Movies: Sleight, Your Name, The Dinner, Risk

Sleight

This movie is in limited distribution for some odd reason.  It is a good film and tells a somewhat unique tale.  It is about a young street magician who struggles to care for his only sister after the death of their Mom.  His name is Bo and he turns to drug dealing to make ends meet.

This is the third movie by the talented young Director, Justin Dillard.  The film is intelligent, with strong characters, a tense atmosphere and a powerful ending.

It is rated R for violence, strong language and adult subject matter.  It is not suitable for young children.  The genre is listed as Fantasy/Science Fiction.  The run time is 1 hour, 30 minutes.

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Your Name

This is an unusual, animated film from Japan about a teenage boy and girl on a quest to meet each other and magically swap bodies in their dreams.  I know what you are thinking and we are not entirely sure what the point was either.

That said, this romantic story is charming with exceptional animation and a lovely soundtrack.  It also reveals a rare peek at Japanese society from several aspects from a Japanese perspective.

It is rated PG and is listed as a Fantasy/Drama.  It runs 1 hour, 52 minutes.

Note:  We discovered after the fact it has been released in English.  We saw it in Japanese with English subtitles which made it challenging as fast dialog makes subtitles often difficult to keep up.  We suggest seeing it in English if possible.  This film might have award potential.

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The Dinner

This movie seems to have very limited release.  It is an intriguing and complex drama about two related couples and a traumatic incident involving their children.  It is also a commentary on privilege and mental illness.  That said, the characters are mostly annoying.

It is set in a pretentious upscale restaurant where the courses are explained to excessive detail and served by an army of staff which really comes off as a huge disconnect.

The saving grace is the cast is quite good and their interaction connects well. Richard Gere and Steve Coogan deliver great characters.  Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall are strong, relentless wives.

It is rated R for violence and adult subject matter.  It is listed as a Mystery/Drama and runs a painful 2 hours.

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Risk

This documentary was also given very limited release.  It is another in a series of films about WikiLeaks.  This one grants filmmaker Laura Poitras access to Julian Assange and his team for six years.

The result is intriguing and insightful.  It is also convoluted, confusing and contradicting.  There can be no doubt this subject matter is a work in progress and the whole story is yet to be revealed.  It will quite likely plague several nations and their leaders for many years to come.

There is only a snippet on whistle-blower Edward Snowden at the end of the film. There is also a bizarre appearance by Lady Gaga that seemed way out of place. Nonetheless, it is such an important topic, this documentary should be required viewing.  Run time is 1 hour and 37 minutes.

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