Kam Williams’ Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
There are only two big-budget films this week, A Bigger Splash, rated R, and Captain America: Civil War rated PG-13. In the Independent & Foreign Films section, there are eight releases. They are Beautiful Something, Dark Horse, Elsetree 1976, A Monster with a Thousand Heads, Mothers and Daughters, Pele: Birth of a Legend, Phantom of the Theatre, and Rabin in His Own Words.
BIG BUDGET FILMS
A Bigger Splash
A Bigger Splash is a psychological adult drama, loosely based on the movie La Piscine, released back in 1969. It is powerfully acted by a very talented cast. The plot revolves around a female rock icon, played by Tilda Swinton. Her vacation with her boyfriend, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, on a remote Italian island is disrupted by the arrival of an old friend, played by Ralph Fiennes and his daughter, played by Dakota Johnson.
Having just opened, not many Rotten Tomatoes members have seen it so far, but out of 3300 who have, 60% said they liked it. 64 of the 72 critics who have rated it so far, also liked it, giving it an average score of 7.4/10.
A Bigger Splash Features Lily McMenamy, Aurore Clement and Elena Bucci. It is rated R for profanity, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity and brief drug use.
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is the 13th episode in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. The three leading actors are Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson. The Avengers are split into two of adversarial factions. There are the freedom lovers led by Captain America, played by Chris Evans, and the pro-government camp led by Iron Man, played by Robert Downey, Jr. The supporting cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Paul Rudd.
Captain America: Civil War is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Beautiful Something is a homoerotic ensemble drama following the fates of four gay males. The four actors are Colman Domingo, Zack Ryan, John Lescault and Brian Sheppard. It follows their relationships throughout one very eventful evening. Supporting cast includes David Melissaratos, Grant Lancaster and Matthew Rios. Beautiful Something is unrated.
Dark Horse is an inspirational, rags-to-riches documentary fairy tale. A cleaning lady wanted a racehorse, and a group of working-class Welshmen helped her buy one. The horse didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to be as good as all the others.
Rated 96% so far at Rotten Tomatoes, 24 of the 25 critics who have reviewed it so far, liked it, rating it 7.1/10.
See also Prairie Miller’s Dark Horse interview. Dark Horse is rated PG for mature themes and mild epithets.
Elsetree 1976 is a nostalgic documentary that follows the lives of the actors and extras who played supporting roles in the original George Lucas Star Wars movie, through to J.J. Abrams’ recent blockbuster The Force Awakens.
There are human highs and lows, including probably the most iconic villain ever down to the actor whose character was cut from the final original film. We get to see the eccentric community these people have formed.
The cast includes Paul Blake, Jeremy Bulloch and John Chapman. Elsetree 1976 is unrated.
A Monster with a Thousand Heads
A Monster with a Thousand Heads is a revenge thriller about Sonia, a desperate woman, played by Jana Raluy, who takes the law into her own hands. Her insurance company denies medical care for cancer-stricken husband. Her desperation triggers a primal survival instinct in her, and we see a series of increasingly violent confrontations. Featuring Sebastian Aguirre, Hugo Algores and Emilio Echevarria.
A Monster with a Thousand Heads is unrated. (In Spanish with subtitles)
Mothers and Daughters
Mothers and Daughters is an ensemble drama. A female rock photographer is on a career high when she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Looking inward, instead of outward through her camera lens, she reconnects with her estranged mother.
Of 18 critics who have rated it so far, 14 did not like it.
The cast includes Susan Sarandon, Selma Blair, Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox, Christina Ricci and Mira Sorvino.
Mothers and Daughters is rated PG-13 for mature themes and brief drug use.
Pele: Birth of a Legend
Pele: Birth of a Legend is a soccer biopic. The legendary Pele, played by Kevin de Paula, rise from the slums of Sao Paulo and changed soccer forever. He rose to lead Brazil to its first World Cup victory at age 17.
This is a documentary soccer fans want to see. The cast includes Colm Meaney, Vincent D’Onofrio and Rodrigo Santoro.
Pele: Birth of a Legend is rated PG for smoking, mature themes and mild epithets.
Phantom of the Theatre
Phantom of the Theatre is a fantasy haunted house horror flick, Set in Shanghai. A haunted theatre is filled with the spirits of a performance troupe who were trapped and murdered in a fire 13 years ago. The theatre is haunted, and the vengeful spirits are just waiting for the playhouse to open again, so they can exact revenge on new victims.
Director Raymond Yip presents co-stars Ruby Lin, Simon Yam and Tony Yo-ning Yang.
Phantom of the Theatre is unrated.
Rabin in His Own Words
Rabin in His Own words is a reverential biopic about Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995), narrated by the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister himself from rare archived news footage and home movies and his personal letters. He was the son of a labor leader prior to the State of Israel being formed. He became a farmer, joined the army and was present at some of the most critical points in Israel’s history.
Only 5 critics have rated this so far at Rotten Tomatoes, but all 5 liked it, giving it an average rating of 9/10.
Rabin in His Own words is unrated. (In Hebrew with subtitles)