director: Ang Lee

Starring: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker

 

Bleed for This (R) – 2 1/2 Stars

BLEED FOR THIS is the incredible true story of one of the most inspiring and unlikely comebacks in sports history. Miles Teller (Whiplash, Divergent) stars as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a local Providence boxer who shot to stardom after winning two world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves Vinny with a broken neck, he is told he may never walk again. Against all odds and doctor’s orders, renowned trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) agrees to help Vinny return to the ring just a year after the accident for what could be the last fight of his life.

Director: Ben Younger

Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PG-13) – 3 Stars

The magic of Harry Potter lives on in this Warner Bros. spin-off penned by {J.K. Rowling}, and intended as the first chapter in a whole new fantasy film franchise.

Director: David Yates

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterstone, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol

 

The Edge of Seventeen (R) – 3 1/2 Stars

Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. The film also stars Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine’s well-meaning but completely ineffective mother, and Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s History teacher, mentor and reluctant sounding board. The Edge of Seventeen is produced by Academy Award winner James L. Brooks – the filmmaker behind big-screen, character-driven classics such as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Big, Say Anything, The Simpsons, Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson


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