Well, I’ve somehow ended up reviewing every movie opening this week. It’s been … interesting. Shall we dive in?
Aloha: Cameron Crowe’s latest is a shapeless, formless void of bad ideas, underdeveloped characters and improbable plots. Also, I think Bill Murray is playing Hank Scorpio.
Big Muddy: Jefferson Moneo’s first feature is a nicely prickly pulp story, anchored by a vivid Nadia Litz performance. Good supporting work from James LeGros and Stephen McHattie, too.
Debug: David Hewlett jumps behind the camera for a deep-space thriller that never quite works, even as you’re admiring the economy and invention of the production.
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story: The man inside the Muppet(s) gets his due in a loving documentary. It may not be great cinema, but it’s a hell of a story. And bring tissues.
I’ll See You in My Dreams: A late-life romance for Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott sounds like a fine idea for a movie, doesn’t it? I guess it still could be.
Results: Andrew Bujalski goes mainstream, sort of, with a dramedy starring Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan. It’s plesant and inoffensive, but I wish it had more to offer than that.
San Andreas: By contrast, I expected nothing from Brad Peyton’s summer disaster movie and came away pleasantly surprised by the casting and character work. You never know.
Survivor: Pierce Brosnan chases Milla Jovovich around London in a terrible cat-and-mouse thriller. Still has more laughs than Aloha, mind you.
When Marnie was There: Another year, another delicate children’s story from Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki would have to be awfully selfish to shutter the place simply because he’s retiring; they’ve proven they’ll manage just fine without him.
There you go. Enjoy your weekend. Don’t see Aloha.