Film Clips: May 18, 2017
Alien: Covenant (Rated: R)
Ridley Scott’s pacesetting Alien (1979) had Sigourney Weaver and a monster the likes of which had never been seen. His sequel to the Prometheus prequel, Alien: Covenant, may be visually state-of-the-art, but it has an unmemorable cast and—yes!—monsters, lots and lots of bursting, leaping monsters. The crewmembers of the cargo ship Covenant are over their heads when lured by a ghost transmission to a previously unknown planet where videogame-style action awaits. Michael Fassbender is suitably unanimated as the android who embraced the dark side.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Rated: PG)
Adapted from one of Jeff Kinney’s many Wimpy Kid books, here the Heffleys embark on a road trip they’ll soon regret. Greg is played by Jason Drucker; Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott portray his parents. Charlie Wright steals the show as Greg’s weird-looking and remarkably strange older brother, Rodrick. A thin plot sets the family on a path toward a series of demeaning encounters with a biting, flatulent piglet, aggressive seagulls and the hostile Beardo family. The original cast has aged out of the roles, setting up disappointment for disgruntled fans.
Everything, Everything (Rated: PG-13)
Maddy, 18, suffers from SCID, a disorder making her deathly allergic to most everything. Maddy’s physician mother (Anika Noni Rose) confines the girl to their hermetically sealed home, but Maddy (Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games) flees this safe haven after she becomes smitten with handsome next-door neighbor Olly (Nick Robinson). In this film, which was adapted from Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Maddy’s text messages to and from Olly are depicted as conversations during actual encounters, all from Maddy’s imagination. Cheers for an unexpected twist during the final act, but this saccharine romance insults teen intelligence.
The Lovers (Rated: R)
How do you tell someone that it’s over after decades of marriage—especially if part of you is still in love with your partner? That’s the dilemma facing Mary (Deborah Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts) in The Lovers. The scenes from their crumbling marriage and hide-and-seek bedroom shenanigans are handled with a comedic touch that doesn’t negate the pain or exhilaration of infidelity and emotional separation. Winger and her rival, played by Melora Walters, are especially marvelous to watch as their eyes register distrust, anger, horror and understanding.