What should I see this weekend?, 6/9-6/11

ScreenerBlog

The Mummy is crummy.

The Good

My Cousin Rachel: “A perfect antidote to the surfeit of noisy summer releases, this period mystery is stunningly well done.”

It Comes at Night (SR): “It Comes at Night’s characters and story, such as they are, are all fairly standard. What elevates it above the generic is Shultz’s assured stylistic approach.”

The Hero (SR): “Brett Haley’s follow-up to I’ll See You in My Dreams is powered by a similar sweetness, as well as a stellar performance from Sam Elliott. The Hero candidly delves into the difficulties of old age without trivializing them.”

Beatriz at Dinner (SR): “Satire may be, as that pundit said, what closes on Saturday night, but this smart, biting and touching movie could well capture its own canny, receptive audience starved for an American film with real substance.”

Night School (SR): “A wonderfully trenchant and moving doc about three souls in search of a diploma.”

Funeral Parade of Roses (SR): “At once over-the-top camp and an invaluable artifact of a vanished gay age, this startling Japanese slice of lavender life has been unearthed for your delectation in time for this year’s Pride celebrations.”

The Hunter’s Prayer (SR): “Despite treading far-too-familiar territory, The Hunter’s Prayer is a surprisingly solid action thriller that should appeal to fans of Luc Besson’s earlier movies.”

Dawson City: Frozen Time (SR): “Bill Morrison's documentary, which takes off from the discovery of silent films buried in Canada's frozen Yukon territory, will interest both fans of silent cinema and historians.”

2017 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (SR): “This batch of seven international short films screened at the most recent Sundance Film Festival are less varied than in years past—with melancholy as a consistent mood and theme.”

11:55 (SR): “An appropriately sober, if not nail-biting, debut.”

Family Life (SR): “A sharply observed and poignant parable.”

The Blah

Megan Leavey: “Girl joins Marines and bonds with bomb-sniffing dog; girl leaves Marines and almost loses dog—and if audiences have stuck with this straightforward, “based on a true story” melodrama up to this point, they’ll probably hang around for its tearful ‘happy’ ending.”

Camera Obscura (SR): “Death follows a traumatized war photographer home from Afghanistan in this tricky thriller that loses momentum early on.”

Awakening the Zodiac (SR): “A young couple comes across evidence that might finally unmask the notorious 1960s serial murderer in this disappointing thriller.”

Moscow Never Sleeps (SR): “The city and cinematography are the stars in this tense yet affectionate ode to an imperfect Metropolis.”

Miles(SR): “The bittersweet pangs of lived experience supply a pleasing ripple of authenticity throughoutMiles, which helps keep it engaging even as the conflicts become increasingly manufactured.”

Ascent (SR): “Tan, a Dutch artist who works in several media, understands this material better than casual viewers. Her narration veers between oblique and pretentious, sometimes landing squarely on both. She delivers statements like ‘I shiver with dismay at the injustices and atrocities that humans willingly inflict on one another, supposedly in the name of religion’ in an affectless monotone that reduces Fuji to a backdrop.”

The Ugly

The Mummy: “Reworking a movie franchise that stretches back to 1932, The Mummy does what it's supposed to do with little originality and almost no life.”

As Good As You (SR): “This tale of a lesbian’s frantic search for love of any kind is very stale stuff, and made worse by one of those from-indie-hell, bad singer-songwriter music soundtracks.”