Monday, May 25, 2015

Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson is the Daily News film critic.

 
Read Gary's blog Keep It Reel
Latest post: Lynchian Primer: What to watch and where to stream - 09/12/2014
  Email Gary at thompsg@phillynews.com
The well-worn idea of hippies producing conservative children gets the broadest possible treatment in "Peace Love and Misunderstanding" where characters are as deep as their tie-dye. Sixties icon Jane Fonda plays Grace, a sixties-era matriarch who lives in Woodstock, has Ken Kesey's bus (or possibly the Partridge Family's) parked in her front yard. When we meet her she's sitting at a potter's wheel, singing Simon and Garfunkel. You hope that's as obvious as the movie will get, but no — later, she talks of giving birth to her Reagan-loving daughter Diana (Catherine Keener) during the actual Woodstock concert, as Jimmy Hendrix was playing "The Star Spangled Banner." The story has tightly wound (subtle) Diana reeling from a failed marriage (To Kyle MacLauchlan), retreating to Woodstock with her college-age kids — one played by Elizabeth Olson, the young actress who was so good last year in "Martha Marcy May Marlene."
Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but not, for my money, in a Ridley Scott sci-fi movie.The director's great genre pieces, "Blade Runner" and "Alien," are mesmerizing, visionary works that share a common trait — Scott has seen the future, and it sucks. In "Blade Runner," cities are darker, damper, more crowded. If the movie were a scratch-and-sniff, it would smell like a subway. And "Alien," a visual rebuke to "2001," was the most blue-collar science-fiction movie ever made — a space barge full of sweaty, lunch-pail guys, just as expendable next century as they are today.
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