Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writers: Gary Whitta (screenplay), M. Night Shyamalan (screenplay)
Stars: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo
Two upfront signs this is doomed: 1. Story by Will Smith (so u know it’ll be self-indulgent). 2. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (hasn’t had a hit since “Sixth Sense”). Smith casts himself as the closed-off commander on a space mission with his real-life son (Jaden) as the young soldier who must traverse a hostile planet to save the day (2 casting mistakes). Papa has never been known for his acting skills (he can’t) and son’s performance comes exclusively from his wrinkled brow. Among the stupid future anomalies: 1. the only weapon is a sword 2. painkillers still make u drowsy. The dialogue is painfully slow and stupid. Even the effects aren’t special. A better title might have been “Dumb & Dumber.”
GAY ANGLE: Save ur gay dollars.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writers: Noah Baumbach (screenplay), Greta Gerwig (screenplay)
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Greta Gerwig co-wrote this with her hubby/director Noah Baumbach, which is pretty obvious. The character (and apparently the actor) are self-involved to the exclusion of good filmmaking. I’d call it a character study, but the character’s not that deep. She ‘s a woman who is not successful at career, finances or friendships (with the exception of her best girlfriend). She ambles thru her aimless life, which starts out charmingly but gets tiresome and talkative before it’s over. Maybe Baumbach thought shooting it in black and white would elevate it above basic twentysomething mumblecore, but it didn’t work for me.
GAY ANGLE: Even though they’re best friends, there’s no lesbian vibe. Plus, they live in New York but have no gay friends.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.