Month: August 2017

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (September 1-7, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

1) Good Time
2) Dunkirk
3) Logan Lucky
*4) The Little Hours
*5) Detroit
*6) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
7) Wind River
8) Spider-Man: Homecoming
*9) Maudie

MIXED-POSITIVE

10) War for the Planet of the Apes
11) Cars 3
12) Patti Cake$
13) Atomic Blonde

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*14) Columbus
15) The Big Sick
16) Wonder Woman
17) Menashe

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

18) Transformers: The Last Knight
*19) Gook
*20) The Wedding Plan
21) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
*22) An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
23) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
24) I Do… Until I Don’t

HAVEN’T SEEN

All Saints
Annabelle: Creation
Baby Driver
Birth of the Dragon
*Crown Heights
The Dark Tower
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
*The Fencer
47 Meters Down
Girls Trip
The Glass Castle
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Ingrid Goes West
Kidnap
Leap!
*Marjorie Prime
*The Midwife
The Nut Job 2
The Only Living Boy in NY
*Rumble: The Indians Who…
*The Trip to Spain
Tulip Fever
Valerian and the City…

These rankings are updated every Thursday, 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, because they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

IN THEATERS (SF) – “I Do… Until I Don’t”

I Do… Until I Don’t (2017; Dir.: Lake Bell)

GRADE: C-

By Daniel Barnes

*Opens Friday, September 1.

Oh, wow, no.  

Writer/director/producer/lead actress Lake Bell follows up her underwhelming but affable 2013 debut In a World… with this shockingly unfunny film.  The embarrassing ensemble comedy I Do…Until I Don’t revolves around three utterly revolting couples – Bell and Ed Helms as a childless duo who have lost the spark; Mary Steenburgen and Paul Reiser as her parents, hostile and hurtling towards divorce; and Amber Heard and Wyatt Cenac as self-identified swingers coming to terms with their monogamy.  They’re all distinctly unlikable characters with the shrill performances to match, but none of them compares to Dolly Wells as Vivian, a documentary filmmaker who manipulates the couples to prove a point about abolishing marriage.  Right down to that insipid, cutesy-poo title, I Do…Until I Don’t feels like a succession of bullet-point cliches about love and sex and marriage that no one ever bothered to develop, connect together or base in any kind of reality.

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (Aug. 25-31, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

1) Good Time
2) Dunkirk
3) Logan Lucky
*4) The Little Hours
5) Step
6) Detroit
*7) Whose Streets?
*8) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
9) Wind River
*10) Endless Poetry
11) Spider-Man: Homecoming
*12) Maudie

MIXED-POSITIVE

13) War for the Planet of the Apes
*14) Lady Macbeth
*15) Landline
*16) Cars 3
*17) Patti Cake$
18) Atomic Blonde
*19) Beatriz at Dinner

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*20) Columbus
21) The Big Sick
22) Wonder Woman
23) Menashe

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

24) Transformers: The Last Knight
*25) Gook
26) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
27) An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
28) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

HAVEN’T SEEN

All Saints
Annabelle: Creation
Baby Driver
Birth of the Dragon
The Dark Tower
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
*The Fencer
47 Meters Down
Girls Trip
The Glass Castle
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Ingrid Goes West
Kidnap
Leap!
*Marjorie Prime
*The Midwife
The Nut Job 2
The Only Living Boy in NY
*The Trip to Spain
*Unleashed
Valerian and the City…

These rankings are updated every Thursday, 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, because they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

IN THEATERS (SF) – “Gook”

Gook (2017; Dir.: Justin Chon)

GRADE: C

By Daniel Barnes

*Opens Friday, August 25, at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in San Francisco and the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley.

When Martin Scorsese combined Cassavetes’ methods with the beloved crime films of his youth and filtered it through his own pseudo-biographical religious hangups in his excellent Mean Streets, did he have any clue just how much bad cinema he had unleashed?  Scorsese fell out of critical favor in the 1980s (great job again, critics!) but got rediscovered by the VCR generation, with the gritty and masculine Mean Streets becoming his most readily regurgitate-able property.  Every other independent film from the 1990s felt like a half-assed clone of Mean Streets, and Justin Chon’s Gook, a black-and-white day-in-the-life set in 1992 Los Angeles just as the riots are ready to explode, attempts to recapture the raw intimacy of the independent films from that era.  Gook does capture some of the visceral qualities of those films, but a lot more gets caught in the net – the shoddy narratives, the inconsistent pacing, the amateur-hour dream sequences, the woefully unrestrained actors, the over-reliance on out-of-control melodrama, the method of allowing every emotional scene to devolve into a chaotic screaming contest.  Writer-director Chon also stars as Eli, a Korean shoe store owner dealing with racism, cultural alienation, financial instability and a host of contrived, interlacing, ticking-clock story threads.  The cacophonous result comes a lot closer to recapturing the spirit of Crash than the spirit of the 1990s.

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (August 18-24, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

*1) Good Time
*2) A Ghost Story
3) Dunkirk
4) Logan Lucky
*5) The Little Hours
6) Step
7) Detroit
*8) Whose Streets?
*9) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
*10) Wind River
*11) Endless Poetry
12) Spider-Man: Homecoming

MIXED-POSITIVE

13) War for the Planet of the Apes
14) In This Corner of the World
*15) Lady Macbeth
*16) Cars 3
17) Atomic Blonde
*18) Beatriz at Dinner

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*19) Columbus
20) The Big Sick
21) Wonder Woman
22) Menashe

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

23) Transformers: The Last Knight
24) An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
25) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

HAVEN’T SEEN

Annabelle: Creation
Baby Driver
*Brigsby Bear
The Dark Tower
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
*Escapes
47 Meters Down
Girls Trip
The Glass Castle
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
*Ingrid Goes West
Kidnap
*Marjorie Prime
*Nocturama
The Nut Job 2
*The Only Living Boy in NY
*The Trip to Spain
Valerian and the City…

These rankings are updated every Thursday, 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, because they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.

The Barnesyard’s Sacto/SF Now Playing Power Rankings (August 11-17, 2017)

Click the links to read my reviews.

* = playing in SF Bay Area only

OFFICIALLY BUMPED

*1) A Ghost Story
2) Dunkirk
*3) The Little Hours
*4) Step
5) Detroit
*6) Whose Streets?
*7) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
*8) Endless Poetry
9) Spider-Man: Homecoming
*10) Maudie

MIXED-POSITIVE

11) War for the Planet of the Apes
*12) In This Corner of the World
*13) Landline
14) Lady Macbeth
*15) The Beguiled
*16) Cars 3
17) Atomic Blonde
*18) Beatriz at Dinner

MIXED-NEGATIVE

*19) Columbus
20) The Big Sick
21) Wonder Woman
*22) The Hero
*23) Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story
*24) The Untamed

OFFICIALLY DUMPED

25) Transformers: The Last Knight
26) An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
*27) Letters from Baghdad
28) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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HAVEN’T SEEN

Annabelle: Creation
Baby Driver
*Brigsby Bear
The Dark Tower
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
*The Exception
*False Confessions
47 Meters Down
Girls Trip
The Glass Castle
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
Kidnap
*Lost in Paris
*Menashe
*The Midwife
The Nut Job 2
*The Only Living Boy in NY
Valerian and the City…
*Wind River

These rankings are updated every Thursday, 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, because they are obviously the superior option wherever available.  Underlined films are on my catchup list.