The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (Nov. 22-30, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

*1) The Florida Project
*2) LA 92
*3) Faces Places
*4) Whose Streets?
5) Last Flag Flying
*6) Stronger

MIXED-POSITIVE

*7) Jane
*8) The Divine Order
*9) Chavela
*10) Lucky

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*11) Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
*12) The Square
*13) The Killing of a Sacred Deer
*14) Marshall
15) Justice League
16) The Man Who Invented Christmas
*17) God’s Own Country

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

*18) Novitiate
19) Blade Runner 2049
*20) Battle of the Sexes
*21) Wonderstruck
*22) Tragedy Girls
23) It
24) Victoria & Abdul

HAVEN’T SEEN

A Bad Moms Christmas
*Bill Nye: Science Guy
*Blade of the Immortal
Coco
Daddy’s Home 2
Geostorm
*Jigsaw
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Lady Bird
LBJ
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Loving Vincent
*Mudbound
Murder on the Orient Express
My Friend Dahmer
Roman Israel, Esq.
The Star
Thor: Ragnorok
Three Billboards…
Wonder

These rankings are updated every week and are only intended to reflect the opinion of Daniel Barnes. All films playing in Sacramento area theaters are listed, as well as most films playing exclusively in the S.F. Bay Area.  Repertory showings are excluded, as they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (Nov. 17-23, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

1) The Florida Project
*2) LA 92
*3) Faces Places
4) Last Flag Flying
*5) Stronger

MIXED-POSITIVE

*6) Jane
*7) Chavela
*8) Lucky

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*9) Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
*10) The Square
*11) The Killing of a Sacred Deer
*12) Thank You for Your Service
*13) Marshall
14) Justice League
*15) God’s Own Country

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

*16) Novitiate
17) Blade Runner 2049
*18) Battle of the Sexes
*19) Wonderstruck
20) The Foreigner
21) Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
22) Victoria & Abdul

HAVEN’T SEEN

A Bad Moms Christmas
*Blade of the Immortal
Daddy’s Home 2
Geostorm
Happy Death Day
Jigsaw
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Lady Bird
LBJ
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Loving Vincent
Murder on the Orient Express
My Friend Dahmer
Only the Brave
The Star
*Thor: Ragnorok
*Three Billboards…
*Tom of Finland
Wonder

These rankings are updated every week and are only intended to reflect the opinion of Daniel Barnes. All films playing in Sacramento area theaters are listed, as well as most films playing exclusively in the S.F. Bay Area.  Repertory showings are excluded, as they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

IN THEATERS (SF) – “LA 92”

LA 92 (2017; Dir. Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin)

GRADE: A-

By Daniel Barnes

*Opens Friday, November 17, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

The best documentary of the year so far, a harrowing, sweeping, intelligent, dynamic and elegantly constructed montage about the Los Angeles riots of 1992.  LA 92 begins with footage from the racially charged Watts riots of 1965 and proceeds to build a strong cast of root causes for the inevitable sequel, with racial inequality, police brutality and economic insecurity receiving plum, above-the-title roles.  An intensifying anger finally found its release after two high-profile cases of racially motivated violence against African-Americans – first the senseless murder of teenager Latasha Harlins by an Asian store clerk, then the horrific beating of Rodney King by four white policemen – resulted in revolting injustice.  Much of this territory was covered in last year’s epic O.J.: Made in America, and we’ll presumably see many of those same iconic clips (e.g., the Rodney King beating, and the assault on Reginald Denny) in John Ridley’s just-released Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992.  But Lindsay and Martin (Undefeated) have also assembled a fair amount of rare and never-seen footage, much of it culled from on-the-scene camcorders, and a lot of it utterly unbelievable (e.g., the blood-soaked nightmare at the intersection of Florence and Normandie, or the man coolly lighting palm trees on fire as he strolls down a lawless street).

 

IN THEATERS (SF) – “God’s Own Country”

God’s Own Country (2017; Dir.: Francis Lee)

GRADE: C+

By Daniel Barnes

*Opens Friday, November 10, at the Landmark Opera Plaza in San Francisco and the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley.

Postcard-worthy slow cinema from actor-turned-auteur Lee, a bruising but underwhelming love story set amongst Yorkshire sheep farmers.  With his friends all gone off to college, angry young man Johnny (Josh O’Connor) gets stuck assisting his ailing father (Ian Hart, awkwardly theatrical compared to his underacting co-stars) with their failing farm, numbing his pain through alcohol-soaked nights and brisk sexual encounters with anonymous men.  That all changes when handsome, no-nonsense Romanian immigrant Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) arrives on the farm, arousing resentment from the racist townsfolk and simply arousing Johnny.  After a lifetime of abuse from his father, Johnny finally experiences real tenderness with Gheorghe, but his self-destructive instincts inevitably kick in, jeopardizing their relationship.  I liked the love story at the heart of God’s Own Country, but the film is just as plodding and impenetrable in its shaky-cam stoicism as Yorgos Lanthimos’ polar-opposite The Killing of a Sacred Deer was with its antiseptic precision.

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (Nov. 3-9, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

1) The Florida Project
*2) mother!
*3) Faces Places
*4) Brimstone & Glory
5) Spider-Man: Homecoming
*6) Okja

MIXED-POSITIVE

*7) Rat Film
*8) Lucky

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*9) Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
10) The Killing of a Sacred Deer
*11) Columbus
12) Thank You for Your Service
13) Marshall

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

14) Blade Runner 2049
*15) Battle of the Sexes
16) Wonderstruck
*17) Tragedy Girls
18) The Foreigner
19) It
20) Victoria & Abdul

HAVEN’T SEEN

American Made
A Bad Moms Xmas
Boo 2! 
*BPM
Geostorm
Goodbye Christopher Robin
Happy Death Day
*Human Flow
*Jane
Jigsaw
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
LBJ
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Loving Vincent
My Little Pony
*Novitiate
Only the Brave
The Snowman
Suburbicon
*Thor: Ragnorok

These rankings are updated every week and are only intended to reflect the opinion of Daniel Barnes. All films playing in Sacramento area theaters are listed, as well as most films playing exclusively in the S.F. Bay Area.  Repertory showings are excluded, as they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

IN THEATERS (SF) – “Brimstone & Glory”

Brimstone & Glory (2017; Dir.: Viktor Jakovleski)

GRADE: B

By Daniel Barnes

*Opens Friday, November 3, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

A color-saturated, visually stimulating, razor-thin documentary about the National Pyrotechnic Festival that takes place in the Mexican municipality of Tultepec, a national center for fireworks production.  There are two main events during the festival – one involving skyscraping towers festooned with colorful explosives, and the other involving elaborately decorated bulls that detonate into blazes of fireworks while daredevils dance around in the colorful flames.  Making his feature directing debut, Jakovleski provides little context, less story and almost no commentary, and rather than using the festival as a springboard to explore issues of worker safety, environmental desecration and out-of-control machismo, he mostly turns the 67-minute Brimstone & Glory into a candy-colored formal exercise.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Jakovleski and his collaborators (including the editor and composers behind Beasts of the Southern Wild) deliver one jaw-dropping sequence after another – I doubt I’ll ever forget some of the potent images in this film, especially the enormous bulls erupting into rainbow-colored infernos while sparkling projectiles whiz through crowds of cavorting lunatics.