Since all of the male (where are the ladies?) critics at the Weekly avoided reviewing this film for reasons only the Great Bearded Light Above understands, I’ve taken it upon myself to analyze and report back, withholding nothing about the social commentary and deep humanism of Magic Mike. But don’t think our reviewing team didn’t see the movie.
Writer-director Woody Allen, looking rather dapper at 76, has cast himself in one of his movies for the first time in years (as a Woody-esque retired opera director) in four stories (thematically linked) about seizing the day. All the main characters (Americans and Italians) are frustrated, stuck in place, and the movie suggests (by plotline) that only by risking can one live: wholly to live is to choose and accept, however nervously.
To judge from the high spirits at opening night of the Honolulu Surf Film Festival at the Doris Duke Theatre, the island’s in the mood to celebrate life in the waves. Lucky for us, as the Festival moves into its second and third weeks, there’s a lineup of features, shorts and speakers that ought to open eyes, blow minds and maybe even prompt a tear or two (notably, Don King and son Beau at Makapuu in Come Hell or High Water.) Tears and cheers erupted for “Nappy” Napoleon, the low-key 67-year-old star of the short I Just Love to Paddle.
Lola Versus, the new woman-on-the-verge-of-30 comedy starring Greta Gerwig, bolts out of its starting blocks saddled with an excessively weighty question: Can mumblecore go legit? We’re talking about the no-budget, seemingly scriptless indie films about self-obsessed twenty-somethings facing early-life crises.
At the end of High Sierra, Ida Lupino cowers over the dead body of a gangster played by Humphrey Bogart. Through her tears she asks a detective, “Mister, what does it mean when a man crashes out?” The detective answers, “It means he’s free.” “Free!” Lupino exclaims, with an expression of bittersweet relief.
To kick off the film series portion of its blockbuster Tattoo Honolulu exhibition, The Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre couldn’t have made a wiser or more relevant choice than Skin Stories. The one-hour documentary, an executive production of the Honolulu-based Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), manages to capture the beauty, history, meaning and excruciating pain of Polynesian tattooing.
If you were an alien longing to look up some old friends, you’d probably use the Men in Black franchise like a high school yearbook. Certainly there’s no end to the menagerie of extra-terrestrial mutations, but after MIB and MIB2, they’re feeling their age–like your friends (but not yourself, of course) at high school reunions.
Shot in pieces as fleeting as a pre-teen’s attention span, I Wish reveals a culture deeply fissured by modernity through the eyes and actions of a set of children in two schools several hundred miles apart, linked only by a pair of brothers separated by their parents’ divorce. Though it starts from the point of view of its two boy leads, Koichi and Ryu, the film’s humanity and psychological depth of field is deep and wide.
The train grand vitesse is packed, everybody snug in a reserved seat except for this disruptive young mother standing in the aisle, babe in arms, asking if someone will switch so that she and her family can sit together. No one will, and her stubbly-faced husband says, “It’s only three hours.” She kisses him.