SCREENTIME/ OPINION

Girls gone wild: Angela Fielding (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia Marcum) got the devil in them in David Gordon Green’s “The Exorcist: Believer.”
Girls gone wild: Angela Fielding (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia Marcum) got the devil in them in David Gordon Green’s “The Exorcist: Believer.”

We really like David Gordon Green.

Really, he’s a good dude and a conscientious artist who approaches his work seriously and without cynicism. We don’t like all of his movies, but he has made a few of our favorite films — “George Washington,” “All the Real Girls” and “Joe.” Maybe it’s worth noting that the most recent of those films (“Joe”) was released a decade ago.

Since then, Green has worked mainly in the horror genre, and good for him. He obviously loves those sorts of movies and horror fans deserve someone with his creative intelligence behind the camera. That scary movies aren’t our thing (though we will go sometimes for what another critic on this staff calls “plausible horror”).

So we will offer no opinion on his “The Exorcist: Believer,” the first of three new Exorcist films Green is set to direct (the second in the series, “Deceiver,” is set for release in April 2025), other than to say that Green is a fine craftsman who knows how to make movies. And that the premise of the film is that the parents of demonically possessed girls reach out to Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn, reprising her role from the original 1973 film) for help with their troubled daughters. (Fun fact: Shirley MacLaine, a friend “The Exorcist” novelist William Peter Blatty was the inspiration for the Chris MacNeil character. She was either offered or considered the lead role in William Friedkin’s film, but passed on the project, in part because she had played a similar role in the all-but-forgotten thriller “The Possession of Joel Delaney” the year before.) If you see “The Exorcist: Believer,” feel free to drop us a line and tell us what you think. We’re still trying to get over the original film, which, aside from maybe 1971’s “The Devils,” is the creepiest movie we have ever seen.

“The Exorcist: Believer” is reviewed elsewhere in this section.

Also opening theatrically this week is the Australian psychological thriller “The Royal Hotel,” about two young backpackers, Hanna (Julia “Ozark” Garner) and Liv (Jessica “Game of Thrones” Henwick), take jobs at The Royal Hotel, an Australian Outback bar run by Billy (Hugo Weaving). If we make it out to the theater this weekend, this is the one we’re most likely to see.

And there’s an intriguing faith-based offering out there too — “Shelter in Solitude” promises to be a “faith-filled, country western, prison love story” set during the covid-19 pandemic. “This film is a social commentary on the inhumane conditions of the American prison system,” the producers warn.

Elsewhere in this section, Philip Martin reviews the highly anticipated Netflix film “Fair Play,” written and directed by rookie filmmaker Chloe Domont.

On other screens: “Texas, USA” (not rated, 1 hour, 30 minutes, On Demand) A new documentary from Andrew Morgan, told through the viewpoints of organizers, activists, and candidates, that concerns the fight for lasting change in Texas and beyond, featuring candidates and organizers taking on the right-wing influence in their state while trying to maintain a democracy within the framework of the 2023 election season. With Beto O’Rourke, Lina Hidalgo, Greg Casar, Brianna Brown, Adri Pérez.

“Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West” (not rated, 1 hour, 39 minutes, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes) From Ashley Avis, writer/director/editor of 2020’s “Black Beauty” with Kate Winslet and Mackenzie Foy, comes this festival award-winning documentary focusing on the federal mismanagement of wild horses and the tragic results of misguided policies that threaten the horses’ continued existence.

“Impuratus” (not rated, 2 hours, 14 minutes, On Demand Oct. 10) Tom Sizemore stars in this supernatural horror tale as troubled Detective Clayton Douglas, who is summoned to a remote asylum for the mentally ill to investigate a bizarre case. There, he meets a dying patient named Daniel Glassman (Jody Quigley), who claims to have been possessed by a malevolent entity in 1862. With Lew Temple, Robert Miano, Silvia Spross, Airen DeLaMater; written and directed by Mike Yurinko.

“Miranda’s Victim” (not rated, 2 hours, 7 minutes, On Demand) A tense courtroom drama in which 18-year-old Trish Weir (Abigail Breslin) is kidnapped and sexually assaulted in 1963. Her assailant, Ernesto Miranda (Sebastian Quinn), confesses without legal representation and serves a two-year sentence, only to have the verdict later overturned. In the resulting retrial, a determined prosecutor (Luke Wilson) seeks to hold Ernesto accountable for his crimes, resulting in a legal proceeding that changes the nation’s justice system forever. With Ryan Phillippe, Mireille Enos, Donald Sutherland, Kyle MacLachlan, Andy Garcia, Taryn Manning; directed by Michelle Danner.

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (PG-13, 1 hour, 53 minutes, Disney+, Hulu) An inspiring documentary in which Ugandan opposition leader, former member of parliament, activist and national superstar musician Bobi Wine risks his life and those of his wife, Barbie, and their children to fight the ruthless regime led by Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. Co-directed by Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp.

“The Morning Show” (TVMA, 56-minute episodes streaming on Apple TV) This Emmy Award-winning series, which unflinchingly (and sometimes wackily) explores the cutthroat world of television morning news, enters its third season in which the future of the network is thrown into question and loyalties are pushed to the brink when a tech titan takes an interest in UBA. With terrific performances by Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Billy Crudup, Julianna Margulies, Mark Duplass, Steve Carell, Jon Hamm, Nestor Carbonell.

Email:

kmartin@adgnewsroom.com

Upcoming Events