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Reviews for April 14th, 2017 br>
Documentary Round-Up

      All These Sleepless Nights follows two friends, Krzystof Baginsky and Michal Huszcza, over the course of one year as they spend their nights partying in Warsaw while both trying to win over the affections of Eva Lebuef. They live the wild life at night while just walk around, drinking booze and taking drugs, but there's more to Kryzstof that meets the eye: he has some insightful kernels of wisdom about life that he observes every now and then. Director Michal Marczak blends documentary and fiction so well that it's hard to tell when the film veers into a documentary and when it veers into fiction because everything feels so natural. Just like life itself, there's very little plot and no "big events" or spectacle, just a lot of Truth---the Spectacle can be found within that Truth, but it does take some patience and perceptiveness to find the spectacle. Perhaps the most cinematic aspects of the film are the breathtaking, stylish cinematography and exquisite sound design which makes for a highly immersive experience. Who needs 3D when sights and sounds alone can make you feel like you're there for the ride along with Kryzstof and Michal? In many ways, All These Sleepless Night is the kind of film that's hard to describe with words; it's best to just sit back, open your heart and mind, and experience it, preferrably, on the big screen much like last year's underrated American Honey which would make for an interesting double feature. It opens at IFC Center via The Orchard.


Directed by Alex Merkin


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Lionsgate Premiere.
Opens at AMC Empire.

The Fate of the Furious

Directed by F. Gary Gray

      After marrying Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom (Vin Diesel) goes rogue and helps the nefarious Cipher (Charlize Theron) to take over the world using nuclear weapons. Dom's crew members, namely, Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris Bridges), Luke (Dwayne Johnson) join Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and Eric (Scott Eastwood with their fast cars to try to defeat Cipher in hopes of saving the world.

      Anyone looking for a movie with a smart screenplay, plausibility, soul, depth, warmth, good acting or a suspenseful plot should look elsewhere. Shallowness can be fun, though, and, for some of the film, director F. Gary Gray does offer thrilling action sequences, eye candy and slick cinematography that provide visceral entertainment. However, around the 90 minute mark, the film starts to become tedious and overstays its welcome while the entertaining element gradually wanes. A chase on the ice in Iceland, for instance, goes on for too long. The comic relief involving cute baby who Deckard (Jason Statham) rescues while fighting off the bad guys gets repeated over and over until it's no longer funny nor amusing.

      Did screenwriter Chris Morgan assume that the audience suffers short term memory loss? Out of all of the actors and actresses, Helen Mirren appears to be having the most fun out of everyone in her very small role as a mysterious woman named Magdalene. If only the rest of the characters were lively as Magdalene, this would have been a much more invigorating film. Instead, at a running time of 2 hour and 16 minutes, The Fate of the Furious is a mindless, shallow, loud and overlong B-movie masquerading as an A-movie.

Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Released by Universal Pictures.
Opens nationwide.

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Directed by Joseph Cedar


Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Opens at Landmark Sunshine Cinema and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
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