Demolition, The Witch, Midnight Special, Miles Ahead



This is a familiar storyline:  Young couple fall in love, marry, bicker, tragedy strikes, wife dies.  Then the real story begins.  Jake Gyllenhaal gives a riveting performance as the husband, unable to express his grief or mourn the loss of his wife.

Instead, he slowly self destructs, one aspect at a time. First his job as a Wall Street heavy hitter, next his relationship with his in-laws and their quest to create a legacy for their daughter, and so on until he becomes obsessed with dismantling things.

The storyline gets a bit weird when he develops a relationship with a customer service woman to whom he writes multiple letters complaining about a vending machine.  They meet, there is a 15 year son involved and lots more destruction, turmoil and angst.

The reason this is such a good movie is Gyllenhaal.  The intensity he brings to his character is powerful, believable and palatable.  This is arguably his best work since Brokeback Mountain.  It is sometimes hard to watch but worth it.

Rating: 4 globes

The Witch


This is a unique film with a chilling creepy factor that slowly but consistently builds intensity.  The experience is likely to stay with you long after you have left the theater.

It is a tale about a poor but devotedly religious family in early 17th century New England that are excommunicated from their Puritan village.  They eek out a simple farmstead on the edge of a remote forest.  It is a hard life for the family with five children from youngsters to teens.

Suddenly the youngest boy goes missing.  In no time at all the family starts fearing satan is at hand.  Fear and paranoia take over as the oldest daughter is accused of being a witch.

There is a lot left to the imagination.  But the genius of this film is the opaque path it creates for the viewer.  On the down side, the old English script is hard on the ears.  See it anyway if you want a new twist on horror storytelling.

Rating: 3 globes

Midnight Special


Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols, this is his fourth feature length film about a new concept of close encounters with other life forms.  It is a story about a young boy with special powers, his parents and the small circle of friends trying to protect the boy from the FBI.

The government sees the boy as a weapon and chases the family through much of the Southeast US.  As the troops close in on the family, there is a pretty good chase scene.  The final scenes are a surprise event.  Let’s just say there is a whole of moving and shaking.  Mostly…

Filmed in New Orleans with a solid cast, the boy is played by Jaeden Lieberher.  Sam Shephard, Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton and Adam Driver round out the cast.  One part Sci-Fi, one part thriller, mystery.  Worth a watch.

Rating: 3 globes


Miles Ahead


Don Cheadle is “all in” on this biopic look at Miles Davis’ hermit period in the late 1970.  Mr. Cheadle co-wrote, co produced and plays Miles Davis so well, you forget that he not really Miles Davis.

There was a lot going on back in the day.  Not only was Miles Davis a ground breaking jazz trumpeter, his life was a tumultuous series of events, turbulent love affairs, drug affairs, industry affairs, drama and mayhem.

Ewan McGregor plays a good fake freelance writer for Rolling Stone and somehow becomes Miles’ sidekick for much of the film.  It is not a perfect film, but definitely entertaining.  A fascinating peek back in time and a great era for “social music” as Miles’ preferred to the term jazz.

Mile Davis died September 28, 1991.

Rating: 2 globes


One thought on “Demolition, The Witch, Midnight Special, Miles Ahead”

  1. I love a good sci-fi mystery. I didn’t know what Midnight Special was about, but now I’m interested in viewing it! Thanks for the heads up!

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