Monday, Feb 24, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 45 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 2, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 31
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Seattle Asian American Film Festival presents C-ID Summer Cinema at Hing Hay Park
Free movies the first four Saturday nights in August

Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF), in partnership with InterIM CDA (Community Development Association) (http://interimicda.org/) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (https://www.seattle.gov/parks), will present its annual Chinatown - International District Summer Cinema the first four Saturday nights in August at Hing Hay Park (423 Maynard Ave S). The free events are family-friendly and open to the public, with live entertainment, art making, face painting, and popcorn before each film. On August 3, 10, 17, and 24, the screenings will begin at sunset (approximately 8:30pm, 8:45pm, 9pm & 9:15pm) on the west side of Hing Hay Park, which means 'park for pleasurable gatherings.' Special live performances begin at 7:30pm. The schedule is at https://seattleaaff.org/2019.

August 3 - Crazy Rich Asians
Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised to learn that Nick's family is extremely wealthy and he's considered one of the country's most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives, and Nick's disapproving mother.

August 10 - Iron Monkey
(Cantonese) In a desperate and unjust land, where government corruption rules the day, only one man has the courage to challenge the system and fight back. They call him 'Iron Monkey.' Under the shadow of night, in the silence before dawn, he fights to give hope to the poor and the oppressed. Although no one knows his name and no one knows where he comes from, his heroism has made him a living legend to the people and a wanted man to the powers that be.

August 17 - Mirai
(English dub) Presented in conjunction with Japantown (Nihonmachi Night), Mirai tells the story of a young boy named Kun who feels forgotten by his family when his little sister Mirai arrives. Running away from home, Kun stumbles upon a magical garden that serves as a time-travelling gateway where he encounters his mother as a little girl and has a series of adventures with his baby sister, who is all grown up, opening a new perspective on his world.

August 24 - Up
Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl's worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell, voiced by Jordan Nagai, a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house.

About SAAFF
SAAFF showcases works by Northwest Asian American filmmakers, as well as films from across North America dealing with Asian American people, issues, and themes. SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives, and histories. For more information about SAAFF, visit seattleaaff.org.

Courtesy of the Seattle Asian-American Film Festival


Cartoonish Hobbs & Shaw a fast and furious misfire
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS:
HOBBS & SHAW
Now playing


Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are a terrific action-comedy team. Idris Elba is a fantastic actor, and I can't think of anyone better to play an icily malevolent villain whose brute superhuman strength is matched by his intellectual dexterity. Vanessa Kirby is a star on the rise, her scene-stealing turn in last summer's superb Mission: Impossible - Fallout and her superlative turn as Princess Margaret in 'The Crown' ample proof of that. Former stuntman David Leitch is a rising directorial talent who, not only helped usher John Wick into the world, but also showcased strong kinetic chops with the one-two punch of Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2.

All of which means the ungainly titled Fast and the Furious spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was going to be nothing less than a terrifically entertaining thrill ride, right? Wrong. As wonderful a pairing as Johnson and Statham are, as emotionally aggressive as Elba vibrantly portrays the film's self-confessed 'bad guy' Brixton, as charming as Kirby might be and as nice as it is to have the one and only Helen Mirren around for a couple of scenes reprising her role as Shaw family matriarch Queenie, I still found this 135-minute onslaught of action insanity to be very difficult to sit through.

Reminding me a great deal of 1989's Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell cartoonish (if still slightly watchable) showcase Tango & Cash as well as director Stephen Sommer's 2004 abomination Van Helsing, this is as annoyingly bludgeoning a major Hollywood spectacle as any I can recollect in ages. The movie feels like a massive, purposefully inane parody of the eight-film (so far) Fast and Furious series than it does a compelling side story featuring characters (Johnson's U.S. Marshall Luke Hobbs and Statham's former MI6 bad-boy Deckard Shaw) audiences had started to profess their fondness for. Screenwriters Chris Morgan (who has written or co-written every film in this franchise since 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Drew Pearce (Hotel Artemis) have crafted a scenario that gleefully revels in its own stupidity. It's a lark, a goof, a live-action cartoon, the final product a supercilious piece of frivolous fluff that frequently had me rolling my eyes in incredulous disgust.

Is it unwatchable? No. As I already stated, Johnson and Statham have marvelous chemistry. Additionally, Elba has no problem bringing a level of pugnacious authority to the proceedings that, at least initially, is suitably formidable. Kirby acquits herself nicely (even if the film itself doesn't always seem to know how to utilize her), and Leitch does stage a couple of good action scenes (most notably one in an apartment building where Shaw ends up brandishing a toaster as a lethal weapon) that brought the excitement level up an additional notch or two. Also, as obnoxiously long as the movie might be it doesn't really drag, the filmmakers keeping their foot placed firmly upon the gas pedal for every second of the running time.

Not that it matters. Surprise cameos (and not from any Fast and the Furious alums, mind you) slip the comedy portions of this flick into zanily insufferable overdrive, and there were times I felt like Leitch was just letting many of these bit players improv and riff as long as they wanted to without any limitations. While the franchise's core themes relating to family and friendship remain, the lack of earnestness makes all of these heart-tugging melodramatic mentions involving forgiveness and redemption ring laughably hollow. It's as if cast and crew are winking back at the audience for the entire duration of this particular adventure, and that is just one of the many reasons I found caring about anything that was happening borderline impossible.

That plot? It's both overly-convoluted and egregiously threadbare. After MI6 agent Hattie (Kirby) goes on the run after stealing a lethal genetically-engineered virus so it wouldn't fall into the cybernetically-enhanced Brixton's hands, bitter rivals Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw join forces one more time to save the world. The former understands the global repercussions if Brixton or his minions were to get their hands on the virus. While this is something of a concern for the latter, he's more concerned with saving Hattie and proving her innocence to MI6 (they think she's a turncoat who stole the virus for herself), the multitalented operative Shaw's little sister. It soon becomes clear that Brixton is a cog in a massive global conspiracy out for world domination, and only by putting their differences aside can Hobbs and Shaw hope to get the virus out of Hattie's bloodstream (it's contained in slowly disintegrating microcapsules) as well as save the day for the majority of the Earth's billions of residents.

Got all that? It's as messy and as nonsensical as it sounds, the pair racing around the world in order to track down Hattie, figure out a solution to her conundrum and stop Brixton, all while dealing with a variety of familial traumas that need to be laid to rest in order for victory to even be a remote possibility. Things culminate in Samoa with Hobbs' massive clan utilized as a bare-chested army ready to take down Brixton's cadre of techno-warriors with only old-school weaponry and souped-up custom automobiles at their disposal to do it. It's as over-the-top as you'd expect, and like every film in the franchise since 2009's Fast & Furious the laws of physics go out the window right away. But as I wasn't emotionally invested in any of the characters the outcome didn't matter to me, either, and not even the always winning Cliff Curtis as Hobbs' older brother Jonah was enough to get me to feel otherwise.

Look, I get that a lot of people are going to like this spin-off a heck of a lot more than I did. They'll be intrigued by the various mysteries still waiting to be explored, they'll likely enjoy the comic cameos that happen throughout the film and they'll be awed by the overtly self-indulgent action theatrics that happen around every ten to fifteen minutes. Most of all, they'll likely enjoy the good-natured repartee that passes between Johnson and Statham, the pair displaying the same rock-solid chemistry they did in 2017's The Fate of the Furious, and I honestly can't say I'd be against the idea of the two teaming up again in a different film (hopefully unconnected to this series) in the very near future.

For me, though, I just can't deal with Hobbs & Shaw. It wore me down to the point I wanted to gnaw through my seat's armrests as I kept praying for it to end. It made me squirm uncontrollably every time a big star showed up to comedically riff for no reason whatsoever other than the studio handsomely paid them to do so. It made me want to throw things at the screen when Leitch and his Oscar-winning editor Christopher Rouse (The Bourne Ultimatum) suddenly decided to cut the climactic skirmish between the Hobbs clan and Brixton's soldiers into unintelligible bits and pieces that made following all that was happening during the melee irritatingly difficult. I just wanted the movie to end, that's all there was to it, and after that I can't think of anything more that I need to say.


Violent Trespassers an overly convoluted home invasion thriller
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

TRESPASSERS
Now playing


Sarah (Angela Trimbur) and her somewhat estranged husband Joseph (Zach Avery) have left the city for a weekend getaway. They have rented a secluded house in the middle of nowhere in order to relax with friends Estelle (Janel Parrish) and Victor (Jonathan Howard). The two women are childhood besties from way back, and at the moment Sarah needs Estelle more than she ever has, and even though Joseph wishes this vacation would have been just the two of them, he also understands that his wife's emotional needs right now are more important than his own.

Not that this reunion of the foursome hasn't been a bit on the bumpy side of the equation. Turns out, Victor is something of a textbook abusive boyfriend, and from the moment he walks through the door it feels like he's saying all the wrong things, drinking too much alcohol and snorting way more cocaine than he should be. But where this is initially annoying it quickly turns problematic when, well after midnight, a strange, quirky little woman (Fairuza Balk) shows up on the doorstep claiming to be a neighbor of the homeowners Sarah and Joseph have rented from. There's something off about her, a disquieting, if still moderately perky, eccentricity that's almost too forcefully obvious to be entirely believable. Victor, in particular, wants this woman to exit the house, and if his friends aren't going to toss her out then he's not above belligerently doing so himself.

In the violent Trespassers, the nightmarish events that Victor inadvertently puts a start to are just the tip of the iceberg as far as this wild, blood-splattered evening for Sarah and her friends are concerned. It's also part of the problem as it pertains to director Orson Oblowitz and screenwriter Corey Deshon's tightly-wound thriller. They cram a heck of a lot into their story's overly convoluted plot, and by the time the thugs wearing skull masks brandishing machetes show up things have already dived so far off the deep end their presence is just one more thing to add atop the massive anvil that's been smooshing the narrative for most of its scant 88-minute running time.

Not that Oblowitz does a poor job maintaining tension or assembling his tale into a reasonably easy to watch whole. The film is nicely shot in a series of lush view, vibrant whites and piercing reds by Noah Rosenthal, the cinematographer balancing darkness, shadow and intermittent light sources beautifully. It is all also exceedingly well-edited by Brett Solem, and there was never a point where I lost track of where the characters were, what was going on and what the key components of the story were at any given time. Oblowitz never allows the pace to drag and smartly keeps the majority of his focus on Sarah; and while inherent sensationalistic aspects did wander into the proceedings, to the filmmaker's credit he chooses not to dwell on them in a way that feels unnaturally exploitive.

But other than Balk's unhinged, goofily exuberant performance, and even though there are about seven different stories going on at any one time, there were scant few surprises as far as I was concerned. There was also an unnerving cruelty to certain character interactions that I found aggressively distasteful, and a handful of revelations never emotionally registered with me as I assume they were meant to. The majority of the characters in Deshon's screenplay weren't ones I wanted to spend that much time with, and other than Sarah I had to look long and hard to find anything approaching a redeeming quality in just about any of them.

Still, the home invasion aspects of this tale are handled fairly nicely, and there's one extended battle between Joseph and one of the masked attackers near the home's lavish backyard pool that overflows in pulse-pounding adrenaline. There's also a nice, devilishly sly supporting turn from veteran character actor Carlo Rota ('24,' Brick Mansions) I'd love to get into the nuts and bolts of. Unfortunately, doing so would require spoiling many of the story's more insidious secrets, and as I'm not about to do that just know that once his character makes an entrance the actor's cagey malice increases the anxiety of what is going on for Sarah and her friends a substantial amount.

Not that this is enough to warrant searching out Trespassers to give it a look. As good as he or Trimbur might be (and she is close to excellent, The Final Girls star showcasing an unspoken haunted anguish that took me by genuine surprise), neither of them raises the film to a level that makes paying more than a couple of bucks to watch it worthwhile. It passes the time, and not much more than that, and when it hits Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming service I wouldn't begrudge anyone from turning it on and seeing what they think of Oblowitz and Deshon's home invasion nightmare for themselves. Other than that, I have little more to say.






August theater openings will wake you up!
------------------------------
Glorious, The Musical fundraising musical showcase celebrating the American LGBTQ military experience to be held at Ballard Commons Event Space August 3
------------------------------
'A Night to Awaken' - 4th annual LUSIO festival to light up 40 acres of Volunteer Park Saturday night, August 3
------------------------------
2019 Couture & Cars Fashion Show held at LeMay - America's Car Museum in Tacoma July 20
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
------------------------------

------------------------------
Seattle Asian American Film Festival presents C-ID Summer Cinema at Hing Hay Park
------------------------------
Cartoonish Hobbs & Shaw a fast and furious misfire
------------------------------
Violent Trespassers an overly convoluted home invasion thriller
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News