This week sees a return to form for both Johnny Depp (yay!) and Ryan Reynolds (double yay!), a quirky indie teen movie about friendships and cancer, a terrible teen movie about making it big on Youtube, a likewise terrible independent animated feature and another South African movie I know nothing about.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
Let’s be honest, Johnny Depp hasn’t been having a very good run lately. Between Mortdecai, Transcendence and The Lone Ranger, his career has been more “miss” than “hit”. But thankfully Black Mass can wipe the slate clean. To say his performance is incredible is an understatement. He truly outdoes himself here and he dominates every scene he’s in. Likewise the supporting cast all have excellent performances, but Depp just shines. It’s a pity the movie as a whole is a little on the generic side, but it was still worth 3/5 stars from Kervyn.
The Walk is the true story of a young dreamer, Philippe Petit, and a band of unlikely recruits who together achieve the impossible: an illegal wire walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. With little more than nerve and blind ambition, Petit and his ragtag crew overcome daunting physical obstacles, betrayals, countless close calls and overwhelming odds to beat the system and execute their mad plan.
“Hey, didn’t you include The Walk in last week’s Movies out Today post?” Why yes, anonymous reader, yes I did. Glad you were paying attention, this was a test and you’ve passed. Anyway, The Walk did start showing last week, exclusively on IMAX. Now it’s out on normal, boring, regular old cinema – still in 3D though (no 2D yet, sorry). But Kervyn’s 4/5 star review definitely recommends that you watch it on IMAX anyway, the visuals are completely amazing and make full use of the IMAX technology to a dizzying effect.
Me & Earl & the Dying Girl
Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is the story of Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), an awkward high school senior whose mom forces him to spend time with Rachel – a girl in his class (Olivia Cooke) with whom he hasn’t spoken to since kindergarten – who was just diagnosed with cancer.
A Sundance award-winning tragi-comedy with teenagers, no wonder all the critics are calling Me & Earl & The Dying Girl things like “quirky” and “charming”. It’s the typical boy-meets-girl, girl-gets-cancer story (how is this storyline common enough for it to be typical?!) so you know how it goes, but it’s witty and cute enough to get by with 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Gerry is a talented poker player, but his gambling habit is getting the best of him. One day, he meets a charismatic young traveler named Curtis. Deeming Curtis his lucky charm, Gerry convinces him that they should hit the road together. As they gamble their way down South toward a legendary high-stakes poker game in New Orleans, the trip’s highs and lows unveil the duo’s true character and motivation, and an undeniable bond forms between them.
It might be an imperfect film, but damn it’s good to see Ryan Reynolds in something better than the crap he’s recently starred in. Well-acted by both Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind is an engaging and surprisingly heart-warming character study, steeped in good ole Southern charm and worth 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
When Casey, a dancer who is discovered on YouTube, gets thrust into the modern world of internet celebrity and culture, she must find a way to balance her true identity with her online persona, or risk losing everything she cares about.
How terrible does this movie sound? Be honest, it’s like Miley Cyrus’s life story randomly collided with Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black and, as cringe-worthy as that sounds, I think Breaking Through is probably worse. With only one scathing review on Rotten Tomatoes, even the critics weren’t going to waste their time. Neither should you.
Oops! Noah is Gone
It is the last big taboo in the history of the world. And it’s about time we talk about it. And laugh about it. Whatever happened to the creatures that missed Noah’s ark?
Spoilers: they died. The best thing that can be said about Oops! Noah is Gone is that’s it’s so bland it’s inoffensive, but it’s incredibly boring and formulaic. Only the very, very young kids will enjoy this, and that’s because they’ll be crawling around on the cinema floor looking for popcorn while you fall asleep. You should be seeing this in the bargain bin at Pick n Pay, not on the big screen.
Abraham, a dedicated husband and father, struggles to provide for his young wife, Katie, and their four-year-old daughter. But, through his creative determination, he finds patronage in Jong Jans and his Jong’s wife, Almeri. Abraham and Katie settle into their new home, working for Jong and Almeri, but Katie’s battles with mental illness and alcoholism rock the boat. Abraham staunchly supports his wife, but his own ambitions as an artist make him restless. Abraham is a dreamer who wishes to rise above his station in life and make his mark on the world, but the realities of his circumstances get in the way of happiness.
Well, damn. You know when you’ve gone over to the second page of Google results and you still can’t find anything about a South African movie? That’s Abraham. Maybe because it has the same name as one of America’s most well-known presidents, but even narrowing my search did nothing. Besides for the synopsis and that trailer/interview thing, there’s nothing about this movie available. My Google-fu has failed me. Sorry guys, you’ll have to guess the rest.
Last Updated: October 16, 2015