The Austin Chronicle

Your Weekend in Film

By The Screens Staff, November 3, 2017, 9:00am, Picture in Picture

Just one Wednesday night, and these things happen: the Astros won, Whataburger reigns, and Harvey’s quest to weaken souls collapses. Keep the spirits lifted with these new theatrical releases, which are linked to time in one way or another. Only one question remains: Which one will you make time for?

This Week’s Pick: Thor: Ragnarok

The God of Thunder is out to stop the long-prophesized destruction of his homeland from becoming true. Kimberley Jones: “With equal gusto, Ragnarok director Taika Waititi … imprints his particular comic sensibility onto this certainly corporate entertainment, drenching it in Eighties synth and Day-Glo colors, and clocking more jokes per minute than any of Marvel’s predecessors.” 3.5 stars.

Also Reviewed

A Bad Moms Christmas. The overworked mothers of the 2016 hit comedy are again reclaiming some long-deprived “me” space. Danielle White: “For all its run-of-the-mill dick jokes and slapstick humor, the antics are fairly funny, in that you-know-what-you’re-getting-yourself-into kind of way.” 2 stars.

Una. A girl knocks on the door of an older man who loved her, unaware of the devastating consequences that will follow. Marc Savlov: “Wearing a preternaturally calm, sometimes dazed expression throughout, Mara brilliantly embodies both helpless victim and potential powder keg.” 3.5 stars.

Suburbicon. Director George Clooney combines his story with that of the Coen brothers to reveal how one happiness-guaranteed community in the Fifties is anything but. Marjorie Baumgarten: “The result is disjointed and, ironically, even falls victim to the very thing it condemns: privileging the white family’s story while relegating the African-American family’s story to background noise.” 2.5 stars.

Jane. Documentary showcases never-before-seen footage of Jane Goodall’s beginnings as a secretary to the influential researcher she’s known today. Josh Kupecki: “Here is Goodall, often barefoot, but sometimes in Converse All-Stars, navigating the gorgeous landscape of the hills and valleys of Tanzania, patiently observing, and slowly, oh so slowly, gaining the trust of a community of chimps.” 4 stars.

Wonderstruck. A Midwest boy has a space-and-time-defying connection with a New York girl. Marjorie Baumgarten: “A diorama of the city of New York that serves as the magnificent set-piece for the film’s closing beats is breathtaking, yet the story’s conclusion is more visually arresting than narratively satisfying.” 3.5 stars.

LBJ. Biographical drama sees a vice president vaulted into the presidency by an assassin’s bullet. Steve Davis: “… this earnest biopic sketchily communicates this consummate politician’s skills through little more than folksy humor and the occasional swear word, without really ever giving the genius of his ability to work both sides of the aisle its due.” 2.5 stars.

Dealt. One of magic’s finest, the 62-year-old blind card mechanic Richard Turner, is spotlighted in this documentary. Steve Davis: “Austin-based director Korem gives Turner wide latitude to be himself, revealing both his subject matter’s admirable attributes, as well as the darker implications of those character traits.” 3 stars.

Jigsaw. Horror’s hardest-working killer, and former engineer, is back at it again to punish more victims. Marc Savlov: “The clock is ticking, as it always is in this franchise, and so we get deaths by farm implements inside of a grain silo, booby-trapped shotguns, and laser-beam dog collars, among others.” 2 stars.

Also Opening

Singularity. Remnants of mankind are on the run from a robot army launched by a vicious supercomputer.

Special Screenings

The 12th Austin Polish Film Festival is upon us! Throughout the weekend, see the works of filmmakers from this history-rich European nation, including those from Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland.

Two streaming golds invade the cinemas. Elevate your Netflix game by seeing Okja, Bong Joon-ho’s more biting spin on Free Willy, and Gerald’s Game, which Mike Flanagan fantastically adapted, on the big screen. Both screen Saturday, but the Gerald’s Game showing will have Carla Gugino and producer Trevor Macy in attendance.

Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! Catch it all, the beginning of an iconic friendship, in Ash and Pikachu's first adventure, which screens Sunday.

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