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Martha K. Baker

I tried. As a full-service film reviewer, I tried to tease out the name of the pee-pee prosthetics producer for "The Overnight." She or he is to be applauded for attention to detail "down there." Would that writer/director Patrick Brice had worked as hard on the rest of the largely flaccid film.

Even before the credits, the opening sequence of "Spy" sells the movie as fun, bodacious, Rooster Cogburnian, silly, romantic, and predictable. The last adjective is not a draw-back: it's a staple of summer films, the screen equivalent of the beach book. "Spy" delivers on its promises.

The very idea of "Inside Out" is clever. Imagine what is going on in the mind of a girl child as she faces change. Just imagine her emotions as she goes from settled in the Midwest to uprooted to San Francisco. Would she be angry or joyful, scared or disgusted?

Oh, you want "Aloha" to be so good. You want to see Bradley Cooper's baby-blues and Bill Murray's, too. You want to cheer for Emma Stone as she parades in dress uniform and for Rachel McAdam in an apron and high dudgeon. But you can't. And won't.

Imagine jumping off a building. Or an aerial tower. Or a span or, even Earth. If you can't, you don't have the moxie required for this risky business. It was promoted by Carl Boenisch. The late Carl Boenisch. He died doing what he convinced others, including his wife Jean, to do.

The music of the Beach Boys is cemented -- with lots of sand and water -- in America's pop culture as the California sound of the Sixties. By the Eighties, however, Brian Wilson, lead composer for the group, had fallen prey to addictions of food and drugs and to mental illness.
 

Another movie about the elderly so soon after the release of "The Second Best Marigold Hotel"? Yes, but the old parties in the Jerusalem retirement home of "The Farewell Party" are far removed from those in the jolly, colorful Indian film. These grey friends, bidding farewell, are tired of life.

Imagine being in a religion whose tenets and practices constrain you, reins you in to the point of seething anger. Imagine meeting a stranger who draws pictures as you used to, before the marriage and the baby. What you've imagined is the basis of an odd romance.

Friday, 22 May 2015 00:00

'Iris' reveals backstory of NY icon

Before documentarian Albert Maysles died on March 5, he left a capstone to his body of work, which includes "Grey Gardens" and "Gimme Shelter." By selecting Iris Apfel as his subject, the then-87-year-old director recorded the colorful life of the then 93-year-old with spirit and elan.

As documentaries go, "Lambert and Stamp" gives the genre ballast. First-time director James D. Cooper adds qualities and textures by switching between color and black and white, by judicious use of flashbacks, and by intelligent interweaving of interviews. "Lambert and Stamp" puts its stamp on the band, The Who.

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