Movies: The Dualist, Rules Don’t Apply, Closet Monster

We are finally caught up on our movies after a lot of travel.  So bring on the December rush of releases and the remaining Oscar hopefuls for 2016.  We are ready!

The Duelist

dualist

This Russian film features Czarist Russia in St. Petersburg during the 19th century when royalty hired “representatives” to act on their behalf when challenged to a duel.

The cast is made up of attractive Russian actors portraying the nobility and settling disputes of the day using a strict code of behavior.  The sets and costumes are truly stunning.

That said, the drama, trauma and horror drags on for way too long.  There is treachery, backstabbing, bludgeoning, shootings, stabbings that seems never ending.

Listed as an Action/Adventure/Drama/Thriller and runs 1 hour, 50 minutes (it seemed longer…).  It is rated R for strong violence and some sexuality/nudity.  Russian and German with English subtitles.

Rating 1Globe

Rules Don’t Apply

rules

This story about Howard Hughes, his businesses and his pack of Hollywood contract actresses was Produced, Directed and stars Warren Beatty as Mr. Hughes.

It is beautifully filmed with a very good cast that includes Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Annette Bening, and Matthew Broderick.  It is just believeable enough, goofy enough and funny enough until you recall this was mostly true enough.

The reviews have been all over the board.  Rated PG-13 (but I would not take a child to see it.  How do you explain some of Mr. Hughes behavior?!)  Listed as a Drama/Romance (I guess ‘delusional farce’ is not yet a category) with a run time of 2 hours, 38 minutes.

Rating 2 globes

Closet Monster

closet

Stephen Dunn Directed and wrote the Screenplay, a gem for his first feature film. The film flashes between a young boys youth and teen years and is haunted by his traumatic memories.

The acting is believable with solid performances by Conner Jessup as the teen, Aaron Abrams as the Dad, Joanne Kelly as the Mom.  A surprise performance from Isabella Rossellini as Buffy’s voice (the hampster).

It’s original, unpredictable, sometimes ambiguous, and engaging.  It displays all the aspects of a coming of age story in a classic agenda yet there are a few surprises in store for the viewer.

Listed as a Drama with a run time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, is not rated.

Rating  3 globes

Note: It is always fun to discover a new movie venue in San Francisco.  The Alamo Drafthouse New Mission is a recently restored/reinvented theater dating back 100 years.  Originally a massive single screen venue, later remodeled with an art deco decor.  It later still sat idle for decades until the recent overhaul.  Today it retains much of the art deco trappings with one huge main screen and four other screens on two additional levels.  There is also full bar and food service at every stadium seat with roving waiters.  There are also several bars and dining options throughout the building.  We loved it and will return as often as practical.

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