Monday, June 19, 2017

The Book of Henry

Director Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry is a wonderful coming-of-age story, not about the children in the film, but about a mother played by the superb Naomi Watts.
Watts plays the mother (Susan) of two sons, the precocious and brilliant Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) and the shy Peter (Jacob Tremblay).  

At age 11, Henry is the adult in the family, handling the finances and building a fortune in stocks, while the flighty Susan works as a diner waitress with her friend Sheila, brilliantly played by Sarah Silverman.

When Henry discovers that his next-door neighbor, a police chief (Dean Norris), is abusing his step-daughter (Maddie Ziegler), he devises a plan to save the young girl.

Writer Gregg Hurwitz has written an excellent script and Editor Kevin Stitt has done a super job of stringing together Cinematographer John Schwartzman’s images.

I give The Book of Henry a 4.5 out of 5.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Cousin Rachel

Aside from the beautiful cinematography of Mike Eley and Writer/Director Roger Michell’s enigmatic script and Rachel Weisz’s presence, I found My Cousin Rachel to be a bore.
That is primarily due to Actor Sam Clafin’s portrayal of the central character, a young man going on 25, who too quickly falls in love with a woman (Weisz), who he thinks was responsible for the death of his benefactor (Tristram Davies). 

Was she or wasn’t she?  I didn’t care.  I only wish he died instead of her.

I give My Cousin Rachel a 3 out of 5 only because I may have not been in the mood for this type of drama.  And, actually, the rest of the cast, including Iain Glen and Holiday Grainger, was excellent.

The Mummy

It started out well, but Director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy got crumby, pretty quickly.   
While the effects and sets of Production Designers Jon Hutman and Dominic Watkins were fabulous, the cinematic look chosen by Cinematographer Ben Seresin was more fitting for a comedy than a horror film, which demands a grittier look.

But, that’s not the worst of it.  Either Kurtzman doesn’t know how to handle male talent or the male actors weren’t into it.  Tom Cruise, Jake Johnson and Russell Crowe give possibly the worst performances of their collective careers.

However, the fault is just as much for the inept script by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman from a ridiculous story by Jon Spaihts.

If it weren’t for valiant tries by Sofia Boutella and Annabelle Wallis, this film would have been a complete disaster.

As it is, The Mummy gets a 3 out of 5 only for the sets and effects.