Couch Theater for week of Jan. 29, 2018

#Middlebury #NewDVDs

Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu in “God’s Own Country” (Orion Pictures photo)

“God’s Own Country” (R) – In a remote section of Yorkshire, Johnny (Josh O’Connor) toils at his family farm, tough hardscrabble work with his only escape being cheap assignations after a night of heavy drinking at the local pub. Into this life of desolation comes Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), a Romanian migrant who will assist in lambing season. The heart wants what the heart wants, even in – or maybe especially in – adverse circumstances. The longing and loneliness and humanness of these two men are palpable and real. It’s an exceptionally well-done love story from a first-time director (Francis Lee) and a breakout role for O’Connor.

“Last Flag Flying” (R) – Steve Carrell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne head up this heartwarming story of three Vietnam veteran buddies – one Navy corpsman and two Marines – who reconvene in present day for a mission of love and friendship. Larry “Doc” Shepard (Carrell) gets the news that his son, a Marine, has been killed in Iraq. He enlists his friends Sal (Cranston), a rowdy bar owner, and Richard (Fishburne), former womanizer and troublemaker turned reverend, to help him bury his son. Doc decides against an Arlington funeral, opting instead to bring his son home to New Hampshire. Easier said than done. Along the way, director Richard Linklater paints a portrait of these heroes (of both generations) with equal measures of reminiscing and ribbing.

“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” (R) – Yowza. This is no Marvel feature. It’s the biographical tale of psychologist William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), the creator of Wonder Woman, along with his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and their live-in mistress Olive (Bella Heathcote). Marston and Elizabeth both are involved in research into dominance theory, and William becomes intrigued by Olive, a student who becomes his teaching assistant. The trio develop a romantic relationship that spans decades. It’s fascinating and quite sexualized. But then, it IS about Wonder Woman, who by Elizabeth’s description, “wears a burlesque outfit and all her friends in Harper’s Bazaar are sorority girls who have spanking parties, and everybody fights Nazis and rides in an invisible plane.” You better believe it.

“Boo! Two: A Madea Halloween” (PG-13) – Madea (Tyler Perry) and her sassy gal pals Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) are back once again to come to the rescue of Brian’s (also Tyler Perry) daughter Tiffany. They’re joined by Uncle Joe (also Tyler Perry). Tiffany is off to another frat party on Halloween – when will she learn? – and this time, it’s at a closed and presumably haunted summer camp. Listen. I’m a Tyler Perry fan, OK. I recognize the contributions of Madea to both the black community and comedy, but we need to stop this craziness right now. This movie views like somebody’s cashing in on a tired franchise, because that’s what it is.

TV New Releases
“Littlest Pet Shop: Best Pet Friends”
“Ray Donovan” Season 5
“Steven Universe” The Complete first Season
“Victoria” The Complete second Season

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.


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