Actor Alex Wolff (Hereditary) is having a big week. He stars in two of the three films we’re reviewing – Old and Pig. The other, Val, is a documentary on actor Val Kilmer. Three films, all with short titles, so, we’ll keep this intro short, too.
Oscar-nominated writer and director M. Night Shyamalan has some major storytelling problems. Ever since he landed two Academy Award noms in 1999 for his horror-thriller The Sixth Sense, the filmmaker, best known for his twisty endings, has earned a steady following from fans who enjoy his supernatural narratives and will forgive him for some of the unwatchable movies he’s made in the past like The Last Airbender, After Earth and The Happening. While Old doesn’t drop to those depths of cinematic infamy, it gets pretty darn close. The film tells the story of a group of vacationers who end up on the far side of an island paradise where everyone seems to age at a rapid pace. Shyamalan spends a lot of the film’s runtime spoon feeding his audience theories about what the characters think is occurring. His ambition as a screenwriter surpasses his execution. What’s left is a film built on complex ideas that crumble under their own weight. Old is currently playing at theaters. 1.5 out of 5 stars (not recommended)
Oscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) gives his best performance since 2013’s independent drama Joe. In Pig, Cage plays Rob, a truffle hunter and former chef who lives a secluded life in wilderness with his truffle pig. The only real human interaction he gets is the weekly visit from a young businessman (Alex Wolff), who swings by Rob’s log cabin to purchase the high-priced fungi. When the pig is stolen, however, Rob sets out to reclaim it. This means, he must remerge into the culinary world he abruptly left years ago. While Cage hasn't been very selective with the films he's chosen these days, Pig is a unique indie project that allows him to deliver the kind of dark and poignant performance we’d all like to see more of. Pig is currently playing at theaters. 3.5 out of 5 stars (recommended)
Actor Val Kilmer bravely opens his life to audiences to reveal the highs and lows of his career and the current health situation he is facing after his battle with throat cancer. The documentary, created from years of footage Kilmer captured himself behind the scenes on movie sets and at home, is touching and hopeful. While it does feel a bit curated at times, this is the kind of self-portrait that few Hollywood stars, or even regular people, would allow others to see. It’s rare for individuals to put themselves in such a vulnerable place publicly. The fact that Kilmer embraces the idea is what makes Val — the man and the movie — so special. Val is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. 3.5 out of 5 stars (recommended)
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.