Ghost Busters

Maybe Go
This movie didn’t take any chances, and didn’t expand the Ghostbusters universe in any way. If you loved the original Ghostbusters, you still will.

Yes, of the four protagonists, the two that are better known on the silver screen, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, seem happy to let McKinnon shine. Leslie Jones completes the quartet as the odd woman out, grass-root wisdom in the midst of three high-brow scientists. The real eyebrow raiser is Chris Hemsworth (Thor) turning in a side-splitting performance of a heartthrob grade idol playing a male bimbo, so to speak.

The real draw for this movie, in my view, is Hemsworth. Enough summer flick laughs are generated along the way if the audience is the not-too-hard-to-please type.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

This is a funny, heartwarming, immensely entertaining, brilliant film for the whole family. The scenery is of course beautiful because it’s set in New Zealand’s stunning landscape.

Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is fat, unwanted and unloved – hopping from foster home to foster home in the New Zealand child care system, until he is taken in by Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill), in whose house he seems to have finally found a family of his own. When Bella suddenly dies, however, he is told that he will be sent back to “juvie,” and Ricky decides instead to run away into the nearby forest, but Hec can’t let him just run off on his own, so he goes too; and soon the entire police force and Army are out searching for the fugitives….There was a terrific film a year or so ago called “What We Do In The Shadows,” about modern-day vampires just trying to fit in; “Wilderpeople” comes from the same director, Taika Waititi, and while the story here is completely different, it’s just as wacky, off- beat, flat-out hilarious and occasionally poignant as that first film. New Zealand has only looked more beautiful in “LotR” (which is, of course referenced here in a very amusing aside); but it’s really the people, especially Julian Dennison as the unforgettable Ricky, who are the stars of the film.


Must Go
Brace brace brace! Heads down! Stay down!
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1509, bound from New York’s LaGuardia International Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, was hit by a large flock of birds just thirty seconds after takeoff. The bird strike disabled and damaged both of the jet’s engines; and though it managed to keep flight for another three minutes, there was no way it could return to LaGuardia, or make any attempts at an emergency landing at either JFK, Newark, or nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. The flight’s captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, made the split-second decision to ditch the aircraft in the Hudson River, rather than risk flying into any buildings. Incredibly, the aircraft, though damaged by the bird strikes and the water landing, stayed afloat long enough for rescue personnel to save the lives of all 155 people on that flight, an operation that took only twenty-four minutes in all.
Sully is seen as a hero to the 155 surviving passengers yet placed under scrutiny by the NTSB who question whether he made the proper choice of action. Nobody likes to have their actions judged. Why could they not wait until the engine was recovered? Why did the simulation pilots get advanced notice of the engine failure?
Great performances by Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart (the co-pilot Jeff Skiles). Both the attempted landing and the investigation are certainly compelling viewing.

Don’t Breathe

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Don’t Breathe is a grisly, unpleasant exploitation film about characters that you don’t like going up against a man who is at first somewhat sympathetic and then turns out to be a ridiculous mess of a monster. Beware the turkey baster!
Horror flics really aren’t my genre unless they have Bruce Campbell. This pulled me in because they said it was like Wait until Dark, but without Audrey Hepburn it was pretty pointless. I’ve never seen a movie in which ALL the characters are such creeps.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Have you ever seen a bad Meryl Streep movie? Didn’t think so.
Hugh Grant turns in a totally sterling performance
Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang) steals many a scene as her gay accompanist who finds it hard to keep a straight face but comes to be caught up in the typhoon of Florence’s enormous self-belief.
The film is based on the true story of the New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins. In 1944 she hired Carnegie Hall to perform as a soprano soloist. With no musical ability whatsoever but a large inheritance to enable her to indulge her love of performing, Florence Foster Jenkins becomes an unwitting musical clown which sustains the comedy throughout the film. The character is played with gentle comic affection by Meryl Streep.
Finally someone who sings worse than me.
On the anniversary of her death on November 26, 1944, Carnegie Hall’s Archives and Rose Museum Director Gino Francesconi remembers the career and single Carnegie Hall appearance of one of the most colorful “divas” ever to have performed here: Florence Foster Jenkins.
One of the archival concert programs that we are most often asked for is from a vocalist. It’s not Enrico Caruso, and it’s not Maria Callas or Geraldine Farrar. It’s a singer by the name of Florence Foster Jenkins.