directed by James Kent
(R, 1 hour, 48 minutes)
A regally paced period melodrama, The Aftermath looks magnificent and drips with style in its language, settings, and characterizations. But it's brought down by an over-abundance of cliches and way-too-predictable plot sequences.
Winter is bitter in war-wrecked Hamburg, Germany, in 1946. That's where Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) is to meet her husband, Lewis (Jason Clarke), a British colonel whose assignment is to rebuild the city that's been nearly destroyed by Allied bombs and battle.
That's enough of a challenge. Then it multiplies when Rachael is told by her husband that they'll be sharing their rather stately accommodations on the North Sea with its former owners, German widower Stefan Lubert (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood) and his mentally unbalanced teenage daughter Freda (Flora Thiemann) -- a curious example of the enemy being not only at the gate, but inside the house.
Col. Lewis is a busy guy, leaving his wife to wander around the estate and look pensive. There's not much company to be found there except for that enemy guy. How's that going to work out?
Likely outcomes include anger, grief, passion, betrayal, distress, and emotional uproar. Any surprises here? Probably not, but there are plenty of pretty images to keep viewers occupied.
Based on the novel by Welsh writer Rhidian Brook. With Kate Phillips, Tom Bell, Martin Compston.
Dumbo (PG, 1 hour, 52 minutes) The story's been around seemingly forever (or at least since the original 64-minute animated film was released in 1941): A young elephant has huge ears that allow him to fly, which brings on troubles and adventures. This time it's a live-action remake, interpreted by director Tim Burton (known for inserting absurdity and theatrics into his work), that employs the little elephant's unique ability to help a struggling circus make an amazing comeback. Too bad it's mediocre, with little sense of wonder and an unmistakable inability to connect with its intended young audience as the original did so well. With Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Alan Arkin; directed by Tim Burton.
Furie (not rated, 1 hour, 38 minutes) Unpredictable, violent, complex, and compelling, this well-crafted action thriller centers on a little girl, kidnapped by a trafficking ring, who has a brutal former gang leader for a mother (Veronica Ngo). With Than Nhien Phan, Cat Vy; directed by Le-Van Kiet. Subtitled.
Transit (not rated, 1 hour, 41 minutes) A challenging, thoughtful drama in which German refugee Georg (Franz Rogowski), on the run from the Nazis during WWII, makes his way from Paris to Marseilles and assumes the identity of a dead author whose papers he possesses. There he meets a woman searching for her husband, the very man he's impersonating. With Paula Beer, Godehard Giese, Maryam Zaree; directed and co-written (with Anna Seghers, who wrote the 1944 novel on which it's based) by Christian Petzold.
Maze (not rated, 1 hour, 32 minutes) The 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from a supposedly inescapable facility outside Belfast -- the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II -- is the basis for this tensely realistic, attentive and skillfully assembled film shot in a recently decommissioned prison. With Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann, Eileen Walsh; written and directed by Stephen Burke.
The Hummingbird Project (R, 1 hour, 51 minutes) A pot-boiler of a dark drama about competition and greed featuring a pair of high-frequency traders who take on their former supervisor/mentor in a battle to make millions in a fiber-optic cable venture planned between Kansas and Jersey. With Alexander Skarsgard, Salma Hayek, Jesse Eisenberg, Ayisha Issa; directed by Kim Nguyen.
MovieStyle on 06/28/2019
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