December 20, 2016 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2016: July

Four films this month in the fight…

First up, Born to be Blue is a moving look at being a life-long addict, when opportunity to break from your recovery presents itself constantly. Ethan Hawke is excellent as Chet Baker, in this biographical look at the jazz musician’s struggles. He disappears into the role more than in any other that I can recall. Sad, beautiful, and striking, this is a must-see movie. Great. (See my Born to be Blue Twitter review)

Star Trek: Beyond is an odd but engaging entry in the new Trek canon. It feels more like a double episode of the show than a big budget blockbuster, but is all the better for it. It feels tight and coherent, rather than full of empty spectacle. The characters are fun without being stupid. While it never astounds, it doesn’t really disappoint either. A resoundingly decent movie. (See my Star Trek Beyond Twitter review)

Rebirth is a dark satire with a dose of paranoid horror, that shades a little light on the self-help movement. While it’s certainly not a masterpiece, Fran Kranz engages as the hapless lead. It never drags or outstays its welcome, and has something to say, even if it’s not yelling. A decent watch. (See my Rebirth Twitter review)

Finally, Ghostbusters is an odd reboot: it wants to be separate from the franchise’s past but takes every opportunity it can to make big pointed references to things it’d be better served forgetting, falling flat on each cameo. Kate McKinnon is excellent as Holtzmann, lighting up the screen every time she appears, and Leslie Jones does well with the material she gets, but McCarthy and Wiig seem fairly rote. An unnecessary film, but entertaining enough. Worth seeing once. (See my Ghostbusters Twitter review)

The winner is Born To Be Blue for Hawke’s absolutely top notch performance, in a touching movie.