Movies: Transformers, The Beguiled, The Big Stick

“Transformers: The Last Knight”…I have to say this is my least favorite franchise of all time so it was a blessing I got to send  Marc Coppola in my place. He’s much kinder than me and always finds something positive to say. This is the 5th “Transformers” movie and there are hints it might be Michael Bay’s last in the franchise. This is a franchise that gets louder by the movie. Cope says it’s non-stop action, adding “sometimes too much” and too long. It has no shortage of stars: Mark Wahlberg and Sir Anthony Hopkins headline.  One critic on Rotten Tomatoes says it was flat out painful to hear Hopkins call someone “dude”.  “Transformers” gets just 17% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Peter Travers” of “Rolling Stone” calls it toxic and the worst movie this year, adding, “My dream is that this whole yapped-out robo series will transform into a turd and audiences will have the good sense to flush it”.

Cope gives it 2 stars. “Rolling Stone” gives it 0.

 

“The Beguiled”.. Think the  Kathy Bates –James Caan 1990 classic “Misery” set in the Civil War. Sofia Coppola (Cope’s cousin) just won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival for her re-make of a 1971 movie starring Clint Eastwood- this time told from the female point of view. Colin Farrell stars as a wounded Civil War Union solider  who’s taken in by  a female boarding school in Virginia.   This is so  atmospheric, so beautifully shot, you can  feel the humidity and almost smell summer in the deep south. The movie oozes with sexual tension. Nicole Kidman is outstanding as the steely, iron-strong-willed head mistress. Coppola favorite Kirsten Dunst is a sad sack who falls under the soldier’s manipulative spell. Elle Fanning (another Coppola go-to) is  the  hot flirt- the deep South version of “The Bachelor” star Corrine.  It’s not only gorgeously shot with meticulous detail,  it’s a rare look at the mores and sexuality during  wartime 1860’s in the deep  South. It’s a sexy thriller period piece.

3-and-a-half stars

 

“The Big Sick”…This is a smart rom-com based on the real life romance of Pakistan-born stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani (who stars as himself) and a Chicago grad student, Emily, played by Zoe Kazan. Their one-night stand blossoms into the real deal til  he gets cold feet because his traditional Muslim parents would only not never accept Emily, they’re intent on an arranged marriage for their son. And then comes the  title, the big sick. Emily is hospitalized with a life-threatening mystery illness. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are tremendous as her parents. Romano is actually a revelation . It’s a funny movie for our times- really authentic –smart and not your  typical rom-com .

3-and-a-half stars

 
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