Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Thomas McCarthy (screenplay)
Stars: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin
This Disney film is based on the true story of 2 men who became the first American major league pitchers from India. It revolves around the down-on-his-luck agent (John Hamm) who cooked up the scheme to find new talent and reboot his career. His character is obsessed with the biz until he finally learns that there’s more to life than money. Yes, it’s that predictable, but it takes a long time to get there. The biographical angles make for an interesting story, but the mediocre writing and lack of much charm is a letdown. Surprisingly, for a family film, there are lots of subtitles, which may turn off many kids. While it’s good natured and sometimes sweet, it’s really more informative than inspirational.
GAY ANGLE: No shirtless Hamm (if you’re into him) and not enough athletes.
Director: Steven Knight
Writer: Steven Knight (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
The entire movie focuses on Tom Hardy, driving on a journey that affects his career, marriage and life in permanent and ruinous ways. The artistic cinematography and active editing keeps the limited setting from being a hindrance, but it’s Hardy’s controlled performance that makes the film work. On the down side, even when the situation gets more acute, the emotion never escalates. Sure, he cries a bit, but the intensity starts out and continues at a constant rate. Instead of being an involving drama, this is more a compelling character study and cinematic curiosity. (Criterion Ciinema only)
GAY ANGLE: Tom Hardy can be a sexy man, but in this film he only rolls up his sleeves.
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.