With its flat, made-for-TV production values, it’s little surprise that Why Him? is categorically a “wait for Netflix” effort, intermittently entertaining but utterly irrelevant as a theatrically-released film and best-suited to a streaming marathon on a hungover Sunday.
Fulfilling every expectation of a long-delayed, long-troubled blockbuster set to give Paramount a hefty $115 million writedown, Monster Trucks is a well-meaning but soullessly bland, over-budgeted misfire that’s hugely bereft of charm.
Though it’s beholden to many of anime’s worst, most irritating instincts – namely a sometimes-overwrought tone and at least three J-pop interludes too many – the latest effort from Makoto Shinkai (aka “the new Hayao Miyazaki”) delivers an affecting mind-bender of a star-crossed romance, with Shinaki unsurprisingly doing his own source novel solid justice.
Though its greatness is stunted by its excessive length and it doesn’t quite manage to live up to that rapturous Cannes reception – as so few films ever do – Maren Ade’s (The Forest for the Trees, Everyone Else) third feature is a largely entertaining comic drama, mining some distinctly German absurdism while driven forth by two terrific central performances.
Alex Gibney’s (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief) latest documentary may not sit among his very best filmmaking efforts to date, but it’s a fascinating, deeply entertaining look at the world of technological espionage and the untapped dangers it presents.