Outsized Personalities

lake-bell-in-million-dollar-arm-movie-6Happy Friday! Look out for that giant rampaging lizard, everyone!

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case: Following directly from Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, here’s another documentary feature about the Chinese dissident trying to turn his resistance into art, and vice versa.

For No Good Reason: Ralph Steadman is a lovely man and a brilliant artist, and Charlie Paul’s documentary shows us that — when it’s not hitting him up for stories about that wacky Hunter S. Thompson, that is.

Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang: Shelved for a year and a half after its TIFF premiere failed to set the world ablaze, Laurent Cantet’s bloated adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ 1950s novel creeps into the Lightbox for a short, contractually obliged run. Andy is nicer to it than others have been.

Godzilla: Speaking of “setting the world ablaze” — holy shit, is this great. (And the opposite of bloated, too.) Against all odds, Gareth Edwards harnesses the power of the character’s mythology and delivers a masterpiece of power and dread. And remember, I didn’t even like Monsters.

Million Dollar Arm: Here’s another genre picture that’s much more clever and engaging than it has any right to be, thanks to some savvy creative moves both behind and before the camera. That’s nice.

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Glenn isn’t sure Nat Hentoff is the best subject for a documentary, but I’m still curious to see how David Lewis treats the life of the esteemed critic, author and activist. Having Andre Braugher read his work sounds like an excellent start.

Shekinah: The Intimate Life of Hasidic Women: Don’t get too worked up, now; Abbey Jack Neidik’s documentary  about the young women of a Chabad Lubavitch school in Quebec doesn’t actually explore the issue in its title. And Susan finds it all a little too packaged.

Young and Beautiful: Francois Ozon is as prolific as he is inconsistent; Susan feels his latest, which stars Marine Vacth as a young woman exploiting herself for unknown reasons, is one of his better ones.

Godzilla first, though. In IMAX 3D. Remember how thrilling Jurassic Park was the first time around? And see it now, before Cineplex inflicts their premium seating bullshit upon us.

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