Still Alive and Kicking

Still Alive and Kicking

The Foreigner finds Jackie Chan getting serious in the name of revenge
Physicality has always been the core of Jackie Chan's performances. Over the past 40 years, he's built a reputation as cinema's premiere stunt star, and almost inarguably the top physical comedian in the post-silent-film area.

Electric Dreams

Cold, cerebral and epic in scope, Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy, visually stunning successor to a sci-fi watershed
How appropriate that Blade Runner 2049 should turn out to be something different than it initially appears. This is an introspective, cold, leisurely paced arthouse film disguised as a big-budget franchise cash-in, one that often gets lost in its own thoughts, drifting off in a reverie of some of the most stunning visuals ever projected.

Game, Set, Match

Emma Stone and Steve Carell go head-to-head in Battle of the Sexes, an urgent, entertaining piece of sports history
There's that saying: Two steps forward, one step back. With feminism, it's more like half a baby step forward, a dozen steps back.

Hard-Core Competition

Sex-positive and adults-only, the touring version of Dan Savage's popular HUMP! Film Festival makes its Spokane debut this weekend
The very notion of watching adult entertainment on a big screen probably inspires thoughts of dingy X-rated theaters that have long since closed, and of creepy old dudes in trench coats with collars pulled high enough to cover their faces. That may be a pastime that has since gone the way of the VCR, but HUMP!

Cruise (Out of) Control

The entertaining true-crime film American Made is a lot like its star: stylish, charming and dead behind the eyes
American Made, based on the true story of commercial airline pilot-turned-international criminal mastermind Barry Seal, hits a lot of the same beats as GoodFellas, though it misses some it tries to hit, too. By the time that Barry, in his gleeful voice-over narration, says, "The money was coming in faster than I could launder it," I felt like I'd seen this all before, and done better.

Learning to Walk Again

Stronger dramatizes the struggle of the Boston Marathon bombing victim who defined the slogan "Boston Strong"
Before images flash across the screen, the audio from the Today Show finds the hosts discussing how the Boston Marathon would be happening tomorrow. It's the type of overly perky empty chatter that fills the hours on morning TV, but in the context of Stronger, the cavalier tone feels ominous and chilling.

Another Brick in the Wall

The LEGO Ninjago Movie delivers fun family action, but can't quite rise to the level of its predecessors
It's easy to feel like everyone hates you in high school; teenage hormones and angst always get the better of you. But in the case of Lloyd, The LEGO Ninjago Movie's protagonist, those feelings are totally justified.

Shocking Awe

Kingsman: The Golden Circle amps up its spectacle and cruder comic-book elements for round two
Kingsman: The Golden Circle doesn't pussyfoot around. It takes about one minute for the movie to launch into a full-blown, high-speed chase through the streets of London that includes cybernetic limbs, hand-to-hand combat, acrobatics, a Gatling gun, gadgets and missile fire.

oh, brother!

Darren Aronofsky's artsy, surreal psychodrama mother! thinks it's an allegory about the exploitation of women, but it's exploitation itself
I cannot recall the last time a film made me as angry as Darren Aronofsky's mother! has.

Not Clowning Around

The first big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's epic It is a solid, if unremarkable, exploration of childhood horrors
Stephen King's 1986 novel It remains the prolific author's wooziest, most sprawling deconstruction of small-town America's thinly veiled moral decay. It's an epic fable about a force of shapeshifting, supernatural evil that haunts the fictional hamlet of Derry, Maine, and the group of social outcasts (self-dubbed the Losers' Club) that team up to fight it, first as kids and then years later as adults.

Unorthodox Orthodoxy

The narrative debut of a documentarian, Menashe is an empathetic character study with a vivid sense of place
Menashe tells the gentle, carefully observed story of a man caught between strict social constructs and his own paternal instincts. Its basic building blocks suggest the sort of plot we've seen many times before, but its vivid backdrop makes this one different: It's set in the bustling Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn's Borough Park, and like many of its inhabitants, it never steps beyond the perimeter of the neighborhood.

Midlife Crisis

The preposterous rom-com Home Again is basically a Pottery Barn catalog brought to life
Alice Kinney spends the morning of her 40th birthday crying in the bathroom. Of course she does — that's what women do — and Alice (Reese Witherspoon) has so much to be sad about.

Comedy à la Carte

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eat and joke their way through The Trip to Spain
The Trip to Spain is an esteemed member of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of cinema. It's the third entry in a series that started in 2010, and it follows the exact same premise of its previous two installments: British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing slightly fictionalized versions of themselves, travel through a country reviewing a number of high-end restaurants.

Run All Night

Good Time makes great cinema out of bad decisions
There is one quiet scene in Good Time, and it's the first, as Nick Nikas (co-director Benny Safdie) is asked to play word association with a social services psychiatrist. Nick is developmentally disabled; the psychiatrist is (likely) court-appointed.

#Single White Female

The dark comedy Ingrid Goes West takes aim at the Instagram generation
Aimless, jobless and now motherless, Ingrid Thorburn meanders around her empty house in a near-comatose daze after being released from her well-earned stay at a mental health facility.

Cry Wilderness

Wind River, the latest from Sicario scribe Taylor Sheridan, is a grimy revenge story disguised as a noble social statement
It would be easy to mistake Wind River's earnestness for nobility. It's the kind of movie that appears to have its heart in the right place, though it becomes clear by its third act that it doesn't possess the courage of its own convictions.

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The Alchemous Beasts Tour: Spokane

The Alchemous Beasts Tour: Spokane @ The Bartlett

Fri., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.

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