New Releases for the Week of September 4, 2020


TENET

(Warner Brothers) John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poesy, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh. Directed by Christopher Nolan

One of the most anticipated movies of the year finally makes it to theaters despite the pandemic. The nameless hero finds himself navigating the murky underworld of international espionage, armed with a single word – tenet – and faced with saving the world and perhaps, time itself.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website
Genre: Science Fiction
Now Playing: Wide Release
Rating: PG-13 (for violence and intense action)

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

(Music Box) Werner Herzog, Bruce Chatwin, Alberto del Castillo, Glenn Morrison. Veteran filmmaker Herzog details his decades-long friendship with Chatwin, the late travel writer, informing us of their shared interests, Chatwin’s lust for new experiences, and his inspirational journeys.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Documentary
Now Playing: Cinematique Theater Daytona
Rating: NR

Sputnik

(IFC Midnight) Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondrachuk, Pyotr Fyodorov, Anton Vasilev. In the final throes of the Cold War in the 1980s, a mission to outer space ends with one cosmonaut dead and the other with amnesia. A psychotherapist is brought to the research facility where the survivor is being held to see if she can jog his memory – and discovers a terrifying secret. This played the recent Florida Film Festival and the Cinema365 review can be found by clicking the link below under “Scheduled For Review.”

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Sci-Fi Horror
Now Playing: Enzian Theater
Rating: NR

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Sputnik
Tenet

Resistance (2020)


The path of least resistance.

(2020) Biographical Drama (IFCJesse Eisenberg, Ed Harris, Edgar Ramirez, Clémence Poésy, Matthias Schweighöfer, Bella Ramsey, Géza Röhrig, Karl Marcovics, Félix Moati, Alicia von Rittberg, Vica Kerekes, Tobias Gareth Elman, Kue Lawrence, Christian Clarke, Aurélie Bancilhon, Karina Beuthe Orr, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Ryan Hadaller, Phillip Lenkowsky, Louise Morell. Directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz

 

Marcel Marceau is a name that likely many Americans under the age of 40 are unfamiliar with, other than perhaps in broad, general terms. He is considered perhaps the greatest mime who ever lived; certainly, the greatest of the 20th century. Few Americans – myself included – know much more than that. But did you know he was also a war hero?

Marcel (Eisenberg) is an aspiring actor working in a cabaret. His disapproving father (Marcovics) would prefer that his young son follow him in his trade – a Kosher butcher. However, both their plans are put into disarray with the Nazi invasion of France. Dad gets shipped off to Auschwitz while his son joins the French underground, mainly in order to protect a group of Jewish orphans but also to stay close to the comely Emma (Poésy), but also because the charismatic Georges (Röhrig) insists on it.

Opposing them will be Klaus Barbie (Schweighöfer), one of the most vicious and sadistic Nazis in history. Moving the orphans from occupied France to neutral Switzerland will take heroic measures – and the mime, who has heretofore not been too fond of children until recently and has served mainly as a forger, will find reserves of strength he didn’t know he had.

Eisenberg is kind of an odd choice to play Marceau, although his eternal boyish looks stood him in good stead when he was playing the 16-year-old Marcel. His French accent was kind of an on-again, off-again affair which was fairly annoying after a while. Still, Eisenberg manages to churn out perhaps his most likable characterization ever. He’s always played guys with a bit of a neurotic edge, but this is much more of a straightforward portrayal. Besides, I think the entire French nation would have risen up in protest had Eisenberg played him neurotic.

The last third is more in the suspense genre and Jakubowicz does a good job with maintaining a bit of an edge-of-the-seat tone, although to be honest since we know Marceau would go on to be an entertainer for another sixty years after the war, it is a bit anti-climactic – we know he’ll survive. Sadly, the movie is a good 20 minutes too long and terribly uneven; there are some good moments, as we’ve mentioned but there are nearly as many that don’t work. Jakubowicz makes some odd choices like having Ed Harris as General George S. Patton (!) show up in the beginning, and the end. While it’s true that Marceau did work as a liaison to Patton at the conclusion of the war, the insertion of the colorful general (who is subdued here) seemed a bit like name-dropping and didn’t particularly add anything to the story. Besides, even Harris would admit that nobody is ever going to equal George C. Scott’s performance as Patton.

This is a story that needed to be told, but it also needed to be told better. Marceau was undoubtedly a hero and few people outside of France are aware of it. The movie is sadly uneven and a bit self-indulgent but the heart is in the right place. Those willing to take a chance on it will be treated to a movie that’s worth the effort to seek out.

REASONS TO SEE: Eisenberg is at his most likable. The suspense elements work well.
REASONS TO AVOID: A bit of a slow-moving jumble.
FAMILY VALUES: There is enough violence to garner a restricted rating.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Although the film takes place in Strasbourg, France, it was largely filmed in Prague.
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Amazon, AppleTV, Vudu
CRITICAL MASS: As of 3/30/20: Rotten Tomatoes: 59% positive reviews, Metacritic: 56/100
COMPARISON SHOPPING: Hotel Terminus
FINAL RATING: 7/10
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Clover