Friday, May 14, 2021

Stalwart women steer 'Dead,' smart divorce film, and the heavy 'Gunda'

Patience might pay dividends in watching a redemption tale called "Those Who Wish Me Dead," the book-based, Taylor Sheridan thriller that starts slowly but eventually carries some big kicks.

With his serious connections to such legitimate gems as "Sicario," "Hell or High Water" and "Wind River," the director/co-screenwriter certainly has earned a little leeway here until this chase film, which begins a bit wobbly in Florida, gains footing among Sheridan's more familiar western landscapes.

Besides, we don't meet the real star of the piece until the plot gets us out there. That would be Angelina Jolie, the only female face among a group of smoke-jumping firefighters and the one still dealing with a major blaze-related tragedy she couldn't stop. Enter a lost and frightened lad (the fab Finn Little), who has experienced even worse trauma while trying to outrun a mean pair of corruption-inspired hit men (Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen).

Also memorable is Medina Senghore, making her major movie debut as a capably heroic -- and quite pregnant -- survivalist. One quick, bad-guy cameo from a much bigger name also might stir the emotions.

("Those Who Wish Me Dead" opens today in theaters everywhere and on HBO Max.)

 Rated "R" by MPAA; strong violence and language throughout; 1:40; $ $ $ out of $5

Steeves' stage actress eyes single life in the Big Apple.
Speaking of emotions, "Before/During/After" says it all in summing up how a seemingly happy 15-year marriage disintegrates during a quick, sad and often funny 83 minutes of screen time.

Such tidy filmmaking features a wise portrayal by Jeremy Davidson, as the unfaithful husband, but there's no denying that this picture belongs to the exceptional Finnerty Steeves. Her caught-by-surprise wife Jennie, suddenly dealing with the urgency of the future, talks to as many as five therapists and gets advice from both neurotic and stable friends. Whether any of it sinks in, though, ultimately depends on Jennie's own standing with herself, which evolves through reflections and memories stimulated by daily occurrences.

Her successful work as an actress, especially the audition process, not only helps Jennie figure it out but likely gave Steeves immense insights into such an impressive screenwriting debut. Co-directors Stephen Kunken and Jack Lewars probably deserve some credit, too, for the movie's nifty narrative structure, with the former also contributing a scene as "therapist No. 5."

Kunken, now seen on "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Billions," is one of numerous familiar New York acting names and faces dotting a crowded ensemble that includes John Pankow, Kate Burton, Richard Masur, Marin Hinkle, Austin Pendleton, and Kristine Sutherland, to name just a few of the credited many.

(Star, writer and producer Finnerty Steeves receives the "Emerging Artist Award" tonight at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., where her film not only concludes a long, prize-winning festival schedule, but also will enjoy a special outdoors screening. Otherwise, "Before/During/After" is streaming now on Amazon Prime and a few pay-to-view outlets.) 

Not Rated by MPAA: (but with mature divorce themes, content and some language); 1:23; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

The titled Gunda in all her glory.
Nothing speaks except the wonders of quaint farm life in "Gunda," a sparkling, black-and-white documentary named after the giant sow that steals the show along with her ever-appealing piglets.

About a dozen of the little devils come sneaking out of their huge Mom at the beginning of this slow, if rare adventure from Viktor Kossakovsky, a director whose films, including 2018's energizing "Aquarela," always graze the senses. A herd of fly-swatting cows, in one segment actually shown running out to pasture, do some introspective grazing of their own, and a one-legged chicken also entertains.

Of course, even animals never should simply expect a bed of hay, a coop filled with corn, or an inviting field of grass. There's always some heartache, which the discombobulated Gunda sadly learns when an unsettling climax literally comes out of nowhere. Fascinating stuff. 

("Gunda" is now making her theatrical run everywhere, including at the Cedar-Lee Theater in northeast Ohio. Just remember that those wonderful dogs from "The Truffle Hunters" (reviewed here last week) also are still running around there. Hence, you might consider treading lightly in the theater's lobby.)

Rated "G" by MPAA: for audiences of all ages (but I'm not sure I'd bring restless kiddies); 1:33; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

4 comments:

orantez said...

MY TESTIMONY ON HOW I GET BACK MY DIVORCED HUSBAND WITH THE GOOD HELP OF PRIEST SANTYJATTO THE MOST HIGH/BEST PSYCHIC ONLINE CONTACT HIM NOW: via Whatsapp +2348145243120 email dr.santyjatto@ gmail.com

It's a privilege to share this miraculous testimony to the world. I'm from England. My husband divorced me 4 months back and I have been filled with remorse for I didn't know what to do to amend issues with my husband. I searched for help on the internet on how I could get help in my marriage and I discovered great testifiers about Priest Ade who has been progressive with his spells. I got in touch with him and behold, Priest Ade told me that he will prepare a spell for me that will bring back my husband. I was skeptical but I had no other option but to work with him. 2 days later, my husband called me that he's coming back home and from that day till this moment, we have been living peacefully. He is back now with so much love and caring. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster has the power to bring lovers back and the most surprising thing is that our love is very strong now,every day is happiness and joy. and There is nothing like being with the man you love. I will highly recommend Priest Ade  to anyone one out there who needs help whatsoever.If you have any problem contact Priest Ade, i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you!!.  

Kelly Ann Flores said...

I am so proud and happy to be out here sharing this remarkable, awesome and extraordinary review of your good work Dr. Todd. I just can’t believe this now my ex Husband is really back to me, on his knees presenting a ruby rose begging me to take him back and he was feeling regretful and sorry for leaving me and for causing me pains after the divorce which occurred last year. And this whole miracle happened after i ordered an urgent 72 hours of Dr. Todd powerful spell which he cast on me and my husband. Sir I am the happiest woman today in this whole world. Its a miracle and everlasting pleasure and cheerfulness for me and my family today.. I am so happy now and i don’t know how much to convey my thankfulness and appreciation to you sir. And to the whole world, contact him if you need urgent help now because its guaranteed that he will help you. ”Dr. Todd the online spell caster” to see more review of his article. From your indebted and heartwarming. E-mail: manifestspellcast@gmail.com https://manifestspellcast.wordpress.com https://youtube.com/channel/UCNezAFQL1OAZbESTOsTfp_g
https://www.facebook.com/Manifest-Spell-Cast-102179992108255

Boris said...


I got my ex back to me within 48 hours interval. After getting my ex back i thought it is wise to share my testimony with every one on this website that Dr benjamin is a real and powerful, he can restore any broken relationship or marriage with spiritual powers. email: ben jamincarter 171@ g mail. com…………………………………

Unknown said...

Hey, is exactly 1year my lover came back to me, I’m letting you know how i got my ex back because this Christmas holiday everyone need their love ones around them not just your love ones but your lover, a year ago i was heartbroken and i knew i could not spend the holiday alone that is when i was looking for how i can make my lover come back to me so that we can make things right, to cut the long story short on a faithful day i came across the details i will be dropping on the internet, someone talking about how she got her ex back so i took this details I’m dropping via email:
drosasu25@gmail.com
Website https://drosasusolutionhome.com

WhatsApp +2347064365391
And I contacted him and I told him that I want my lover to come back to me, today I’m with my lover. Thank you Dr. Osasu TEMPLE for the help. also has other cure for HIV AIDS, DIABETES,HEPATITIS B,CANCER,HEART DISEASE,MIGRAINES,COLD SORE