In The Shadow Of Solo

Here’s an interesting paradox: Everybody expected Solo: A Star Wars Story to be bigger than it was last weekend, and to dominate this weekend so soundly that there was no point putting any other would-be blockbusters up against it. And so today’s releases are kind of modest by comparison.

Will any of them wind up atop the box office come Sunday? Probably not. (If Solo doesn’t hold the first-place slot, Deadpool 2 could surge past it. Or maybe Book Club will enjoy a June audience boost, what do I know.) Anyway, here’s what’s new.

Action Point: Johnny Knoxville get the Jackass gang back together for a prank-based comedy about a bunch of yahoos trying to save a decaying theme park. Not screened for press. I’m cool with that.

Adrift: I have a few issues with Baltasar Kormakur’s survival drama — the structure diffuses the tension, as does the decision to have opening credits — but Shailene Woodley’s performance is unimpeachable, raw and real, and if you like her work it’s essential viewing.

Black Cop: Speaking of unimpeachable performances, check out Friend of SEMcast Ronnie Rowe, Jr. in Cory Bowles’ knockout first feature, which screens across Canada this weekend as one of those Cineplex Events things. (In Toronto, it’s at Yonge and Dundas.)

Black Kite: Tarique Qayumi’s Afghanistan drama aims to tell an allegorical story about one man pursuing his passion while his nation descends into darkness, but can’t find a way to transcend its limitations.

First Reformed: Paul Schrader riffs on Diary of a Country Priest and delivers a masterpiece of his own, a meditation on mortality and piety built around a riveting turn from Ethan Hawke. Just go see it.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami: Kevin was a huge fan of Sophie Fiennes’ celebration of artist/icon Jones at TIFF, and he’s just as supportive of it now. I look forward to catching up.

Let the Sunshine In: Jose loves Claire Denis’ latest, a conventional romantic drama starring Juliette Binoche as a painter trying to start her romantic life again  after the end of a relationship. Yes, you read that right: Claire Denis made a conventional movie, and it’s pretty good.

… come to think of it, if Let the Sunshine In ends up being number one, that wouldn’t be the worst thing. Juliette Binoche was in Godzilla, after all; she’s box-office gold!

Leave a Reply