The Last Battle

Fewer than a dozen films open this weekend, and next week is relatively thin because of the Thanksgiving blockbusters — so I get a little breathing space. That’s real nice.

Brooklyn: Saiorse Ronan’s performance as an Irish lass who emigrates to America in the early 1950s has been building some serious Oscar buzz since Sundance; I just wish the film around her was stronger. Glenn was a bit more forgiving.

Drone: Too many documentaries package their message in self-important urgency. Here’s one that simply lays its cards on the table, knowing that’s enough to scare the crap out of you.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World: The peninsula of islands off the coast of British Columbia, and the people who live there, are given a most admiring tribute by filmmaker Charles Wilkinson. And I can see why.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2: The final chapter! The last battle! About goddamn time! Seriously, Jennifer Lawrence is always a live-wire performer, but there’s no reason this movie needed to be two and a quarter hours long. Susan is similarly exasperated.

In Jackson Heights: At the age of 85, Frederick Wiseman’s latest demonstrates the stamina and an empathy of a filmmaker a third his age, capturing a Queens neighborhood in all of its messy, good-natured glory.

Man Up: As two random Londoners who find themselves enjoying a most convoluted date, Lake Bell and Simon Pegg are so great together that you’ll forgive an awful lot of the script’s sillier notions.

The Night Before: Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt reunite with 50/50 director Jonathan Levine — and bring Anthony Mackie along — for a goofy holiday romp in which ridiculous things collide with serious things, just like life. (Less likely to happen in life: General Zod being the weed guy for the Green Hornet, the Falcon and Robin.)

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict: In which Susan appreciates Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s appreciation of her subject — but only to a point.

Secret in Their Eyes: Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar-winning political thriller was so slick that a Hollywood remake was inevitable; Susan says Billy Ray does a decent job, but the result is still a pale imitation.

And that will carry us into the weekend. Stay warm, everyone!

One thought on “The Last Battle”

  1. Susan’s review reads like someone who didn’t like the third book of the trilogy as much as the first two, and many didn’t. I was one who appreciated some of the choices Collins made in the third book, without wanting to give away anything for people who haven’t read it, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it more because I’ll definitely be seeing it. Agree about the length, though, but that seems to be a growing problem with movies.

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