Filmmakers have the right, of course, to create what they see fit without taking notions of “political correctness” into account. Creating deeply harmful, socially irresponsible art is their prerogative. But even so, is a lazy smattering of colonialist tropes really art? How about 103 minutes of pandering to a white audience?
With a sharp script, wickedly fast pacing, and a surprisingly deep and personal story, this spinoff to 2014’s “The Lego Movie” is a universally fun ride.
James Foley replaces “Grey” director Sam Taylor–Johnson—presumably in a (miserably futile) attempt to rescue the sequel from the mediocrity of the first installment. As it turns out, “Darker” suffers from the same lack of plot and cardboard–cutout characters that plagued its predecessor.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” uniquely makes connoisseurship its hallmark. Getting outfitted for the next kill is as simple as visiting the “Sommelier” (a gunsmith in the Wick universe) for a private tasting of German and Italian firearms, the local cartographer for ancient maps of Roman catacombs, and of course the tailor for something with sartorial taste and bullet-proof lining.
The most memorable thing about Claude Barras’s French-Swiss stop-motion film, “Ma Vie de Courgette” (“My Life as a Zucchini”), is the expression in the puppets’ eyes. Courgette’s are rimmed with a chilly blue and little floating brows that slope down sweetly, giving a very open look to his face.
Lorenzo Benitez, a filmmaker and student at Cornell University, investigated the controversial topic of voluntourism with his recent feature-length documentary, “Six Months to Salvation.” The film follows seven students on their trip to rural Thailand to teach English to a community of Karen people. The volunteers find their idealism eroding over the course of the film as they face difficulties and moral ambiguity in their work.
The film starts with murmurs, and ends with the statement “Maybe nothing was said.” In between, we see a young director named Edgar auditioning actors of all age groups, from all social classes, for an ambitious—eventually failed—film project about love.