Four new reviews from Movies and Shakers by Al and Linda Lerner



We all know the story. Young Arthur slides the magic sword Excalibur out of the stone and ascends to the Throne of England. But with Guy Ritchie co-writing and directing King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, it feels more like he’s trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Sure, there’s some fun in this bloated, enormously overproduced 2 hour re-imagining of the Camelot origin tale. (600 actors on the massive set plus 100 horses) But Ritchie and co-writers Joby Harold and Lionel Wigram can’t decide if this is an edgy, modern tale or a bang-bang video game. Neither is very satisfying.


You will appreciate your Mom more than ever if you take her to see Snatched. It’s a fun Mother’s Day comedy/adventure that’s gross and silly. But Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are able to provide laughs out of ridiculous situations and pull it off.

Moms and daughters have issues. In this film Goldie Hawn is Linda. She is divorced and doesn’t get along well with daughter Emily, who always seems to have other issues, too. Her boyfriend has just broken up with her and is not going on their South American, non-refundable, vacation. Emily talks Mom into going this adventure.


You need a lot of patience to be “faithful” to this film. It’s slow but sure without a lot of dialogue. Although the performances between Debra Winger and Tracey Letts are understated, and their interaction is fun to watch. Director Azazel Jacobs focuses on complicated relationships and shows that timing can be everything.

It’s good to see Debra Winger (Officer and A Gentleman, Terms of Endearment) back on the big screen, on her game with comedy. Winger says she held off doing the film for 5 years until the script was right. She and Letts (Tony and Pulitzer award winner) play a couple in a long-term marriage that fizzled out many moons ago.


No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed making this movie, but the same cannot be said for their handlers. There is an example of the kind of comedy in this sequel to the popular 2014 original. Director James Gunn uses and takes off on jokes from the past which, at times, deserve a rim shot, but it works.

There’s more to this Marvel film. Like recent hit The Fate of the Furious, it’s all about family with non-stop action and explosions to burn. Only this time in space and accompanied by a fantastic mix of golden oldies songs hand-picked by Gunn.

Loved hearing the obscure 1970’s LSD by Alliota, Haynes and Jeremiah’s about Lake Shore Drive in our home town, Chicago, along with so many other tunes from the past. (The Chain, Fleetwood Mac, My Sweet Lord/George Harrison, Brandy/Looking Glass). Gunn says these songs got him through adolescent angst and awkwardness, not because he was unloved by his parents, but remembering what it was like in his teen years. He says he dove into his action figures, music and Marvel comic books to escape, bringing as much as he could back into this film.



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