Mini Movie Reviews, October '16 - Brian Overland

Mini Movie Reviews, October '16

19 October 2016
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Category: Film Review
19 October 2016, Comments: 0

Captain Fantastic

A film much better than its title. Actor Vigo Mortensen is still probably best known for playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, but in real life he’s at heart a latter-day hippie conservationist who writes poetry and hates war. In Captain Fantastic he’s the super-idealistic father of five kids, raising them in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest. (Yes! It was actually shot in the State of Washington.) When his wife suffers an untimely death, he and the kids have to pack up in their Ken-Kesey-style bus and return to what we call “society,” but what the film considers the sell-outs.

Meanwhile, he’s attempting to raise “philosopher kings.” Wonderful fun for liberals—who will find this terrifically refreshing in the Era of Trump—but even less progressive souls should find it provocative. High recommended. With Frank Langella as the straight-laced Republican father-in-law.

Grade: A+


Tom Hanks is Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who saved hundreds of people by landing a commercial jet in the Hudson River. This is the classic story of a man who never set out to be a hero but nonetheless became a hero to many—at a time when the country, and the City of New York, needed one. Such a humble, lovable “good guy” hero is a perfect fit for Tom Hanks. But how do a mere 100 seconds of a flight gone wrong take up a 90-minute film? Because there’s the story we didn’t know. The airlines, far from being happy about the hundreds of people who were saved, wanted to know why their multi-million-dollar jet couldn’t be saved. The hearings that follow are well dramatized, up until the point where a very persuasive argument is finally made, clearing Sully. With Laura Linney, good as always, as his wife.

Grade: A

The Girl on the Train

Emily Blunt proves that she can bring life into anything, even this psychological thriller which is mostly dark and depressing. It’s all about some privileged people living in the Northeast (along the Hudson River, which we return to after Sully!). There’s not a single likable person among this group of alcoholics, neurotics, and abusive marriage partners. But the last half hour is almost worth staying for, as the parts of the mystery finally come together like clockwork. Not horrible, but not really inspiring either. Reasonably good if you’re really in the mood to see a psychological thriller.

Grade: B-

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