click to enlarge Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Opening in Orlando: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Bleed for This, The Edge of Seventeen and more 

Bleed for This Talk about being a glutton for punishment. Rhode Island prizefighter Vinny "the Pazmanian Devil" Pazienza broke his neck in a car accident that left him unable to walk – and all he wanted to do was get right back in the ring. His coach, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), helped bring about that miracle within the space of a single year, all the while failing to inform Pazienza that he had the most awkward nickname in sports history. Writer-director Ben Younger hasn't made a movie since 2005's underrated Prime – thus disappointing those of us who were hoping for a prequel, Subprime – but the initial critical response to his return is promising: The Hollywood Reporter notes approvingly that star Miles Teller is at one point seen in a thong, which may be why Rex Reed called the picture "compelling." (R)

The Edge of Seventeen This high-school character study has drawn positive comparisons to everything from John Hughes to Juno to Fast Times at Ridgemont High – and that's pretty appropriate, since teenagers are used to having their successes compared to those of old farts they've never even heard of. Hailee Steinfeld plays a junior-year misfit who searches for coping strategies when her brother starts sleeping with her best friend. Praising the film for its realism, Indiewire's David Ehrlich says the story "unfold[s] like a symphony of small humiliations." No, David: That's my fucking life. (Did I sound Juno enough for ya?) (R)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling will always be aces in my book. Got an entire generation interested in reading. Gave away so much of her money that she no longer qualifies as a billionaire. And closest to home, paid moving tribute to Orlando 49er Luis Vielma. So yeah, she can milk the wizarding crap for the rest of her life as far as I'm concerned. Warner Bros. seems to agree, having allowed Rowling for the first time to adapt her own work in the form of Fantastic Beasts, a story that predates Harry Potter's by some 70 years. The movie was announced as the first installment in a filmic trilogy, but by last month, the number of planned chapters had been upped to five. Gee, if this gravy train keeps on rolling, Rowling is only going to be a thousandaire one of these days. j/k, J.K.! (PG-13)

Gimme Danger If you only know "Search and Destroy" because you heard it in an Audi commercial, this documentary will put you on better footing with folks who got turned on to it by Nike 20 years ago. Learn the complete, unexpurgated story of the seminal Iggy and the Stooges – or at least, as complete and unexpurgated as one can get when dealing with a band that plied its trade long before bringing cameras into a concert hall was totally jake. Animated re-creations and verbal reminiscences by the always-entertaining Iggy himself are said to pick up the slack of sporadic archival footage. Or maybe we're all being punked, and when we get to the theater, we'll find out it's really a doc about Harvey Danger. (NR)

Nocturnal Animals Two signs that awards season is in full swing: No. 1, the characters in movies read books; No. 2, Amy Adams is in everything. Here, she plays an art gallery owner who has to reflect on her past when her ex-husband sends her the manuscript to his new novel – an unsettling tale that's predicated on rape and murder. (Most guys just send a candygram.) Fashion-designer-turned-director Tom Ford seems to be on less familiar ground then he was for 2009's A Single Man, but maybe I should reserve judgment until I see what the corpses are wearing. (R)

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June 23, 2021


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