Before Midnight directed by Richard Linklater (R, 108 minutes)
The sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), again directed by Richard Linklater, picks up nine years after viewers left Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) trading witty, romantic and devastating remarks in Paris. Turns out they stayed together (despite the fact that Jesse’s wife lived in Chicago with their son Henry), had darling twin girls, and now are on vacation at the Greek villa of now-divorced Jesse’s publisher. And, as always, they are having passive-aggressive arguments about the nature of their relationship.
“Yes, this is a couple in love, but every choice forecloses other options,” says our critic Philip Martin. “Jesse is disappointed that he has become a cranky, divorced 40-something, and Celine understands that he holds her responsible for the guilt that he feels and at the same time rebels against any further sublimation of her burgeoning (if vague) career.”
The middle portion of the movie slows down as a few incidental characters are introduced in order to spout alternate theories about the way lovers relate and grow together (or apart), and for once the series seems to devolve into a kind of graduate seminar on sexual roles and tropes, he says. “But in the surprising third act, the film comes together as a plausible horror show of how good intentions and real affection can give way to vicious, realistic psychic combat. They know how to hurt each other, and they’re weary of being careful.”
The Way, Way Back (PG-13, 103 minutes) This bittersweet/comic coming of age story is told from the point of view of shy outsider 14-year old Duncan (Liam James), an unhappy kid who’s spending his summer vacation at a north Massachusetts beach town with his mother Pam (Toni Collette), her bossy car-dealer boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter Steph (Zoe Levin). Not much for making friends, Duncan lucks out in finding a companion, adviser, and all-around good company in Owen (Sam Rockwell, the star of the show), the goofy manager of the Water Wizz water park, which changes the tempo of Duncan’s summer.
Although some of the characters are cliches, the film has a good heart, and its predictable ending still manages to make everybody feel good. With Amanda Peet, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb; written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
I Give It a Year (R, 97 minutes) A romantic farce set in London, I Give It a Year takes a look at the romance between ambitious Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Rafe Spall). Josh is a thinker, Nat’s a doer, but the spark between them quickly leads them to exchange wedding vows. But no one - family, friends and even the minister who marries them - is convinced that they will last.Josh’s ex-girlfriend, Chloe (Anna Faris), and Nat’s handsome American client, Guy (Simon Baker), could offer attractive alternatives. As their first anniversary is approaching, there are challenges all around them. But neither wants to be the first to say goodbye. The film expends a great amount of energy to keep the audience laughing, which sometimes sabotages the fine performances by and chemistry between Byrne and Spall. With Stephen Merchant, Minnie Driver;
directed by Dan Mazer.
Def Leppard Viva! Hysteria (PG-13, 100 minutes) Filmed over two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in March, this high-powered concert DVD follows arena rock rulers Def Leppard through a set list that includes top-selling 1987 album Hysteria in its entirety, plus plenty more of the band’s greatest hits such as “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages.” Note the stellar performance of drummer Rick Allen, who remains on stage with the band, using modified equipment, despite having lost his left arm in a car wreck on New Year’s Eve, 1984.
Dead in Tombstone (R, 100 minutes) This direct-to-video revenge horror thriller takes the unique stance of having its anti-hero avenge his own death. While taking over a small mining town, brutal gang members take charge by murdering their leader, Guerrero Hernandez (Danny Trejo). Sentenced to eternity in hell, Guerrero is offered a deal by Satan (Mickey Rourke): Deliver the six souls of his former gang and escape eternal damnation. With Anthony Michael Hall; directed by Roel Reine. Extras include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and a visual effects featurette.
MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 10/25/2013
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