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Film Clips: July 20, 2017

Jul. 18, 2017
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Girls Trip (Rated R)

Following the raunchy, buddy-comedy groove of Bridesmaids and The Hangover, Girls Trip mines both bodily function jokes and explicit sexual acts for comedic gold. Longtime girlfriends Ryan (Regina Hall), Sasha (Queen Latifah), Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) join forces for an overdue girls’ weekend. Having worked hard to “have it all,” some of the friends now confront deeply repressed denial. Meanwhile, newcomer Haddish runs off with the film as the unrepentant, fiercely loyal friend. Her character, steeped in African American perspective, ties sweetness and aggression together into an appealing bundle.

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Rated PG-13)

Ever the crazy pants auteur, Luc Besson adapted this sprawling, overreaching screenplay from the 40-year-old French comic book series “Valerian and Laureline.” Set in the 25th century, top-level spies Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) head for an enormous intergalactic space station that serves as home to representatives from a thousand planets. In order to preserve this Eden-like paradise, Valerian and Laureline must capture and preserve an endangered armadillo-like animal that poops pearls. Meanwhile, Valerian’s crush on Laureline motivates much of his churlish behavior, but these mismatched, miscast actors are a pretty chore. Besson delivers stunning visuals, however, this sci-fi mishmash bends or breaks most of the rules with clunky results.

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