Movies: The Beguiled, The House, The Big Sick

Special Note:  So far this summer movie season has been a bit of a disappointment.  In the last five weeks we have seen three one globe movies and three zero globe movies.  The few theaters that run International and Independent movies are showing films we have already seen (and reviewed).  So we are starting to look farther afield without a lot of encouragement.

The good news is we keep discovering new places to explore.  The weather has cooled nicely from the heat of June.  On the 4th of July Pike Lake had amazing private fireworks from five points on the lake. We joined our neighbors for drinks and smores!  Fun!!  (Sorry, no pixs.)

The Beguiled

The long awaited release of this movie was prefaced by accolades and awards to Director Sofia Coppola.  Overall, she is very talented and much deserving.  That said, this remake of the 1971 Southern Gothic, starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page, has the look and mood of a distant fairy tale.  It hardly connects to the grotesque reality of the then Civil War.

The acting is respectable.  Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell are mostly believable leads.  Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice and Oona Laurence all play boarding students at a girls school set in a Southern Plantation mansion.

It feels more like a play than a movie and, for us, it just misses the cinematic high bar.  The genre is listed as a Drama/Thriller.  It runs 1 hour 34 minutes.  It is rated R for sexuality.  Clearly, we had higher expectations and were disappointed.

Rating 1  

The House

It is a shame when proven performers like Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler default to crude juvenile antics to improvise for a flawed script and a nerdy concept.

Seemingly middle class family living in a middle class environment with a daughter accepted to the college of her choice.  Counting only on a failed scholarship from the City, the parents improvise to raise money for the daughter’s higher education.

Over 20 actors cannot salvage this “comedy” from the bottom of the barrel.  The script is just as bad.  Silly slapstick, crude humor, tacky dialog, stupid antics, horrid stereotypes are not worthy of an audience.  We just wish we knew in advance.

It’s rated R for a long list of reasons: language, sexual references, drugs, violence, and nudity.  The genre is Comedy and runs a very long 1 hour, 28 minutes.


The Big Sick

Pausing to contemplate this film shortly after viewing, I imagined comparing this film with a horse race.  Lots of advance excitement before the film opened.  Then a mad dash of energy as the characters charged out the gates.  Then that long back stretch where things are confusing and the viewer is disparately trying to connect all the dots as quickly as practical.  Then a few surprises and disappointments rounding the last corner.  Then a surge of energy and a satisfying ending.

There is a score of actors filling the scenes, some funny, some stoic, some old and some new.  Most notable are Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano and a brilliant Kumail Nanjiani.  It gets accolades for its insight into Pakistani immigrants and their family struggles.  It is also a powerful story about enduring love and perseverance.

It is rated R for language and sexual references.  The genre is listed as Comedy/Romance and runs 2 hours, 4 minutes.



3 thoughts on “Movies: The Beguiled, The House, The Big Sick”

  1. I have never even heard of most of the movies that you review. Judging from your comments, maybe that explains why! Your July 4th celebration must have been a spectacular change with a sky bursting with booms and colors from five different points. I watched the NY celebration on TV, but it wasn’t the same!

    Can you believe that more than four months have passed since we returned from India? I mark them by activities: 2 months lost to a respiratory infection, one month in Spain, and now I’m preparing for my first week at Bennington, which will be a total immersion in chamber music playing and listening. The rest of the time is “filler”!

    Do you canoe or kayak on your lake? Swim? It’s certainly an idyllic spot for drinks and s’mores!


  2. Hi Folks, Boo on you for NO PIX of your 4th celebration. Our sky was lit to wonder in celebration. Jake our beagle huddled in the closet hating the booms – not much of a hunting dog. Like Abby’s comments your movies mystify me. Do like your comments of reviews nonetheless. My movies are of the Netflix variety handed down from family. They did get me hooked on Crown of Thrones which I believe is about to begin its 7th and last season. I am only up to the 5th season. Nothing left to the imagination here. Take it in small doses but do admire the artistic scenery, costumes, and the cast of characters are incredible. Fascinating really. Sometimes get lost in it all! Am still painting and just began watercolor classes. Great summer. Cheers to one and all. Nanci

  3. You guys are incredible. Movies, sight seeing, museums, family and down home small town discoveries. Brilliant. I love reading about your adventures. You guys have more energy than a room full of teenagers chugging Mountain Dew.

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