It’s a quiet week on the new-release front, at least in terms of what we were able to see. I wanted Werner Herzog’s take on the Internet in Lo and Behold to be a little more scathing — okay, a lot more scathing — but Werner Herzog answers only to Werner Herzog, and that’s fine. I wanted the Roberto Durán biopic Hands of Stone to be a Roberto Durán biopic, but it wound up being four or five other things as well, which wasn’t great. I had no expectations whatsoever for the Obamas’ first-date flick Southside with You and was pleasantly surprised by its sly intelligence. So that was nice.
Scott is off seeing the scary movie Don’t Breathe. He says, “Don’t hold your breath for anything more than a black spot, but we’ll see.” I’ll post the review as soon as it arrives.
Also opening, but (for now) unreviewed: Mechanic: Resurrection, A Tale of Love & Darkness, Miss Sharon Jones!, and The Intervention. You can’t see ’em all. Or at least, we can’t.
The big deal, the thing to pay attention to, is the Exitos del Cine Latino. Scott liked both the films he’s seen so far. One of them he even loved. Viz:
Mr. Pig — A suggestion that pig-whisperer Ambrose (Danny Glover) should have raised chickens instead is greeted with a toothy grin and the reply, “They’re too stupid. And they’re not family.” We all know the type of hardcore animal-lovers who place more value on the lives of pets than they do humankind. That’s precisely why 75-year-old Ambrose’s disapproval of the inhumane tactics of a second generation hog farmer makes it impossible for him to let go his $50,000 prize porker, Howie. Soon, an estranged daughter (Maya Rudolph) who wants desperately to reconnect joins her withering dad and his porcine pal on a last tour of Mexico. Delightfully disarming, this pig-in-cat’s clothing reworking of Harry and Tonto finds both stars operating in peak form. In his third outing behind the camera, writer-director Diego Luna quarries conviction and warmth, not nuggets of sentimentality. And a more felicitous, profoundly affecting curtain shot is not likely to come our way this year. Don’t miss it! 2016 — S.M. ★★★★ (AMC PLAZA BONITA)
The Apostate — Climb inside the head of Gonzalo Tamayo (Álvaro Ogalla) for this slow-paced existential art-house comedy that’s certain to alienate many. A professional college student in his early 30s, Gonzalo is well-liked by those who don’t know him and a spiteful child to those who do. Certain that religion presents an unrealistic view of the world, the sleepy-eyed straggler with one set of clothes to his name yearns to forsake Christianity. One questions if Gonzalo’s series of progressively more absurd sexual encounters take place solely in his head. It’s either that or he’s carrying on an affair with a married cousin (Marta Larralde). One thing is certain, though: his surrogate father relationship with the neighbor kid downstairs exists solely to position the boy’s single mom as a romantic interest. The mundanity of the relationship is as counterproductive to the film’s surrealistic strengths as religious superstition is to Gonzalo’s being. Federico Veiroj directs. 2015 — S.M. ★★ (AMC PALM PROMENADE)
Showtimes for both films can be found here. If you can’t make your way to the South Bay, think about catching the recently released Hell or High Water or Kubo and the Two Strings. (I was out of town for the latter but hope to see it this weekend. Reviews are generally rapturous.)