Tuesday, May 21, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 18, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 20
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Mouthy Merc Deadpool returns to shoot his comedic load
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

DEADPOOL 2
Now playing


The Merc with the Mouth returns in Deadpool 2, the irreverent follow-up to 2016's surprise R-rated smash superhero action-comedy Deadpool that brazenly took a character that was introduced in perfunctory and forgettable fashion in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and shockingly made something electric, alive and artistically viable out of him. Once again starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular comic book mutant who just doesn't have what it takes to be a member of the X-Men, this sequel is certain to please fans of the first film. Featuring crackerjack action sequences directed with pinpoint precision by Atomic Blonde and John Wick impresario David Leitch while still maintaining the vulgar wit of its predecessor, it might even pick up some new ones as well.

For my part, I'm still not entirely onboard with these grotesquely humorous pieces of pop culture superhero entertainment. I just don't find all of the Airplane meets Caddyshack meets Jackass gags consistently hilarious, while the infrequent breaking of the fourth wall, moments where Deadpool or his badly burned human alter ego Wade Wilson talk directly to the audience, don't work nearly as well as they are undeniably intended to. At just under two hours, I also find that the film tends to overstay its welcome, certain sequences dragged out more because the filmmakers can do so than they serve any sort of narrative significance.

What I do appreciate is the actual plot that Reynolds and his returning Zombieland co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have conjured up, much of it refreshing in its approach to how both heroism and villainy are depicted in superhero motion pictures. Deadpool lives in a moral grey area, his reasons for doing what he does normally coming from an altruistic passion to stand up for the downtrodden even if his lethal actions aren't altogether justified. As such, the film's supposed nemesis Cable (Josh Brolin), a cybernetically enhanced enforcer from the future who has gone back in time to stop a wrong that will lead to the death of his wife and child, isn't your prototypical baddie. Better, neither is teenage mutant Russell, a.k.a. Firefist (Julian Dennison). He's the one all of Cable's murderous animosity is directed towards. But instead of making this kid a saintly soul just looking for a father figure to show him right from wrong, he's as psychologically wounded and as morally crippled as anyone else in the movie proves to be, his journey adding an intriguingly complex dimension I can't say I anticipated.

Not that any of what transpires is particularly revolutionary. The crux of the story still revolves around Deadpool/Wade dealing with his own emotional shortcomings as best he can, especially as they pertain to the eternal love of his life, Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). His reasons for trying to protect Russell from Cable are born from a fairly cliché bit of mundane and reductive tragedy that has him rethinking what he's doing with his life as a superhero for hire. The script never deals with this melodramatic action film trope with any of the same guts, guile or wit it attacks so many other facets of cinematic comic book storytelling. Instead, it plays these elements frustratingly straight, adding an air of stereotypically clueless misogyny to the mix that's rather unfortunate.

Which is crazy because, in almost every other way that matters, Deadpool 2 is enjoyably progressive. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) returns to kick a little bit of sardonic butt and now she's sporting an adorable, kindhearted girlfriend played with effortless guile and charismatic whimsy by rising star Shioli Kutsuna. There's also the introduction of kick-ass mutant Domino portrayed with kinetic magnetism by 'Atlanta' firebrand Zazie Beetz, the actress at times running away with the entire movie, stealing scenes left and right from both Reynolds and Brolin with ease. The casting of breakout Hunt for the Wilderpeople actor Dennison was also a major coup, the pint-sized New Zealander consistently earning laughs while at the same time managing to break my heart with his passionately emotional agility.

There's a lot about the plot I'm leaving purposefully vague. Even the trailers, as ambiguous as they were attempting to be, still give away a handful of the film's more potently silly surprises, not the least of which is the beginning of the X-Force team Deadpool will at some point find himself a part of. But the core elements are pretty straightforward, and because of that Reynolds gets to wildly do his thing as he talks back to the screen and rowdily let loose with a running stream of coarse one-liners that pushes the sequel's R-rating to its breaking point. It's also an excuse for Leitch to continue to show he can stage staggering action sequences better than just about anyone working today, the fluidity of the choreography of each set piece working in dynamic tandem with Jonathan Sela's (Transformers: The Last Knight) cinematography beautifully.

Even so, I'm still not going to talk about any of the gags and I'm not going to reveal any of the names of the actors who pop in briefly for a cameo. These are all things a fan should discover on their own without any nondescript hints from me. What I will say is that, much like the first film, I'm totally fine with Deadpool 2, readily enjoying much of it. But that still doesn't mean I plan on revisiting this sequel anytime soon; and as much as everyone else seems to go gaga for this particular mouthy mutant mercenary, part of me can't help but wish that, after this adventure becomes a global hit, he finally decides to shut up.


Cathartically gut-wrenching Tully an emotional powerhouse
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

TULLY
Now playing


Reuniting for the first time since 2011's emotionally eviscerating Young Adult, director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and producer/star Charlize Theron's funny, charming and in the end devastating chronicle of aging and motherhood Tully is never the movie I expected it to be. Moving in a variety of clever ways, what starts out as some sort of twee chronicle of a working mom with two kids and an unexpected third little one on the way who finds herself revitalized thanks to the pixie magic effervescence of a night nanny sent to give her a hand suddenly becomes something far more profound and meaningful. It makes this transition with a deft ingenuity that is as unforced as it is sublime, the story's final twists packing such a staggering wallop I found myself exiting the theatre in something akin to a state of total awe.

Days away from having her third, and entirely unplanned child, Marlo (Theron) is hanging on by a thread. While her eldest daughter Emmy (Maddie Dixon-Poirier) is as precocious and as inquisitive as they come, kindergartner Jonah (Asher Miles Fallica) might have special needs as he frequently disrupts class and needs his skin 'brushed' every morning before he can come downstairs for breakfast. Marlo's husband Drew (Ron Livingston) means well, and he knows his wife is struggling, but his job frequently sends him out of town on business, and while he's happy to help the kids with their homework when he is at home, all other facets of parenthood sometimes seem beyond his capabilities.

All of which makes the arrival of an infant daughter into this craziness all the more difficult for Marlo. While at first she makes the attempt to keep doing what she's always done in a valiant attempt to maintain the status quo, after an impromptu screaming session directed at her son's elementary school principal in exhausted anger is intermixed with a handful of additional sleep-deprived calamities she decides to make a change. Marlo takes up her wealthy younger brother Craig's (Mark Duplass) offer to provide her with a night nanny, a young woman who will look after her newborn baby from dusk to dawn so she can finally get some rest.

All of which is pretty straightforward, and when the energetic, ebulliently cheerful Tully (Mackenzie Davis) knocks on Marlo's door I immediately got the feeling this was going to be one of those movies where a younger woman helps her older doppelganger reconnect with her past while opening her eyes to the wondrous realities her life currently overflows with. But Cody, Reitman and Theron are playing their cards close to the vest, and soon it becomes apparent all three of them are intent on digging much deeper into topics relating to aging, motherhood and marriage than initially meet the eye. It is a movie that builds to a shattering climax that brought a cascade of tears to my eyes, Marlo's destination as cathartic, and as gut-wrenching, as any I could have imagined before the film began.

The trick is that Cody's script is upfront with how it deals with so many of life's uglier realities. There are no punches pulled. There aren't any issues that are swept under the rug. This is life in all its complicated, hardscrabble anxiety, a place where dreams of youth give way to the weary overweight realties of adulthood and where parents strive to do the right thing by their children even if they're never entirely certain what that is supposed to be. It is a place where families whither in silence, not for lack of love, but because of the absence of communication, complacency transforming into the norm as everyone silently goes through the motions not realizing just how difficult each hour of each day has slowly become.

Reitman doesn't embellish. He allows Cody's screenplay and Theron's withered, fearlessly unfettered magnificence to do all of the heavy lifting. After the uneven, if still entertaining, melodramatics of Labor Day and the unfocused, frustrating mediocrity of Men, Women & Children, Reitman is back in top form, and much like Juno, Up in the Air and Young Adult the unflinching candor of this story is a thing of absolute beauty. While moments of joyous humor abound, it is the merciless manner in which emotional maelstroms grow in strength and ferocity that is what makes this motion picture so special, the naturalistic progression of all that transpires simply wondrous.

But it is Theron who makes this movie soar. As great as she was in recent efforts like Atomic Blonde and Gringo, this is the Oscar-winning actress reminding us all just what sort of titanic, multifaceted powerhouse she truly is. There is a weary physicality to her performance that held me spellbound, and much like her justifiably lauded turns in features as diverse as Monster, North Country, Young Adult and Mad Max: Fury Road proved to be, her work here as Marlo is a showcase of poetic post-partum eloquence that's nothing short of perfect.

It did take me a little while to get swept inside everything Reitman and Cody were trying to say, and as excellent as Davis proves to be, it admittedly took me a moment to warm up to her character, Tully's starry-eyed positivity coming perilously close to becoming grating, especially early on. But it soon becomes apparent that the filmmaking team is playing fast and loose with convention, throwing curveball after curveball as the relationship between Tully and Marlo becomes more and more symbiotic as they inch closer to one another. There's something going on that catapulted me to the edge of my seat as I attempted to put the pieces of this metaphorical puzzle together, and while the resultant twists aren't entirely shocking, their inherent power to amaze is undeniably overwhelming.

I'm not sure what audiences will ultimately think of Tully. The way the final section plays out, even if it isn't unexpected, the reveal, when it comes, is still a major punch in the gut. Additionally, while things are certainly different for Marlo, much like life there is no guarantee the realizations she has made about her marriage and her family are going to end up sticking far into the future. Yet all of this is why Reitman and company's latest dramatic opus is such a phenomenal tour de force, its eventual magnificence grounded in a tactile understanding of the byzantine human conundrums that make life the miraculously demanding marvel it stubbornly cannot help but be.


Mediocre Breaking In a dispiriting home invasion thriller
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

BREAKING IN
Now playing


After the unexpected death of her estranged father, Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) heads out to his secluded country home to prepare the multi-acre property for sale. She is joined by her children Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr), her workaholic husband Justin (Jason George) hoping to join them in the next few days. While she hasn't been there in years, Shaun is still somewhat shocked to discover her dad had transformed the property into a veritable fortress, installing a state of the art security system that could lock it down top to bottom within seconds in case the situation to do so might ever arise.

Another thing this wife and mother didn't know? A quartet of criminals led by the aggressively calm Eddie (Billy Burke) have been hiding inside for days, not expecting the dead man's daughter to suddenly arrive. They're after the $4-million in cash hidden inside a safe that's somewhere in the house, and they're not above taking Shaun kids hostage and locking her outside if it might help speed up the process of their getting it. What they didn't count on is that this mother is nobody's wallflower, and she's determined to do whatever it takes to ensure Jasmine and Glover survive the night even if that means she's got to destroy Eddie's crew one member at a time.

Breaking In isn't a good movie. The latest action effort from V for Vendetta and The Raven director James McTeigue, there's very little about this one that's even moderately exciting. Even though set in something akin to real time (Eddie's crew only has 90 minutes to find the money), even with a scenario that inherently overflows in tension, somehow this movie proves to be as forgettable as it is devoid of anything resembling suspense. Ryan Engle's (Rampage) script offers up a decent enough idea and then forgets to bring intelligence, wit or complexity to the proceedings. It all ends up being nothing more than a poorly paced waste of time, the final moments surprisingly exploitive in a way the reminded me more of I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left than they did The Petrified Forest, Key Largo or The Desperate Hours.

Not that any of this is Union's fault. The talented actress is given the center spotlight and does what she can to make the most of her moment. There is a fierce determination to her performance that's undeniably captivating. I loved a scene where she interrogates a member of Eddie's crew, the way her body language slowly and subtly changes as she sits there calmly listening to him eerie in its quiet intensity. It's as if Shaun is letting her inner lioness take control, the passionate emotional dexterity Union displays beyond terrific.

But the movie rarely knows what to do with any of this. Worse, Burke isn't an interesting villain, and there was never a second where I actually found him threatening. As for his compatriots, they're the usual ragtag bunch of wimps and psychos, but none of them are ever all that believable. Only Richard Cabral stands out in any noticeable way, and most of those aren't particularly positive, the way he overplays his hand so completely during the portions of the story where he has to go full-bore psychopathic borderline embarrassing.

I honestly don't know what happened between V for Vendetta and now. Maybe it was the presence of Lana and Lilly Wachowski as producers and screenwriters that grounded him, but McTeigue has just never been able to conjure up anything even close to the same sort of magic in any of his subsequent endeavors behind the camera. Ninja Assassin, The Raven, Survivor, it's almost as if the director keeps growing less and less confident in his craft as time goes by. Here, there's no feeling of urgency, no sense of time, and for a movie that keeps reminding its evil characters they're on a ticking time clock before the police arrive you'd think they were all preparing for a dinner party and not trying to abscond with millions of dollars in cash.

I do like Union an awful lot, and for her fans maybe this is a change-of-pace performance they might be interested in taking a look at. I was also suitably impressed with Cece Destefano's (Happy Death Day) production design, and I couldn't help but wish McTeigue would have spent a little more time exploring that massive house before all the mayhem and carnage made doing so a lot more difficult. All that being so, I still found Breaking In to be spectacularly difficult to sit through, its overall mediocrity a continual source of frustration that I kept feeling long after the film itself had come to its anemically dispiriting end.


Agreeably goofy Life an endearing collegiate comedy
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

LIFE OF THE PARTY
Now playing


After her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) announces he wants a divorce on the day they drop their only daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) off at college for her senior year of school, longtime housewife Deanna Miles (Melissa McCarthy) is understandably upset. While initially content to commiserate with her longtime best friend Christine (Maya Rudolph), after thinking on things Deanna comes to a realization. While they were in college, she put her dreams of earning her archeology degree on hold so she and Dan could start a family, always thinking she'd go back and finish her final year of college at a later date. But 'later' never happened. With nothing to lose Deanna returns to school, re-enrolling as a senior alongside her initially dumbfounded, if eventually elated daughter Maddie, the two Miles women taking college by storm as they both strive to achieve their respective dreams.

Teaming up and co-writing the script with her director husband Ben Falcone for the third time, Life of the Party is a huge step up from the almost unwatchable, if still oddly ambitious, mediocrity of Tammy and The Boss. While less edgy, while not as interested in pushing boundaries or creating an aggressive mixture of comedy and drama as those two features were, this pleasant little piece of overly familiar fluff is nonetheless moderately entertaining. It's a captivating bit of comedic comfort food, and while a little too reminiscent of the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield favorite Back to School, McCarthy and Falcone still acquit themselves nicely, and as such this is a movie I end up finding it surprisingly difficult to say anything all that bad about.

Don't get me wrong. The supporting characterizations are thin and nondescript, almost as if McCarthy and Falcone watched films like Neighbors, The House Bunny, Legally Blonde and the aforementioned Back to School and decided to see if they could create situations and characters that would purposefully blur the line between homage and plagiarism. If you ask me to tell you anything concrete about the young women portraying Maddie's sorority housemates I could honestly say precious little other than the actress who portrays Helen, a.k.a. 'Coma Girl' (the nickname makes sense when you watch the movie), Gillian Jacobs, goes all out and does whatever she can to get a laugh. If you were to ask me why veterans like Rudolph, Stephen Root, Jacki Weaver and Chris Parnell decided to be in this for any other reasons than their friendship with the filmmakers or to pick up a quick paycheck I don't think I could come up with an alternative rationale anyone might find believable.

The thing is, all of them are still fairly funny, each getting just enough time to do something interesting or amusing to make their presence worthwhile. Additionally, I honestly liked just how friendly and strangely polite this movie proved to be. This is especially true of the sorority sisters played by Jacobs, Jessie Ennis and Adria Arjona. Their characters embrace Deanna instantaneously, opening their hearts to her as if she were just another woman residing in their house. As aggressive as some of the putdowns involving Dan and his affair with an aggressively narcissistic realtor (deftly portrayed by a ferociously venal Julie Bowen) might be, overall there is a layer of kindness and respect to this story that's charming. It all just made me smile and feel good about myself, and considering how hard both Tammy and The Boss worked to make me feel the opposite, this ended up being a fairly wonderful turn of events to say the least.

Some gags go on a little longer than necessary, while a climactic sorority house party to help Deanna stay in school doesn't exactly go anyplace unexpected or interesting. Even a surprise cameo ends up feeling a little half-baked, almost as if this musical surprise was an idea McCarthy and Falcone had at the last second and found some way to throw into the proceedings. Some of the more ungainly pieces just refuse to fit together, while others feel as if they were extracted from a completely different, far less engaging comedy I'd rather not have had to sit there and watch.

But even this feels like a minor flaw, and Life of the Party thankfully rebounds rather quickly at the end to go out on a couple of heartwarming scenes of family, sisterhood and the pursuit of educational achievement that's suitably endearing. McCarthy gives a lively performance overflowing with peppy enthusiasm and emotional complexity, her chemistry with Gordon a continual delight. Even if this isn't a film I'm going to be thinking about much longer than the time it takes to write this review, it still makes me feel good enough that I'm happy I gave it a look, the overall positivity with which Deanna chooses to live her life undeniably infectious.


SIFF film screenings: Dawnland and Holy Angels at the Seattle Public Library May 26
Join the Seattle Public Library, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and Longhouse Media for a free screening and panel discussion of Dawnland, a documentary that follows the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States, on Saturday, May 26 from 1pm to 4pm at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium, (206) 386-4636. The screening will be preceded by the short film, Holy Angels.

Library programs are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $7.

Stolen children, racism, devastated families and cultural genocide encompass this documentary about government-sanctioned atrocities committed against Native Americans in the United States - in particular, the Wabanaki people of Maine. Dawnland depicts the work of the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans as it gathers stories and documents the history of Native American children removed from their homes and culture and placed in white communities.

SCHEDULE
1:00pm - Reception

1:30pm - Screenings of Holy Angels and Dawnland

3:00pm - Post-film discussion with Tracy Rector, moderator and co-founder of Longhouse Media; Sandy White Hawk, consultant for Indian Child Welfare; Mishy Lesser, learning director for the Upstander Project

This event is the first of three screenings of films by and about Indigenous people to be held at the Seattle Public Library in 2018. Each film was selected by local filmmaker Tracy Rector in a project that grew out of recommendations from the Library's Native Advisory Council. Watch for additional films in October and December.

This program is made possible with support from The Seattle Public Library Foundation. It is presented in partnership with SIFF and Longhouse Media.

For more information, call the Seattle Public Library at (206) 386-4636 or visit https://www.spl.org/. For ADA accommodations, please contact: leap@spl.org.


Girls that rage: P!nk ignites Key Arena
------------------------------
God blessed us with a great puppeteer in Hand to God at SPT
------------------------------
Adam Rippon on 'Meet My Mom' and in Stars on Ice at Key Arena this Saturday 5/19
------------------------------
'Roman Holiday' Pacific MusicWorks presents another exceptional program and performance of Baroque music
------------------------------
Love Never Dies is the usual dying sequel
------------------------------
CALL FOR ARTISTS: 4Culture seeks to purchase original artwork for King County Public Art Collection
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------
Melissa Febos named winner of the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Mouthy Merc Deadpool returns to shoot his comedic load
------------------------------
Cathartically gut-wrenching Tully an emotional powerhouse
------------------------------
Mediocre Breaking In a dispiriting home invasion thriller
------------------------------
Agreeably goofy Life an endearing collegiate comedy
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News