What should I see this weekend?, 4/21-4/23

ScreenerBlog

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 (SR): “Searing images and interviews drive John Ridley’s cogent documentary reconstruction of how escalating tensions finally erupted in all-out chaos on the streets of L.A.”

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki (SR): “Shooting a boxing drama in black-and-white might risk inviting comparison with the gold standard for that genre, Raging Bull. But Finnish first-time feature director Juho Kuosmanen's captivating account of the 1962 world featherweight championship match between country baker Olli Maki and American titleholder Davey Moore is in a ring of its own.”

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent (SR): “This chef profile is magnificent in both style and substance and perfectly suits its subject, now living reclusively in Mexico after reigning atop the food world for decades.”

The Penguin Counters (SR): “Overall, this is an engaging look at the preservation of a creature that, with the single exception of pandas, has probably brought more joy to us than any other living creature.”

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (SR): “You don’t often expect to get much juice out of a documentary focused on subjects like architectural modernism and city planning. But Matt Tyrnauer’s argumentative film is the cinematic equivalent of a particularly caffeinated op-ed about how to fix what’s wrong with the modern city.”

Tomorrow (SR): “A globetrotting documentary that’s more focused on solutions than problems, Tomorrow (Demain) provides a comprehensive look at ways in which activists, organizers and everyday citizens are trying to make the world a better, greener, more sustainable place.”

The Student (SR): “The Student offers both a universally relevant examination of religious zealotry and, at the same time, a damning, satirical look at modern Russia, a country whose major institutions have become increasingly dominated and cowed by medieval-minded reactionaries and bigots.”

The Blah

The Promise: “A young man leaves his village to study medicine in Constantinople and becomes embroiled in events leading to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 in this competent but unremarkable historical epic.”

Behind the White Glasses (SR): “A spry, if sometimes scattered, celebration of groundbreaking Italian director Lina Wertmuller.”

Amazon Adventure (SR): “Stunning 3D macro-photography and an adventurous spirit lift this frustratingly cursory recreation of an 11-year journey of discovery.”

The Ugly

Unforgettable: “An unintentionally hilarious thriller about a demented woman seeking revenge on her ex-hubby and his new love.”

Slack Bay (SR): “A rather diabolically unfunny catastrophe, but at least [director Bruno] Dumont is openly aiming his humor at something.”

Somewhere Beautiful (SR): “A conceptual exercise about the parallels between a director’s life and his work that’s as pretentious as it is turgid.”