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Monday, April 21, 2014

Film Clips: April 21

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The Railway Man R

Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a tweedy Englishman obsessed with railroad timetables. He strikes up an unlikely romance on a train with Patti (Nicole Kidman); after their marriage, the shadow of his World War II experiences darkens their lives. Loosely based on Lomax’s autobiography, The Railway Man is The Bridge on the River Kwai for a society that no longer accepts stoicism in the face of torment. Lomax must heal the enduring pain from his cruel captivity under the Japanese and confront one of his tormentors (Hiroyuki Sanada). The film takes dramatic license with the truth and cushions the anguish with over-emoting melodramatic music, yet the acting is deeply felt and the redemptive message of Lomax’s memoir is intact. (David Luhrssen)

 

Brick Mansions PG-13

Paul Walker’s penultimate film appearance is a remake of Luc Besson’s 2004 District B13. The film, introducing Parkour to French audiences, also starred David Belle, one of the discipline’s founders. He reprises his original role here. Set in a near dystopian future, crime-ridden Downtown Detroit is surrounded by a containment wall cordoned off by police to prevent traffic either in or out. A citywide bomb threat forces undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) and ex-con Lino (David Belle) to make their way inside the wall to find and deactivate a massive explosive device. Both martial arts and Parkour are showcased in what could be good fun provided you aren’t hoping for much of a story. (Lisa Miller)

 

The Other Woman PG-13

Cameron Diaz portrays Carly, an attorney who learns her lover is a philanderer after meeting Mark’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) wife Kate (Leslie Mann)—unbeknownst to Mark. While comparing notes, the women discover that Mark is seeing yet a third woman (Kate Upton). The ladies introduce themselves, prompting all three to join forces in a revenge scheme against the three-timer. Written by Nick Cassavetes who has heretofore specialized in weepy romances, the auteur struggles to identify the funny side of broken romance—but instead resorts to an assortment of tired bodily function gags. Diaz is made harsh and unlikable, Mann provides a nonstop stream of hysterics, and Upton contributes her two best assets. (L.M.)

 

The Quiet Ones PG-13

A university professor (Jared Harris) persuades undergrad Brian to make a video documentary of the professor’s efforts to apply his latest treatment regimen to mental patient Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke). A pair of psychology students (Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne) tag along as the professor’s aides, but while witnessing Jane’s ever-expanding roster of bizarre symptoms, they begin to believe she is possessed by demonic forces. Their skeptical professor insists the supernatural is pure fantasy—but fortunately for his character as well as others in this film, evil spirits are a time-honored horror movie staple. (L.M.)