chris-pratt-velociraptor-jurassic-worldAnother week where I’m on top of almost everything, but this time it didn’t feel like quite so much of a chore. Except for the Israeli senior-citizen bank-heist picture, I guess. That was terrible.

Hunting Elephants: This is the terrible Israeli senior-citizen bank-heist picture. It screened at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival last year. It should not have resurfaced.

Jurassic World: Much like its genetically-engineered Big Bad, Colin Trevorrow’s update/reboot/remake is a hybrid of a number of different creatures — part Steven Spielberg and part James Cameron, with a little P.T. Barnum thrown in. It’s a fun ride, but it’s a little on the mechanical side.

Live From New York: I can’t totally discount Bao Nguyen’s superficial look at forty years of Saturday Night Live, because  there’s plenty of fun stuff in here. That said, it’s really superficial, and ignores huge chunks of the show in order to bang a couple of very specific drums. (Did you know Lorne Michaels is an undying genius with his finger on the pulse of American politics?)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: This Sundance favourite is being marketed as the next Little Miss Sunshine or (500) Days of Summer, and some of it does feel as affected and calculated as those earlier films. But Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann are so good as the conflicted leads that I was willing to forgive an awful lot of indie affectation.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence: Roy Andersson wraps up his stylized Swedish trilogy with another series of droll, wonderful slow-burn sketches … and then goes somewhere truly horrible. Brace yourselves.

Slow West: John Maclean’s deconstructionist Western makes full use of Michael Fassbender’s magnetism and presence (which are two different things, I swear), and also gives Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn some fun things to do. Check it out.

Some Kind of Love: Thomas Burstyn increasingly contentious documentary finds the filmmaker investigating his own aging relatives, and discovering some uncomfortable truths about blood being thicker than water. Susan is all for it.

The Wolfpack: Crystal Moselle’s documentary about six New York kids whose love of cinema got them through some dark family times comes fully packaged with a great story … though the execution’s a little on the problematic side. Still worth a look.

Come back a little later for today’s web column, in which I check out two more film festivals kicking off in town this week. Because it never freaking ends.

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