New in Theaters: Bridge of Spies, Crimson Peak, Goosebumps & More
Bridge of Spies
It’s October, so if you hear “Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, two hour twenty minute historical drama” and think Oscar bait, you’re not alone. But Bridge of Spies also walks the walk, emerging as a taut, effective, and absorbing film, as finely crafted as you would expect from the talents involved.
The true events are compelling, crafted by veteran artists wearing their considerable skills like a perfectly broken-in pair of shoes.
Spielberg’s sense of pace and framing are casually impeccable, Hanks perfectly embodies character Jim Donovan’s inner journey, and Mark Rylance is sure to get Oscar consideration for his scene-stealing perfection.
As the tale moves from courtroom motions to clandestine spy games, it’s punctuated by perfectly realized moments that speak to more universal themes.
You knew Bridge of Spies would be good. It is.
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro possesses a particular capacity for creepiness – beautifully realized in his masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth. That’s a high water mark he may never reach again, but his latest, Crimson Peak, can’t even see that high, let alone touch it.
Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is wooed away from home and childhood beau (Charlie Hunnam) by dreamy new suitor Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), regardless of his sister’s (Jessica Chastain) unpleasantness. But the siblings may have dastardly motives, not to mention some rather vocal skeletons in their closet.
Gorgeous period pieces drip with symbolism and menace, creating an environment ideal for the old fashioned ghost story unspooling. Unfortunately, tonal shifts from garish horror to somber gothic romance compound a problem with weak writing, and del Toro struggles to develop the twisted love story required to make the murky depths of the villainy believable. In the end, Crimson Peak is the sad story of great resources but wasted effort.
It’s been over 20 years since the publication of R.L. Stine’s original Goosebumps novel, and now, a generation who whiled away the nighttime hours white-knuckling paperbacks can bring a new crop of kiddos to experience the thrills of Stine’s monsters on the big screen.
In Goosebumps the movie, teenage hunk Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to the ‘burbs. He is lucky in that his next-door neighbor is the quick-witted and gorgeous Hannah (Odeya Rush). Unfortunately, her dad (Jack Black) is a curmudgeon who warns Zach to stay away or else something bad will happen.
It appears Zach’s prickly neighbor is reclusive author R.L. Stine who, with the help of a magical typewriter, brings his imaginary monsters to life. The movie is relentlessly paced as the crew dashes from one crisis to the next, concocting a zany plan to defeat all the monsters.
Predictability, logical inconsistencies, and a definite lack of diversity in casting mar the effort. But, nevertheless, it’s a seasonally-appropriate, Danny Elfman-scored thrill that will keep folks entertained without fostering nightmares.
New movies opening in Columbus this weekend:
BRIDGE OF SPIES
COMING HOME (GUI LAI)
ATTACK ON TITAN: PART TWO
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
TALES OF HALLOWEEN
Reviews with help from George Wolf and Christie Robb.
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