West Side Story, Don’t Look Up, Agnes, All-Star Hits on Saturday Morning! and Landscapers are among the new titles this week
Ariana DeBose as Anita, with David Alvarez on her right as Bernardo, in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
West Side Story
The new version of Steven Spielberg’s Stephen Sondheim / Leonard Bernstein musical – a story of Romeo and Juliet set between the Manhattan street gangs of the 1950s – is not a remake of the 1961 Oscar-winning adaptation, but a complete reinvention of the text. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins may have brought the play to the screen, but Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner are bringing it to life. Their version – starring Ansel Elgort as Tony and a dazzling Rachel Zegler as Maria – plays like a revealing new setting of a classic: it understands the original intent and finds new ways to bring the material to life, moving musical numbers from crouches and roofs to busy streets, construction sites and ballrooms. Kushner’s screenplay also hears traces of sadness in songs that just did not exist the first time: as we see in a unique interpretation of Somewhere, this West Side Story is also about the sadness of understanding that you will not live to see the future for which you were fighting. All this in a picture with people dancing-fighting for some miserable squares that are going to be demolished anyway. Who would have thought. 156 minutes. Now I play in theaters everywhere. NNNNN (Norman Wilner)
Do not look up
Two Michigan astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet heading straight for Earth. In a little over six months, all life on the planet will be gone – something that would give us plenty of time to save ourselves, except that the indifferent US President (Meryl Streep) is more interested in appearing possible in the midterm elections, A quirky tech visionary (Mark Rylans) would rather mine the comet for precious minerals than blow it up, and TV hosts would rather laugh at whose house they hoped the comet would tear down for a cheap laugh. McKay and co-author David Sirota (journalist and former Bernie Sanders speech writer) try to satirize the way the cultural divide in America has reduced every transaction to a zero-sum game, making it impossible and even undesirable to do anything helps the whole nation. But in their attempt to satirize the present moment, they are confronted with the reality of Trumpism: the caricatures that offend each other here just feel simplistic after all we have suffered. Lawrence is great, Cate Blanchett is having fun as a morning show host to DiCaprio’s troubled academic, and I share McKay’s desperation for a nation that can not be saved; but in almost two and a half hours, Don’t Look To Up it just always needs to get to its fairly obvious point. 145 minutes. It now plays on the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West) and is available to stream on Netflix Canada on December 24th. NN (NW)
All-Star Hits on Saturday morning!
SNL Mooney’s eight-episode series is a perfect reproduction of Saturday ’80s and’ 90s Saturday TV, from the cheap VHS cassette showing cheap dinosaur skateboarding with teen friends and magic teddy bears doing art. from anything that bothers (which their adult mind) to the obnoxious twin brother skater-dude hosts Skip and Treybor (both posing as Mooney) screaming at the camera and at each other, between commercial breaks. Mooney and his authors modify their repetitive, derivative notions with unexpected flashes of melancholy – that the dinosaur struggles with alienation and depression, for example – while also using parentheses with Skip and Treybor to see a couple. series of series about the “real” world behind the cartoons. Like Mooney’s weird 2017 Brigsby Bear, this will not be for everyone… but those who like it will discuss it for years. All eight episodes are now available for streaming on Netflix Canada. NNNN (NW)
If you want to enjoy Landscapers, a HBO / BBC four-part drama – inspired by real-life – starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis as Susan and Christopher Edwards, a middle-aged English couple arrested in 2013 for the murder of her parents Susan a decade and a half earlier, stop watching after the second episode, which airs on Monday (December 13th). The back half of this stunning drama – written by Coleman’s true husband, Sinclair and directed by Will Sharp, with whom the Oscar-winning director made the dead family comedy Flowers – doubles in increasingly pointless stylistic flourishing, to the point of . the plot in its last hour. This would not surprise anyone who saw Sharp’s incredibly valuable biographical film about Amazon, The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain, but I was hoping that working on someone else’s screenplay could keep him in a more even appetite. Instead, an impressive first hour and an interesting second move are thrown under a concept bus as Sharp – and Sinclair – overly complicate the story with painstaking western metaphors, black-and-white sequences, and conscious directorial choices that take us further and further away from the complex. contemplative interpretations by Colman and Thewlis. What an overwhelming disappointment. Monday at 9 p.m. until December 27 at Crave. NN (NW)
The latest thriller from Oklahoma director DIY Mickey Reece (Climate Of The Hunter) begins as a universal horror story about two mismatched Vatican envoys (Ben Hall, Jake Horowitz) arriving at a convent to determine if the nun (Hayley) McFarland) suffers. from a natural or supernatural disease. -Reece offers what the genre demands – Agnes’s first half plays like a patchwork of decades of universal horror – but it gradually becomes clear that his real interest lies in another member of the guild, Mary (Molly Quinn), who has something very powerful. , very personal reasons why she wants her faith to be rewarded. Changing her narrative path until she becomes as recognizable as the film itself, Agnes becomes a powerful study of human despair, with Quinn – who was also the producer – offering a perfectly sensible interpretation as a woman seeking meaning in a world that is no longer equipped to navigate. Sorry I’m so vague, but this movie is so much better if you do not know what follows. 92 minutes. It is now played in cinemas and is available on request. NNNN (NW)
Available in VOD
Hayley McFarland, Molly C. Quinn, Rachel True; directed by Mickey Rees
Erika Alexander, Derek Luke, Sam Trammell; directed by Ali LeRoy
Danny Trejo, Maurice Compte, Maya Stojan; directed by RJ Collins
The birthday cake
Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, William Fichtner; directed by Jimmy Giannopoulos
The game of hate
Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Sakina Jaffrey; directed by Peter Hutchings
Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Roman Griffin Davis? directed by Camille Griffin
This game is called Murder
Ron Perlman, Natasha Henstridge, Vanessa Marano; directed by Adam Sherman
Everything that comes to streaming platforms this month:
Amazon Prime Video Canada
The record of the week
Columbia Classics Vol. II (Sony, 4K)
Released in October and almost immediately impossible to find, Sony’s latest collection of exclusive 4K upgrades spanning decades should be back in stock now, just in time to be added to the holiday wish lists or just bought on Boxing Day with the appropriate discount.
It’s a fascinating combination of films, spanning more than half a century since Columbia’s famous production, though their relationship with the studio is almost the only one they have: Otto Preminger’s Anatomy Of A Murder, Carol Reed’s Oliver, Taxi by Martin Scorsese Driver, Ivan Reitman’s Stripes, Ang Lee’s Sense And Sensibility and David Fincher’s The Social Network have a lot of enthusiastic fans, but these movies seem like weird companions when you watch them together.
However, with the way Sony is releasing 4K discs, it is likely that most of them will not be available individually for quite some time – only Dr. Strangelove has been flying solo for a year and a half since its release in Volume 1 – so if you want any of the three movies here, you can download it too. The presentation is excellent in general, although Taxi Driver and Sense And Sensibility feel that they benefited more from UHD treatment, the improved definition highlights the saturated dirt in the first and the finer details of the suits and locations in the second. But all six films look almost as good as new.
Supplements are plentiful for all six features, though most of them are taken from previous movie releases and included on the accompanying Blu-ray Discs. New to this release is a commentary by film historian Foster Hirsch on Anatomy Of A Murder, a commentary by Steven C. Smith on Oliver! and starring Jack Wild’s original screen test. a 20ου Taxi Driver anniversary re-release trailer, a half hour Zoom reunion that brings together Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Ang Lee and other key cast and crew (via Zoom) to honor 25 of Sense And Sensibilityου anniversary and three theatrical trailers for The Social Network.
It’s Stripes – celebrating his 40sου anniversary this year – it gets most new stuff. In addition to the theatrical and extensive film cuts and all the extras, this new release includes a 45-minute retrospective in two parts with Reitman, Bill Murray and cinematographer Bill Butler, half an hour of deleted scenes and a third version. film. It’s the TV cut, shown in 4: 3, and although watching it has some perverted appeal, it’s not exactly necessary to evaluate the film. (NW)
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