Cinematic Spillover: Short Reviews of The Gentlemen, The Last Full Measure and Color Out of Space

click to enlarge Cinematic Spillover: Short Reviews of The Gentlemen, The Last Full Measure and Color Out of Space
RLJE Films, STX Films and Roadside Attractions

Here are a few short reviews of films opening in San Antonio theaters on January 24.

Color Out of Space

Apart from the creepy vibe and a hilariously unhinged performance by Nicolas Cage, director Richard Stanley’s hallucinatory horror movie Color Out of Space is to be experienced with the eyes and not with the head. The film, which is an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, will grow on viewers like a mold — take that in any way you’d like. Cage stars as a father living on his farm with his family when a mysterious meteorite hits close to their home, an event which causes some unworldly things to start happening to everyone in the area. Fans of films like 1982’s The Thing and even the 2018 horror thriller Annihilation might find Stanley’s sci-fi haziness hip, but the gruesome, B-movie-type prosthetics used in the film aren’t enough to warrant it your full attention. Color Out of Space opens exclusively at the Alamo Drafthouse Park North January 24. 2.5 out of 5 stars (not recommended)

The Gentlemen

For most of his 22-year-long career, filmmaker Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) is someone who has always chosen style over substance. So, it’s quite amazing how engaging and fun The Gentlemen is — from its whip-smart dialogue and mostly restrained pacing to a cast of characters who are just as cool as any from Ritchie’s past movies, including Jason Statham’s Bacon in 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Brad Pitt’s Mickey O'Neil in 2000’s Snatch. Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) stars as Mickey Pearson, a major player in the marijuana industry, who has decided to sell his profitable business to the highest bidder. The news of his retirement brings all the shady characters out to play, including a young Chinese gangster (Henry Golding), a private investigator (Hugh Grant) and a boxing coach (Colin Farrell) whose students unknowingly steal from Mickey’s stash. If Ritchie is a director who has always been on your wavelength, it’s safe to say you’ll enjoy the same kind of energy he always brings. For those moviegoers, including this critic, who enjoyed his early work but think most of his movies are nonstop pandemonium that don’t add up to much, The Gentleman might surprise some detractors. Or maybe it’s just Farrell and Grant that makes this thing so likeable. The Gentlemen opens nationwide January 24. 3 out of 5 stars (recommended)

The Last Full Measure

As incredible as the service was of Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. during the Vietnam War, and as well intentioned as writer/director Todd Robinson (Lonely Hearts) obviously is in retelling his story for the big screen, the war drama The Last Full Measure doesn’t come close to doing Pitsenbarger justice. Pitsenbarger joined the U.S. Air Force in 1962 and soon found himself on his way to basic training in San Antonio. During one mission in Vietnam as part of a pararescue squadron, he was lowered into the brush to attend to wounded Army soldiers during a battle with the Viet Cong. Although he had a chance to escape via helicopter when things became too dangerous, Pitsenbarger elected to stay behind and continue to help. After saving the lives of nine of his fellow servicemen, he was killed by enemy fire. The Last Full Measure picks up on his story decades later when the men he saved, now in their 60s and 70s, campaigned for Pitsenbarger to receive the Medal of Honor, America’s most prestigious military decoration given to U.S. military service members for acts of valor. Pitsenbarger’s heroics are undoubtedly meaningful, but Robinson’s script is strictly by the numbers and, thus, lacks the emotion needed to fully appreciate a cinematic retelling of this patriot’s sacrifice. The film, however, does provide talented veteran actors like William Hurt, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Fonda, in his final film role, a platform to perform convincingly and, in turn, give the picture some much needed finesse. The Last Full Measure opens nationwide January 24. 2.5 out of 5 stars (not recommended)

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