Feats Of Strength

l2xdz4yuiu719nema0snThe arrival of Mission: Impossible – Tom Cruise Clings To Some More High Things seems set to dominate the box office this weekend, and that’s just as well: It’s a lot of fun, and most of the week’s other offerings don’t compare. Here, let me explain.

Best of Enemies: In an era when weird, fussy intellectuals could be revered American culture warriors, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal were the weirdest, fussiest and most revered. Susan delights in Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s celebration of their televised debates.

Bikes vs. Cars: Fredrik Gertten’s agit-prop documentary does everything it can to reduce the metropolitan transportation question to the titular debate; the result is an hour and a half of pandering, disingenuous bullshit. And people will fall for it; keep an eye on the comments.

A LEGO Brickumentary: Kief Davidson and David Junge’s feature-length commercial for the beloved interlocking brick system was very clearly produced to cash in on the pop smash that was The LEGO Movie. The beloved interlocking brick system deserves better.

Man from Reno: Opening tomorrow at the Royal, Dave Boyle’s slippery California noir is one of those playful, metatextual pictures that would prove very divisive if it was opening wide enough to draw an audience..

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: Like the indefatigable Ethan Hunt, Christopher McQuarrie’s contribution to Tom Cruise’s twenty-year vanity project/suicide attempt is a machine with no other purpose than victory, aided immeasurably by a terrific Rebecca Ferguson. And, like Ethan Hunt, it gets the job done.

Vacation: People are being strangely vicious to Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s road-trip reboot, starring Ed Helms as a grown-up Rusty Griswold forcing his own family to relive what he mistakenly believes was the greatest holiday of his youth. I liked it just fine, myself.

That’s everything! Have a good weekend, folks!

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