Fearsome sharks rained down once more in the latest Sharknado TV movie, but they didn’t create the ratings deluge of last year’s installment.
Woody Allen has always been interested in man’s search for meaning in life — a search he clearly sees as futile. Who can forget the young woman in “Play it Again, Sam,” staring at a Jackson Pollock painting and seeing “the hideous lonely emptiness of existence, nothingness, the predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity”? That’s not even the whole quote — but it could be Allen’s mantra.
The director has also mined the themes of crime and punishment, including murder — think “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point.” All these threads — plus, of course, love and seduction — come together in his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” which may not be his very best recent work, but is by far not his worst, either.
Sidekicks rarely shine when thrust into the spotlight, but what about a few hundred of them?
The Minions, having been the best part of the two previous “Despicable Me” movies, have swarmed the screen in “Minions.” As candidates for center stage, they are seemingly ill-suited. Slavishly — if rarely competently — devoted lackeys, they’re underlings by both definition and verticality.
Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy” is a slow, tragic zoom out. It begins with the intimacy of home movies and ends in far-away paparazzi footage. Our VIP access has been revoked.
First seen as a bright-eyed 14-year-old girl singing a knockout “Happy Birthday,” Winehouse gradually recedes from our view as her renown grows, obscured by a blizzard of flashes and a deadening haze of celebrity. Fame arrives like fate: a destiny foreshadowed by Winehouse’s self-evident talent and her own ominous misgivings. “I would go mad,” she says of fame before its tidal-wave arrival.
She’s become a Hollywood legend for playing great women, mastering accents and generally making her mark as the greatest actress on Earth. But now it seems that Meryl Streep is enjoying a second life as a musical performer.
Caitlyn Jenner and her glamorous Vanity Fair cover brought unprecedented visibility to transgender women. Laverne Cox, the first transgender actress to win an Emmy Award, fronted Time magazine, an image of grace and growing acceptance.
The transgender women at the heart of Tangerine come from the opposite end of the spectrum — the invisible and maligned. They’re sex workers who troll the streets of Hollywood, turning tricks in parked cars. Their hangout is an all-night doughnut shop. They keep company with pimps, druggies and the overlooked.
Women can be jerks, too. Everyone knows that.
And yet in the movies, the female schmuck is generally relegated to side characters. She’s a friend. She’s a villain. She’s never the heroine.
There’s an early scene in “Magic Mike XXL” that hints at what this much ballyhooed sequel woulda, coulda, shoulda been.
Mike Lane, played by the well nigh irresistible Channing Tatum, is alone in his furniture workshop. As he saws, measures and sands, the beat of the music he’s listening to starts to transport him. He can’t stop himself: he begins to dance, all around the shop, over and under the tools, a guy who just can’t keep those limbs from moving.
She’s Britain’s most famous model since Kate Moss. But unlike her predecessors, she‘s about to become a major Hollywood star.