Signal Boost

It feels like an especially bitter February, but maybe that’s just me. Still plenty of movies coming out, though, so let’s focus on those.

The Comedian: Glenn finds unlikely pleasures in Taylor Hackford’s oddball dramedy, which stars Robert De Niro as a faded stand-up whose life changes when he goes unexepctedly viral. The kids today, they’ll watch anything.

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back: Three years after Journey to the West, Stephen Chow hands off the epic fantasy narrative to Tsui Hark for another round of CG-enhanced adventure. Not screened in advance, more’s the pity.

Rings: The cursed videotape goes digital (and beyond!) in Paramount’s not-quite-good-enough attempt to relaunch the franchise for the Tumblr age. But it’s kind of intriguing to watch the third act and realize exactly why Paramount felt they had to bump it out of its originally scheduled release last fall.

The Salesman: Asghar Farhadi’s latest is not his best (that’d be About Elly), but neither is it his worst (that’d be The Past). But the news that Trump’s Muslim ban will keep him from accompanying the film to the Oscars may lead people to bang  the drum for it pretty hard … and I can’t say I blame them.

Shepherds and Butchers: There’s doubtless an excellent story to be told about the cruelties of the South African penal system towards the end of Apartheid, but this ain’t it.

Sleepless: Jamie Foxx stands in for Tomer Sisley in this English-language remake of Frederic Jardin’s 2011 thriller Nuit Blanche, aka Sleepless Night. Not screened for press, so I’m catching it this afternoon. UPDATE: Entirely fine!

The Space Between Us: I was stuck in a theater with the trailer for Peter Chelsom’s light-SF road movie about a Martian-born kid (Asa Butterfield) who travels to Earth to meet his pen pal (Britt Robertson), and I came away thinking I’d seen the entire movie. Susan went for us, and thought it was okay,.

Strike a Pose: Twenty-five years after the Blonde Ambition tour, documentarians Ester Gould and Reijer Zwann catch up to Madonna’s backup dancers to see how their worlds have (or haven’t) changed. Glenn loved it at Hot Docs, and I’m very curious to catch up to it now.

And that’s everything, I think. Isn’t it?

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