By Ryan Painter
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of April 12 – 18, 2013Mainstream
1. Jurassic Park IMAX 3D
2. Silver Linings Playbook (R)
3. Evil Dead
1. The Croods
2. Oz the Great and Powerful
3. Life of Pi (PG)
4. Beautiful Creatures
5. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)Art House
1. The Gatekeepers
4. Room 237
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Brian Helgeland
Starring • Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Baseball fans, historians and anyone who enjoyed “The Help.”
Two years in the life of Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) as Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) decides to break the baseball color barrier.
“42” is pretty much the film I expected it to be. It touches on the hardships and danger faced by Jackie Robinson as he became the first African American to play professional baseball in the major leagues, but it is less about the constant threat of violence and more about the feel-good ending. Still, even the watered down racism that the film does contain is pretty horrific in and of itself. This isn’t Spike Lee’s Jackie Robinson biopic; it’s a softer and kinder version that still manages to pay a decent tribute to Robinson.
Boseman is quite good as Robinson and Ford truly seems to enjoy himself as stubborn old man Rickey. The supporting players aren’t given much to work with as their various histories are brushed over in favor of giving Robinson’s story the entire spotlight.
Director/writer Brian Helgeland relies a bit too much on sentimentality when he should simply trust the strength of the story to deliver the inspirational message. The story also feels a bit rushed which, considering the film is two hour long, shouldn’t be the case. Maybe Robinson’s story really needs to be made into a miniseries. I’d love to see what HBO could do with Robinson’s tale. Trance
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Danny Boyle
Starring • James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for “Trainspotting” and “Inception” mashup that doesn’t quite match the quality of either of those two films.
Simon (James McAvoy) works as security for a high-end auction house. During a robbery Simon is struck in the head and loses his memory. The criminals escape, but the painting they were targeting goes missing. Believing that Simon has the painting the criminals force him to meet with a hypotherapist to help him remember where he’s hidden it.
“Trance” is the sort of film that very early on you know that you can’t trust what you are seeing. Unlike with a film like “Inception,” that lays out a pretty clear path for you to follow, “Trace” doesn’t offer an obvious trail of breadcrumbs to guide you on your way. Knowing director Danny Boyle’s attention to detail that there is a path; he’s just willing to point it out directly.
Stylistically Boyle has replaced the sci-fi of “Inception” with the gritty underworld of London. This is partly due to the re-teaming with writer John Hodge who wrote the majority of Boyle’s early films including “Trainspotting.” But Hodge’s presence is only part of what seems to be Boyle returning to his roots as the score by Rick Smith, member of electronic act Underworld whose song “Born Slippy” was featured in “Trainspotting,” feels like a sonic return to 1996.
My opinion of “Trance” may improve after I see the film again, but for now it feels like an interesting concept that just didn’t quite come together properly. It’s good, but I expected it to be better than that.No
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Pablo Larrain
Starring • Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those looking for a Chilean history lesson and a return to the visual aesthetic of 1988.
Based on the real events from 1988 when military dictator Agusto Pinochet allowed a referendum to solidify his position of power in Chile. He did so believing there was no way he could possibly lose an election. Even the oppositon believed he would win, but they hired a young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal), to try and mount an ad campaign on a shoe-string budget that could give the people of Chile the courage to vote for freedom.
“No” looks like it was shot in 1988. Typically that wouldn’t be a compliment; in this case it sets the tone of the film perfectly and injects the fairly weighty material with a sense of humor. This humor does take away some of the tension that might have otherwise been there, but it makes the film more accessible to those who might not typically enjoy a Spanish-language movie. Room 237
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Rodney Ascher
Rated • NR
Recommended to • People who enjoy outrageous conspiracy theories and those looking for hidden meaning in absolutely every shot Stanley Kubrick included in his version of “The Shinning.”
“Room 237” is a documentary about various theories regarding the hidden meaning within Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shinning.” None of which have anything to do with Stephen King’s novel. These theories contend that “The Shinning” is about the massacre of the American Indians or Nazi Germany or Kubrick’s confession to his wife that he had helped fake the moon landings. The evidence for these theories and more are presented exhaustively.
I love “Room 237.” Not because I agree with any of the purposed theories, but because I don’t agree with any of the purposed theories. Kubrick was one of the finest directors this world will ever know. “The Shinning” may not simply be a horror film. Kubrick may have hijacked King’s novel and adapted it to his own purpose. I’m just not convinced that Kubrick was controlling every frame down to the tinniest detail. Then again, maybe he was.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)