Mini Review - Thunder Road
Thunder Road (out Apr 18) is low-budget American film (shot for less than $500k) about a chatty, insecure police officer who is battling problems at work and at home. He's an odd but endearing character. A quality drama with a dash of comedy. Grade: B+.
Mini Review - The Trouble with You
The Trouble with You (out Apr 18) is an excruciatingly bad French comedy about a woman who discovers her last husband was a crooked cop who wrongly imprisoned an innocent man. I didn't believe anyone's feelings or actions. It's the same jokes again and again (e.g. bedtime stories with son, guy with dead body). Grade: C-.
Mini Review - Breaking Habits
Breaking Habits (out Apr 18) is a curious documentary centred on a middle-aged woman named Kate who started her own religion and has spent the last few years running an illegal cannabis business in California. It’s the kind of tale that could easily be told in a 2-minute news story and be just as effective with its impact and messaging. This feel stretched (with forced interviews) in places. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - Hellboy
Hellboy (out Apr 11) is a reboot of this franchise (after film releases in 2004 and 2008) and stars David Harbour in the lead role. It held my attention for 2 hours and has a good sense of humour about it. That said, it's not offering anything that hasn't been served up in other superhero flicks. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Little
Little (out Apr 11) is the story of a successful, bossy, annoying woman who gets a much-needed life lesson after being transformed back into her teenage self. There are some humorous insults and a notable lead performance from newcomer Marsai Martin but it’s a poor crafted screenplay and her tale of redemption doesn’t ring true. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (out Apr 11) has had a rough time getting made (see the 2002 doco Lost in La Mancha) but it's finally been completed by director Terry Gilliam with Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in the lead roles. The novelty wears thin in the later stages but it's still an entertaining journey of film director and his relationship with an elderly man who believes he's a 17th century knight. Grade: B.
Mini Review - Missing Link
Missing Link (out Apr 11) is a fun, nuanced animated feature filled with great characters. It's the tale of a British explorer (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who teams up with an insecure, self-conscious Bigfoot on an adventure through the Himalayas. The stop-motion animation (mixed with digital backgrounds) is outstanding. A great choice for the school holidays. Grade: A-.
Mini Review - The Aftermath
The Aftermath (out Apr 11) is a forgettable romantic drama set in post WWII Germany. Keira Knightley plays a woman who finds herself torn between her emotionless British husband and a widowed German soldier. I didn't care who she picked by the end. These are boring characters and I was never invested in their fate. Grade: C.