TFCA Friday: Week of August 18th, 2017

August 18, 2017

Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews and articles by TFCA critics.

Reviews and features by: Andrew Parker (AP), Jim Slotek (JS), Liam Lacey (LL), Brian D. JohnsonPeter Howell (PH), Gilbert Seah (GS), Chris Knight (CK), Barry Hertz (BH), Karen Gordon (KG), Eli Glasner, and Kate Taylor (KT).

Opening this Week

The Adventurers (dir. Stephen Fung)

Goes largely in one ear and out the other, but it does deliver a few good gasps and laughs along the way” — AP

Expo 67: Mission Impossible (dirs. Eric Ruel, Guylaine Maroist, and Michel Barbeau)

Well meaning, but barely above the quality of a Made-for-History Channel documentary on the same subject” — AP

Good Time (dirs. Josh and Benny Safdie)

Pattinson makes Connie one of the best roles of his career by turning a two-bit hood into a loyal family guy driven to help his brother. John Steinbeck would recognize these characters. So would Martin Scorsese, who is thanked in the credits” — PH

Some films are steak; others, merely sizzle. Good Time, with a slick, frenetic artifice that quickly descends from thrilling to insufferable, is a step down from that. It’s sizzle played on a synthesizer” — CK

It carries no message and means only to keep your attention, even if it has to hit you squarely in the head occasionally with a curveball to do it” — JS

The rare kind of propulsive action film where everything is meant to feel appropriately desperate and harrowing” — AP

Will have critics screaming that Pattinson can act” — GS

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (dir. Patrick Hughes)

The cinematic equivalent of a guilty burger drive-thru meal when dinner is too wearisome to contemplate” — PH

It provides a memorable chuckle, and the film includes a few unmemorable ones, but little more to recommend it” — CK

Not even a busload of nuns could make moral sense of this one” — KT

Many elements of the screenplay are inexcusably lazy. There’s an arbitrary and absurd deadline: If Kincaid can’t make it to the International Criminal Court before 5 p.m., Dukhovich will be set free—which seems like an unconscionably short statute of limitations for war crimes” — LL

Doesn’t earn too many points for originality or style, but it achieves every modest goal it sets out to make” — AP

The main plus is that the absolute unexpected can—and actually always does—occur at any time” — GS

Ingrid Goes West (dir. Matt Spicer)

Comes on like a Sundance comedy — it won writer/director Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith the screenwriting prize at Sundance 2017 — but it unfolds like a Hitchcock suspenser” — PH

Proves that accomplished execution and performance can make a well trod storyline feel fresh and original” — AP

The heartbeat of the film is Plaza’s nimble performance—the micro-second behind-the-beat inability to glibness, the stilted smile in the selfie and that feral alertness to threat in her watchful gaze” — LL

The most accomplished of all of Aubrey Plaza’s roles” — GS

In This Corner of the World (dir. Sunao Katabuchi)

An empowering coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of World War II, while parading the resilience and triumph of the human spirit” — GS

Katabuchi’s measured, nuanced approach is one of the finest dramatic depictions of the human face of war in quite some time” — AP

Logan Lucky (dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Colourful supporting characters help keep the pot boiling: a flirty health-care pro (Katherine Waterston); an eccentric FBI agent (Hilary Swank); a pompous prison warden (Dwight Yoakam); and the Logans’ sister (Riley Keough), a hairdresser who loves to split hairs” — PH

The film hits a truly unexpected high when it introduces Daniel Craig’s bank-vault expert Joe Bang, an imprisoned force of comic fury whose unhinged performance elevates Logan Lucky above any notions of genre shtick” — BH, with a great conversation with the filmmaker

It may look Ocean-like, but Steven Soderbergh fans could get antsy waiting for the heist film Logan Lucky to catch a wave. Not to worry, though. Patience pays off” — KG

An uneven movie, but also a thoroughly fascinating and consistently enjoyable one” — AP

It all adds up to an uneven story that manages to be far more entertaining than a bare-bones description would suggest” — CK

Brian D. Johnson with a choice Soderbergh interview: Regarding working with Daniel Craig, it was ”a great opportunity to throw a grenade behind his shoulder and blow up everything he’d done”

The Reagan Show (dirs. Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Valez)

Le Ride (dir. Phil Keoghan)

TIFF 2017 (and 2018, and 2019, and, y’know, beyond)

Facing an industry-wide decline in traditional movie attendance, TIFF hopes to find new ways to engage people, especially millennials, in the digital as well as physical realms — PH