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Ant-Man (trailer above)
Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Though the story is teeming with plot holes as well as flimsy supporting characters, there’s no denying that this Marvel feature is the most fun, buoyed by impressive effects and a disarming performance from Rudd. 3 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG-13. 117 minutes. AMC, CAR, HAR, SAV.
Amy (Amy Schumer) is a writer for a men’s magazine who believes monogamy isn’t possible and is reluctant to make a commitment to anyone. However, when she meets Aaron (Bill Hader), a sports doctor who seems to be a genuinely nice, reliable man, she’s not sure how to react. What’s being promoted as a ribald comedy – and it is – has a far more serious side it’s keeping under wraps. In making its main character unlikable, director Judd Apatow and Schumer (who wrote the script) run the risk of alienating the audience and ultimately fail to provide a logical reason as to why Aaron would want anything to do with the film’s heroine. A bit too long, as it gets bogged down with far too much of Amy’s family life, there’s no denying that when it’s funny, it’s explosively funny. More daring and serious than you might think, the movie deserves kudos for all it attempts to do, even if it doesn’t succeed completely. 3 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 125 minutes. AMC, CAR, SAV.
Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) and Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”) star as Alex and Emily, a couple who have just moved to Los Angeles and are invited to dinner by Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), a very forward gentleman they meet by chance at a park. Upon arriving and seeing how their host and his wife Charlotte (Judith Godreche) interact, the couple realize they’re in for an intriguing evening. As the film progresses, Alex and Emily are thrust into situations that force them to question the solidity of their marriage as well as their own sexuality in this modern comedy of errors. Very funny and surprising, the movie is sustained by the the daring performances from the four principals. The film’s fault is that it’s a bit too short, as I wanted to spend a bit more time with these intriguing characters. 3 1/2 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 80 minutes. ART.
Director Asif Kapidia’s (“Senna”) documentary on the tragic life of singer Amy Winehouse utilizes interviews, unheard tracks and anecdotes from fellow performers and peers in an effort to provide a complete portrait of this troubled woman. Drawing from a wide variety of video sources, Kapidia is able to present the full arc of the singer’s life, adding a powerful sense of poignancy to the tragedy that unfolds. Captivating as well as infuriating, this is a film that allows us to see the talented, troubled young woman behind the sensationalist media image to devastating effect. 3 1/2 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 128 minutes. ART.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Billy Wilder’s fatalistic masterpiece is essential film noir, establishing characters and situations that would come to be recognized as conventions of the genre. Based on the novel by James Cain (the adapted screenplay was by Wilder and Raymond Chandler), this thriller follows the misadventures of insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) who falls under the sway of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), who takes out a life insurance policy on her husband and persuades Neff to help her knock him off. Close calls abound as the doomed couple go about pulling off their scheme, all of which is done with Wilder’s deft touch and brand of cynicism, one of the elements that prevents the film from aging. This is a highlight for both MacMurray and Stanwcyk who are ably supported by Edward G. Robinson as Neff’s boss Barton Keyes. A must-see, this is a worthy entry in the canon of American cinema. 4 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Not Rated. 107 minutes. SAV.