TFCA Friday: Week of June 16th, 2017

June 16, 2017

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

Opening this Week

All Eyez on Me (dir. Benny Boom)

Improves on reading Shakur’s Wikipedia entry, but it takes longer to get through and offers just as much insight” — AP

A lazy disservice to Tupac Shakur” — BH

If ever a story needed a seasoned filmmaker’s vision, it’s this one” — BD

Shipp Jr. does a good-enough impersonation in the Karl Kani gear and all, but he doesn’t bring that fire to the screen that made Tupac such an engaging personality” — RS

A touch overdone and quite unnecessary” — CK

Hardly a dull moment in this 2 hour, 40 minute biopic” — GS

Beatriz at Dinner (dir. Miguel Arteta)

As obvious as the movie’s intent and execution are, it gnaws at the conscience thanks to the brilliance of the lead performances” — PH

The whole thing feels smothered in [a] kind of righteous sanctimony” — NW

An angry condemnation of willful, well-to-do blindness” — CK

A balanced human drama so close to the bone that the only way to avoid crying about the situation at hand is to uncomfortably laugh at it” — AP

Good build up to an escalating climax, but fizzles off” — GS

The Book of Henry (dir. Colin Trevorrow)

A vile, sadistic movie disguised as an uplifting tale of whimsy” — NW

The blackly comic appeal of Henry’s grand plan is never quite sweet enough to ice over an improbable plot” — KT

Cars 3 (dir. Brian Fee)

Delivers humility to Lightning McQueen… and it looks good on him” — PH

This is the first film in Pixar’s talking-vehicle franchise that feels like it’s about something” — NW

Just because actual cars come off a conveyor belt doesn’t mean movies about them should” — CK

It’s difficult to get excited over one cartoon car wining a race against another cartoon car” — GS

In its stubborn and prolonged anthropomorphization of the automobile, Disney’s Cars franchise has struggled to find a place for female characters in a project whose chief motivation is surely to sell toys to boys” — KT

It’s not much overall, but entertaining on its own modest terms” — AP

In Search of Israeli Cuisine (dir. Roger Sherman)

Charming and mouth-watering” — AP

The chefs and foodies don’t shy away from the prickly conversation, some with an almost wide-eyed hope that working together in the kitchen could help ease that region’s tensions – the future staked on hummus” — RS

Rough Night (dir. Lucia Aniello)

Has many narrative bumps, but what smooths them is the great chemistry of the five women caught in the central dilemma” — PH

A comedy with a great female cast, but the women [are] given nothing to do” — LB

A pretty good time, not for the tiresome broad comedy stipulated by the genre, but because funny people like Jillian Bell and especially Kate McKinnon know how to wield their physicality and make the most with off-hand comments” — RS

It’s not an awful film, just not as funny or interesting as a film with this talented of a cast should be” — AP

Feels like a rough draft, one that could have used at least one more pass by its writers before committing it to the screen” — CK

Of the five actresses, SNL’s Kate McKinnon succeeds as the funniest of the lot, believable as an Australian with her accent” — GS

Something in the Air: The Cinema of Olivier Assayas

Barry Hertz chats with the filmmaker on his next cinema experiment

Reviews and features by:Peter Howell (PH), Norman Wilner (NW), Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Barry Hertz (BH), Liz Braun (LB), Radheyan Simonpillai (RS), Chris Knight (CK), Bruce DeMara (BD), Kate Taylor (KT).