See these 3 new movies, skip these other 2
By Bob Strauss
It’s November, so both the major studios and people who care about the art of cinema are starting to roll out their best-made products.
Or, at least, they’ll try to convince us that from now until the end of the year, it’s all gonna be the most entertaining and worthwhile movies we’ve ever seen. Be skeptical, but also be hopeful. Genuine pleasure should be abundant if you know where to look for it. These reviews of five new L.A. openings, in descending order of how much I liked ’em, is one place to start.
1. Lady Bird: Is Saoirse Ronan aging in reverse? Following her outstanding performance as a young immigrant woman in 2015’s “Brooklyn,” the 23-year-old Irish actress is even more convincing as a Sacramento high school senior in this smartly detailed production. All over the place emotionally and note perfect about it at all times, actress Greta Gerwig’s solo writing-directing debut makes you feel like you’re seeing every new teenage experience for the first time. There’s little that’s particularly unique about Ronan’s title character or her various relatives, friends and lovers, but a vibrant realism makes them and everything about this movie remarkable – and kind of exhilarating.
Cate Blanchett as Hela, Goddess of Death in “Thor: Ragnarok”
2. Thor: Ragnarok: Marvel movies try a little too hard to have fun sometimes, and that’s the case here. While comedy director Taika Waititi brings a load of genuinely clever angles to the Thunder God’s third solo outing – weird bro bonding between Thor and The Hulk (with the latter’s Bruce Banner persona, like he’s jealous or something, getting all bent out of shape about it), Cate Blanchett’s villainous Hela dressed to the nines and cranking it past 11, even imagining a role for Jeff Goldblum at his Goldblumiest – dramatic […]