Video/DVD previews for the week of Jan. 22

#Middlebury #CouchTheater

“Geostorm” (PG-13) – A series of natural disasters prompt scientists to develop a satellite protection system that basically shuts down bad weather. But things go haywire, as they’re wont to do, and satellite designer Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) is sent through the back door of the space station to figure out what’s what. As it becomes clear that this is no glitch in the system, his state department politico brother Max (Jim Sturgess) and Max’s Secret Service agent girlfriend Sarah Wilson (Abbie Cornish) deal with the political intrigue of this weather whodunit at home. If there are two things I like, they are Gerard Butler and disaster movies. Having said that, I want my money back. It is NOT exciting, there is NOWHERE near enough cheese and even a firenado, giant hailstorms and dust devils cannot make up for the lack of Butler fight scenes.

“Thank You for Your Service” (R) – Miles Teller heads this biographical drama as Staff Sgt. Adam Schumman, a decorated veteran returning from service in Iraq, along with fellow soldiers Solo Aieti (Beaulah Koale) and Billy Waller (Joe Cole). Each suffering in his own way, each coming home to different circumstances, all scarred and bearing the debilitating effects of PTSD in a search for reintegration to civilian life. Based on the book by Washington Post reporter David Finkel, this is the directorial debut of Jason Hall, screenwriter for “American Sniper.” Teller turns in a strong performance, and it’s a well-done peek inside the system of futility that we hand our returning veterans along with a clap on the back and a pithy phrase. It demands your outrage, but it does so obliquely.

A scene from “Goodbye Christopher Robin” (20th Century Fox photo)

“Goodbye Christopher Robin” (PG) – Writer A.A. Milne (Domnhall Gleeson) returns from service in World War I with a desire to script a treatise on peace. He takes his wife, Daphne (Margot Robbie), and son, Christopher Robin, whom they call Billy, and nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald) to a pastoral setting to facilitate his writing. Here, in the woods, lies the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories that took the world by storm and made a little boy a celebrity. The balance of the film explores the price of that fame and its burden on the family that inspired it.

“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” (PG-13) – High-school writer Dash (Jason Schwartzman) inadvertently discovers that his principal’s new gymnasium is not up to code, and before he can fully break the news, the whole school slides off a cliff, forcing students and faculty alike to comically fight for survival in the wreckage. Sometimes it’s important to go outside your comfort zone. This is an animated feature, created in a mixed media style. The look is inventive and interesting. The story is weird and funny. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you need a reason to put you over the edge, Susan Sarandon voices the brash lunch-lady, Lenore.

New TV Releases
“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” Season 2
“Finding Your Roots” Season 4
“The Paper Chase” Season 4: The Final Season
“Teen Titans: The Complete 1st Season”

(c) 2018 King Features Synd. Inc.


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