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Film Clips: Aug. 17, 2017

Aug. 15, 2017
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thehitmansbodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard R

Hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and ace bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) are longtime enemies until Kincaid agrees to turn state’s evidence, and Bryce is assigned to guard the man who, as Bryce claims, “nearly killed me 28 times.” While trying to get his client from England to The Hague in time to testify, Bryce is regaled with tales of Kincaid’s loving devotion to his wife and fellow assassin, Sonia (Salma Hayek). As killers dispatched by a Russian warlord named Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) repeatedly assail Bryce and Kincaid, the unlikely pair survive the attacks—despite the nonstop bickering that outlines their dysfunctional bromance! Clearly made for one another, it’s a question of waiting for them to see the obvious. (Lisa Miller)

Logan Lucky PG-13

Molding a screenplay by first-timer Rebecca Blunt, Steven Soderbergh perfectly casts muse Channing Tatum as dim bulb Jimmy Logan, who’s obsessed with a get-rich-quick scheme. Having worked construction on the venue, Logan talks one-armed friend Clyde (Adam Driver) into helping him attempt to relieve their local NASCAR racetrack of millions of dollars. The duo seeks help from jailed Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who is experienced in blowing up bank vaults. Neatly exploring big sporting events, Soderbergh’s cast gamely marries screwball comedy with daring action. The film’s setting provides ample opportunity to skewer the redneck goose that lays golden egg after golden egg. (L.M.)

 

STEP PG

Between “The Wire” on one hand and a real-life police killing and violent upheaval on the other, Baltimore can seem like a city of no hope. Director Amanda Lipitz documents another side of Baltimore through an inner-city all-girls charter college prep school and the hope engendered by its step (dance) team. We learn about several of the girls, their difficult lives and their dreams of getting out of poverty through education. The aggressive choreography of step dancing teaches them discipline, self-respect, respect for others, team work and the idea that they can succeed. It’s an enlightening film. (David Luhrssen)

Brigsby Bear PG-13

Brigsby Bear is a cliché about following your dream, even if the dream began as a nightmare. In this odd, almost endearing tale, James (Kyle Mooney) is raised by his parents in a hermetically sealed underground home after an unnamed apocalypse, homeschooled in part by the only TV series he ever knew: a children’s show produced by his parents called “Brigsby Bear.” At age 25, the police raid the house; turns out there was no apocalypse and James had been kidnapped as a newborn. The awkwardness of his adjustment to the “real world” is handled well but is complicated by his obsession with “Brigsby Bear.” And then, not improbably, someone posts episodes online, and he becomes a mini-celebrity. And then, he decides to shoot new episodes. Is “Brigsby Bear,” as his birth father says, “a tool used by sick people to imprison a kid” or the stimulus to that kid’s imagination? Both, the film concludes with giddy enthusiasm, and yet a queasy ambiguity remains concerning the artifice of art and the inability of some people to escape their past. (David Luhrssen)

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