TEXAS, USA —
THE EQUALIZER 3
How much would you pay for a face-off between 'John Wick' and 'Robert McCall!' ... two big screen characters who know how to bring the hurt!
McCall gets the call this weekend for the third and seemingly last chapter in "The Equalizer" franchise, one of Denzel Washington's more interesting roles. He turns up in Italy this time (stunning scenery), settling a major score at the top of the film. And just when it looks like he might leave his vengeful ways behind him, he sees another wrong to right, as a mob tries to take over the seaside town where's he's come to feel at home.
Washington's "go to," Antoine Fuqua, has directed all three with measured suspense, explosive violence, and in this one, scant dialogue.
Dakota Fanning co-stars as a CIA agent, and you sense her comfort with Denzel. The two last worked together when she was a little girl in 2004's "Man on Fire." This is a satisfying wrap.
Now, it's time to give McCall the retirement he's earned. Thanks for the trilogy.
(Columbia Pictures. Rated R. Running Time 1 hr. 49 mins. In Theaters Only)
If you like teen sex comedies like "Superbad," "Bottoms" is right up there.
Two socially-awkward, queer high school girls have crushes on cheerleaders (one played by Kaia Gerber). So, they come up with the idea of a Girls Fight Club, under the guise of teaching self-defense, in order to get closer to them. They're played perfectly by Rachel Sennott (also co-writer) and Ayo Edebiri, who along with co-writer and director Emma Seligman, are friends from college.
Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch plays their club adviser and a horrible teacher.
This is satire at its twisted best. Football culture is also skewered, led by quarterback Nicholas Galitzine (from recent rom-com "Red, White & Royal Blue.") Bottoms up! This one is a fresh, fun winner.
(Orion Pictures. Rated R. Running Time 1 hr. 32 mins. In Theaters Only)
THE GOOD MOTHER
Oscar-winner Hilary Swank must like playing a journalist. She just wrapped "Alaska Sky" on ABC.
In this movie, she works for the Albany paper. Her estranged son is murdered at the beginning of the movie. It's clear he hung out with the wrong crowd, drug dealers to be exact.
His girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) informs the mom at the funeral that she's pregnant. After a rocky start, the two join forces to try to track down who's responsible for his death. Swank's other son (Jack Raynor) is a police officer also on the trail, but the lines become blurred.
This movie is about as bleak as it gets with little payoff in terms of storyline. Not a bad watch, but I'd wait for streaming.
(Vertical. Rated R. Running Time 1 hr. 29 mins. In Theaters Only)
ERNEST AND CELESTINE: A TRIP TO GIBBERITIA
This is one of the nicer little animated movies. It's the second one, but you don't have to have seen the first. I hadn't. A bear named Ernest has a little bestie, a mouse named Celestine. Ernest wakes from hibernation, and Celestine grabs his Stradivarius violin, breaking it by accident. She sets out to Ernest's hometown of Gibberitia, where the only animal who can fix it resides. Ernest is not too far behind. But the music is silenced in the town and the two join forces to discover why, leading to a change in Ernest's family dynamics.
There is a lovely symphony of lessons here about oppression, creativity and love. I watched it with English dubbing, but it's also showing in French with English subtitles.
(StudioCanal. Rated TV-PG. Running Time 1 hr. 20 mins. In Theaters Only)
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