Film Clips: September 22, 2022



Bandit

(Limited Theatrical Release and Streaming on & VUDU, Sept. 23)

This R-Rated film dramatizes the biography of an infamous Canadian bank robber. Reset from 1957-1966 to the mid-‘80s and beyond, he is played by Josh Duhamel. After escaping a Michigan prison, Gilbert Galvan Jr. crosses into Canada where he becomes Robert Whiteman. To finance his romance with Canadian social worker Andrea (Elisha Cuthbert), Galvan robs a bank while wearing a disguise, and discovers he’s got a knack for it. Galvan then turns to gangster Tommy Kay (Mel Gibson), to pursue bigger opportunities. With his legend growing, the bank robber is pursued by dogged detective Snydes (Nestor Carbonell). Allan Ungar directs this adaptation of Robert Knuckle’s The Flying Bandit; one doozy of a tale. (Lisa Miller)


Belle Collector’s Edition

(GKIDS Blu-ray)

The meta world promised in the 2021 anime Belle is already happening here in … can we still call it “reality”? In Mamoru Hosoda’s film, the techno sophistication has reached the point where you can create an avatar, based on your biometrics, exhibiting hidden talents and potentials that remained unrealized in the physical world. Take shy, lonely schoolgirl Suzu. She hides during choir class because she thinks she can’t sing, but as Belle, her glamorous avatar, she’s a singing superstar with millions of followers.

As promised by the meta app called U: “You may not be able to start over in the real world, but you can start over in the world of U.” Is Mark Zuckerberg listening?

Belle’s lavishly furnished Collector’s Edition includes the film in UHD in multiple formats plus a bonus disc of interviews and mini dos, a poster, a set of “art cards” and an illustrated booklet. As the director says, in the gap between writing the proposal and wrapping the film, “what I imagined at that time has become closer to reality at a tremendous speed.” (David Luhrssen)


Don’t Worry Darling

(In Theaters Sept. 23)

Very much in love, married couple Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) reside in the experimental company town of Victory. While Victory’s men work on a top-secret company project, their wives cook, clean, exercise, coffee-klatch, and shop at the company stores (free of charge). Chris Pine portrays charismatic Victory CEO Frank, while Gemma Chan appears as Shelley, Frank’s wife and the town dance instructor. As time wears on, Alice senses her life is being controlled, although she hasn’t quite figured out how. Helmed by Olivia Wilde who takes her second turn in the director’s chair, the film painstakingly updates and recreates the 1950s. Wilde adds fine visual flourishes to this story that lacks sufficient twists and jolts to justify its overwrought soundtrack. The script is based on a treatment by Carey and Shane Van Dyke, Dick Van Dyke’s grandsons. (Lisa Miller)


A Fugitive from the Past

(Arrow Video Blu-ray)

Scenes that repeat—or at least rhyme—haunt this enigmatic, elliptical 1965 film by Japanese director Tomu Uchida. Storms and rain brood overhead as time passes. Inukai is a criminal who kills two fugitive companions during a typhoon, and while pursued by police, is sheltered by a dreamy sex worker. In an act of kindness, he gives her the stolen money, but when she tries to thank him years later, he has a new identity—and will do anything to conceal his past. But can we ever escape our misdeeds? The thoughtful essay accompanying this Blu-ray explains many references non-Japanese might miss, including the origins of the lead characters in the lowest ranks of Japan’s caste system and the implicit sense of collective national guilt hovering over the story. (David Luhrssen)

David Luhrssen

David Luhrssen lectured at UWM and the MIAD. He is author of The Vietnam War on Film, Encyclopedia of Classic Rock, and Hammer of the Gods: Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism.

Read more by David Luhrssen


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