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Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

Film Clips: Aug. 6

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Boyhood R

With Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s fictional Mason Jr. grows from toddler to teen in the body of the same maturing actor, Ellar Coltrane. Working ambitiously in between other projects, Linklater shot Boyhood from 2002 through 2013. Occasionally, markers of particular moments appear—a candy-colored iMac, 2008 Obama lawn signs and cellphones that turned smart. The focus, however, is on a particular boy as he finds his way toward personhood. Adulthood remains over the horizon, and the example of the “grownups” he has encountered is mixed. Patricia Arquette plays his hard-working, hard-pressed mom, whose choices in men have always been wrong. Ethan Hawke co-stars as Mason’s biological dad, a reckless partier with a good spirit. (David Luhrssen)

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey PG

Adapted from the novel by Richard C. Morais, here, France meets India in a showdown of cuisines. Fleeing Mumbai, the Kadam family, led by their outspoken Papa (Om Puri), open an Indian restaurant in the South of France across the street from Le Saule Pleureur, a fine French cuisine establishment run by the widowed Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). She considers The Kadam family’s restaurant, featuring open-air seating and free-wandering chickens, an affront to her refined taste, but when Madame Mallory’s sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) falls for talented Indian chef Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), haughty Madame Mallory takes the young man under her wing. Predictably, she discovers that blending their arts and embracing Papa Kadam’s loving nature enriches her life. Who says the Food Channel has all the fun? (Lisa Miller)

 

Into the Storm PG-13

Currently tornadoes are the disaster du jour, and one look at the film’s trailer explains why. With a tornado miles wide lifting everything in its path into the sky, who needs name actors? Besides, we’d never hear their crummy dialog over the tornado’s whooshing roar. Set in the town of Silverton, where an average tornado is followed by ever-larger incarnations of the same, this big daddy weather proves you don’t need a trucker’s permit or pilot’s license if you can toss the vehicles around like tinker toys. Can our bargain-priced actors (Richard Armitage excepted) survive by crawling into a big drain, or will their careers disappear into the big suck? Only the tornado knows... (L.M.)

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PG-13

Tired of covering fluff stories, roving reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) leads her wise-cracking cameraman Vern (Will Arnett) smack into the middle of a confrontation between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the villainous Foot Clan. Much to her surprise, April recognizes turtles, Rafael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo (voices of Alan Ritchson, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremy Howard and Noel Fisher, respectively), along with their mentor rat Splinter (Tony Shalhoub), as the animals she freed to save them from a fire at her scientist father’s laboratory. Subsequently, the turtles made their way to city sewers where radioactive toxins altered their DNA, causing them to be sought for dissection by The Shredder and his deadly Foot Clan in the interest of creating even more lethal soldiers. The film, unable to decide between realistic or cartoon creatures, settles for a disturbing cross in this ponderous Michael Bay-produced film that lacks the wit of Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s jokey black-and-white comic book. Whoopi Goldberg gives an embarrassing performance as April’s boss, but it’s the incoherent action that finally lands this film in the pop culture quicksand from whence it cannot escape. (L.M.)