Really enjoyable documentary by Doug Pray on the Seattle music scene of the late 80s and early 90s, which effortlessly fans out well beyond Nirvana to encompass all manner of strange and wonderful tunemongers. Thoroughly recommended.
[The Insider title screen]
Michael Mann reteams with Al Pacino to tell the story of a tobacco company whistleblower, played by Russell Crow. Nicely done.
Tell Me Who I Am
Bonkers story of two brothers from a fucked up family. Some majorly manipulative tricks are pulled by the director Ed Perkins – on both audience and interviewees – but it all adds up to a powerful piece.
Straight Outta Compton
Fairly straight forward, compelling legend-building NWA biopic from F Gary Gray, which almost entirely ignores women (except as gold digging hoes or silent room candy) for 75% of its runtime.
Not particularly gripping psychological thriller, in the vein of some of those Euro flicks that were almost immediately remade in Hollywood by their original directors in the 80s/90s; or something Michael Crichton might have scripted way back when.
But here it’s just a bit tedious. Sam Worthington and his wife and kid are driving home from a not-great Thanksgiving at the in-laws; along the way there is an accident, and they stop off at a provincial hospital. Then wife and kid go missing and no one admits that they were ever here…
Directed by Brad Anderson, who also did The Machinist, which was kind of good, and Transsiberian, which kind of wasn’t.
[Damascus Cover title screen]
Turgid spy thriller set in 1989, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a German Mossad spy sent to Syria to exfiltrate a well-placed asset. Weird little cameo from Jürgen Prochnow, Olivia Thirlby in underwritten supporting role, and a massively semaphored ‘twist’. Directed by Daniel Zelik Berk. Best thing is a pair of nice turns from familiar character actors Igal Naor and David Negahban.