The Lerner duo of Movies and Shakers review six new films to open July




Director Christopher Nolan’s first action film based on a real life event is massive and impressive. During World War II, 400,000 British and Allied soldiers were pushed by the Nazis to the corner of France at Dunkirk; trapped on the beach with no way out. What was a defeat in May, 1940, actually turned into a moral victory. Nolan feels there was a gap in telling this story and he wanted to put his stamp on it. War movie buffs are going to love this full-on spectacle.


Gross, gorgeous and giggle worthy describe this slick trip flick which is a raunch fest. Think The Hangover with a cast of African-American beauties who bonded in college. They go on a no holes barred (literally) reunion in NOLA. That’s New Orleans, the city known for debauchery. There is overindulgence on every level including drinks, drugs, cat fights, dance battles, male and female nudity, and language that would make your Mother very upset. But the audience at our screening was howling. There are so many shockingly funny moments.  


This is not a film for everyone. Just be willing to be patient watching a thought-provoking, slow-moving film that is intense, but not scary. It’s about life, love and grief plus the history of your existence told from the point of view of a ghost! And it is strangely haunting.

We saw this film twice and glad we did. Plus we were able to talk with Writer/Director David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon) at the Q & A after the second screening. He explained a few of the most memorable scenes, and his main character, who is draped in a simple sheet. Lowery also noted that A24, the distributor handling this film, opened of A Ghost Store in New York City to publicize the film. What does this store sell? That’s right, bedsheets!  


 This is a film of epic and even Biblical proportions. Andy Serkis portrays Caesar, the genetically modified, intelligent ape who is more human than the humans he and his tribe are fighting.

Serkis’ performance is stunning. Can the performance of a character created with motion caption special effects be eligible for an Academy Award? We think his is definitely worth considering. He had to act out every scene and every line and the range of emotion he conveys throughout the film draws you in. He is incredible. He says there’s no mystery to motion capture and you have to act like the character, learn choreography like a dancer and get caught up in who you are playing. With special effects enhancing the eyes, it’s made to look even more real.


Fasten your seat belt. This is one slick action film that may very well turn up on our Top 10 list for the year. It could also become a cult classic.

Writer/Director Edgar Wright (Sean of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hot Fuzz) was inspired by music he picked before he wrote the script and the all star cast. He also had his editor, Paul Machliss  on the set to cut the day’s shots to the music each day. It’s an unusual production technique but it gave the Director immediate confirmation that he got just the right coordination of music, lyrics, story and action. 


Is the third time a charm? This is the third time in the past 15 years the Spiderman franchise has received a re-boot and this may be the best of the lot. Spidey’s web sticks but the movie itself lags a bit in the middle. It comes back with a twist and a cool post credits scene worth waiting for.

Tom Holland is youthful, energetic and has good teen angst for the newly minted Spider Man. Cast at age 19, he is the youngest actor to be land the role. He is a gymnast and dancer who played the lead in Billy Elliott as a much younger kid. Holland plays a youthful superhero wannabe, who crawls on ceilings and does web slinging and swinging quite well. Watts does a pretty good job getting us in the middle of the action.

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