Home » Movie reviews: New releases for January 14th

Movie reviews: New releases for January 14th

by Stewart Cole

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Belle *** 1/2

See feature review. Available on January 14 in cinemas. (PG)

Bright Star: The Reconciliation of Trevor Southey ***
Artist Nathan Florence avoids at least some of the dangers of getting into his own film, allowing something that recognizes a unique artistic moment that does not concern him. Co-starring with Matt Black, Florence tells the story of artist Trevor Southey, a Mormon convert whose life journey led him from a famous church-approved author to an exiled gay apostate later apostate and his life. The narrative devotes a great deal of time with Southey’s contemporaries to the Utah Art and Faith movement — Gary Smith, Neil Hadlock, and Dennis Smith — with a very historical context and first-person narratives about how complex it was to navigate the ground between you are a creative person with an independent spirit and doing a job that fits the LDS church agenda. This material gives the Bright Star much of its bite, though it also leads to less time being devoted to Southey’s more thorny story. And it seems that Florence does not feel completely comfortable with including his own role in Southey’s story, as the two artists become friends and collaborators during the 10-year creation of this film. Ultimately, though, this serves as a unique record of a particular artistic moment in Utah history, one that struggles with how difficult it can be to express faith through art in a way that does not make the faithful a little anxious. Available on January 14 in cinemas. (NO)

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania ** 1/2
See feature review. Available January 14th through Amazon Prime. (PG)

[not screened for press]
Another decade, another Ghostface. Available on January 14 in cinemas. (R)

Broken * 1/2
It’s a tough deal when you hire a great actor to play in your otherwise stupid and forgotten movie. On the one hand, there is at least something that critics can praise if you want a DVD pull-quote. on the other hand, this actor can make everything else look very bad. Long-divorced tech millionaire Chris (Cameron Munich), who now lives alone in a secluded mountain mansion, meets a beautiful young woman named Sky (Lily Krug), whose meeting with Chris may not have been entirely accidental. The sexual thrillers that follow in the script of genre expert David Loughery should be quite obvious even if you come cold, and director Luis Prieto occasionally creates some real tension between painting and torture power-drill. At least there is John Malkovich, who very soon appears as the horny, crazy owner of Sky, fighting with enough weirdness from his few scenes to at least distract. And this distraction is necessary, as between Monaghan and Krug they can not create enough presence on the screen to give the story any impetus. Krug in particular is like a ceramic doll in which someone has tried to record a fatal woman. The 11 o’clock effort to make Sky sophisticated and compassionate is just a reminder that you might want to consider hiring real actors — like John Malkovich — for the lead roles, not just the acclaimed cameos. Available on January 14 in cinemas and via VOD. (R)

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