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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Donovan’

Diane Lane, Kevin Costner

“LET HIM GO”  My rating: C (In theaters Nov. 6)

114 minutes | MPAA rating: R

There are moments early on when “Let Him Go” seems to be a thoughtful examination of a long marriage between a couple with fundamental differences about how the world works.

That Thomas Bezucha’s film stars Kevin Costner (one can usually feel safe whenever he’s wearing a cowboy hat) and Diane Lane (OMG: the eternally beautiful one-time child star is now portraying a grandmother!!!) generates even more hope that this might be a keeper.

Uh…no.

Before it’s all over “Let Him Go” will have descended into a quagmire of cult film wackiness and action/revenge melodrama, wasting a promising cast along the way.

Set in the early 1960s, the yarn begins on the Montana ranch of retired lawman George Blackledge (Costner), his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) and their son James (Ryan Bruce).  James has a wife, Lorna (Kayli Carter), and an infant boy. They’re just one big happy multigenerational family.

A riding accident leaves Lorna a widow and the story suddenly jumps several years into the future where we see her remarrying. Her new hubby is Donny Weboy (Will Brittain), who turns out not to be a nice person at all. (Why did Lorna fall for a creep, even while she’s still living with the sheltering George and Margaret?  Well, that would take some explaining, so Bezucha’s screenplay doesn’t even try.)

And then one day the little family vanishes without a trace.

The  emotion-driven and fiercely maternal Margaret is determined to mount a pursuit to rescue her grandson Jimmy — wherever it is that Donny may have taken Lorna and the boy.

Husband George, the sort of guy who says little and then only after considerable rumination, is morosely pragmatic. His life has been ruled by the law, and he knows they haven’t a legal leg to stand on.

But the stubborn Margaret announces she’ll go on the quest by herself if needs be. What’s a guy supposed to do?

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Maika Monroe, Bill Skarsgard

“VILLAINS” My rating: B-  

88 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The ironically titled “Villains” makes audiences  root for a pair of truly stupid criminal lovers by providing antagonists who are infinitely worse.

In Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s black comedy, Mickey (Bill Skarsgard) and Jules (Maika Monroe) are the stars of their own sweetly demented version of “Gun Crazy.”  They are to real criminals what white suburban teens are to genuine gang bangers — they talk tough and are sexually turned on by  criminal behavior, but they’re so thick they don’t think to fill the tank of their getaway vehicle before robbing a convenience store.

Running out of gas just miles from their latest heist, the pair ditch the car and take refuge in blandly posh manse in the woods.  Nobody’s home, so they figure they can hang out there for a while.

That’s until they find a mute 10-year-old girl chained in the basement and are interrupted by the arrival of homeowners George and Gloria (Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick), who are also serial kidnappers/killers.

Gloria is a Southern belle so off the charts that she believes  a porcelain-headed doll is her actual child (she makes Blanche Dubois look like the poster girl for emotional stability).  Hubby George is a golden-voiced charmer, a Dixie gentleman who can explain away even the most hair-raising ugliness with a barrage of reassuring   bromides. (Am I the only one who suspects Donovan is doing a vocal imitation of Kevin Spacey in his “House of Cards” role?) (more…)

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