New releases this week offer war and road trips.
1. Dunkirk (Warner Brothers, 3,720 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 92% Fresh [205 Reviews]): It seems to me that a lot of articles about this film pertain to the fact that it is only 106 minutes long. Yes, Christopher “Mr. 2 hours plus” Nolan directed a film that is only 106 minutes long. That is the buzz this film is getting.
Granted, having a runtime under two hours is a rarity not only for Nolan but also for any summer movie of late. But shouldn’t the buzz be about the film itself?
Maybe they think the film doesn’t need any buzz. Nolan is a quality filmmaker and the Dunkirk Evacuation is one of the most compelling stories to come out of World War II. The reviews seem to bear this out. But you should go to see this film because it’s a great film, not because it is short.
2. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (STX Entertainment, 3,553 Theaters, 137 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 56% Fresh [119 Reviews]): When I heard that Luc Besson had another science-fiction movie in the works, I got real interested. I really liked The Fifth Element. That film was beautifully shot and was full of interesting characters. It looked like a Heavy Metal adaptation of a European comic book story come to life.
Which makes me even more excited about this film. Besson adapts the French comic book series Valérian et Laureline, which ran in the French magazine Pilote from 1967 to 1990. Besson was so taken by the strip that he financed this film by himself, and it was one of the most expensive French film in history. .
However, reviews for this are mixed. That is a tad disappointing. I was expecting better.
3. Girls Trip (Universal, 2,591 Theaters, 122 Minutes, Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity, and drug material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 89% Fresh [61 Reviews]): See what I mean about run times? This is a raunchy comedy and even it is over two hours long!
Four life-long friends decide to take a girl trip to New Orleans to catch up and have some fun. But the fun soon delves drunken debauchery and they decide to push every limit.
The film has a great cast and it has received great reviews. If you liked The Hangover and Bridesmaids, then maybe you should give this a shot.
Next week, we hope another comic book adaptation nukes one of the stupidest movie ideas ever.