Posted: May 24, 2013 at 3:04 a.m.
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Directed by Brett Morgen (unrated, 118 minutes)
Settle in with snacks and refreshments of choice, because you won’t want to go anywhere for a while. Crossfire Hurricane (which takes its title from the opening lines of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”) is a lengthy, insightful and character-driven documentary about the many adventures of the Rolling Stones in the band’s wild and crazy first two decades following their formation in 1962.
Directed by Brett Morgen, the film features historical footage, much of it seldom seen, plenty of concert coverage and commentary from Mick Jagger (who turns 70 this year), Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor, as well as largely unseen interviews with the band’s founding member Brian Jones, who drowned in his swimming pool a month after being kicked out of the band in 1969.
Chats with era-appropriate characters, extensive views of live performances and news archive coverage completes the documentary about the legendary band, which is now undertaking its 50 and Counting tour.
“It was my pleasure, as an intermediate-level Stones buff, to see that director Brett Morgen has put together something reeking of astringent danger,” says critic Troy Patterson in Slate. “As in his The Kid Stays in the Picture - which beautifully buffed the medallion of movie producer Robert Evans - Morgen elicits a vivid and intimate self-portrait from a self-made cultural institution. Using new audio-only interviews with the Stones as invisible tape, he splices 50 years of footage into a 118-minute education, remixing the work of earlier filmmakers with splendid editing and a critical eye. He frames the band as a counter cultural force - an entity that exploited historical accident by harnessing pagan forces to attack the Establishment - and he intimates that their success in this endeavor was a step on the corpse-littered road to the band’s place on Parnassus (Sir Michael Philip Jagger, knight of the British Empire).”
Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray include previously unreleased concert scenes such as “Live in Germany ’65,” a new interview with director Morgen, “The Sound and Music of Crossfire Hurricane” and the theatrical trailer.
“This tribute to the Rolling Stones offers a blizzard of archive material nimbly sutured together with interviews with the Stones themselves, making this a succinct, officially sanctioned but not necessarily fawning history of the band,” says critic Leslie Felperin in Variety.
Parker (R, 118 minutes) Making its Blu-ray and DVD debut is Parker, starring Jason Statham as an ethical thief who only steals from those who can afford the loss and Jennifer Lopez as his partner who joins him in a scheme to take down a crew that double-crossed him. Directed by Taylor Hackford. With Wendell Pierce, Bobby Cannavale, Patti LuPone and Nick Nolte. Blu-ray bonus materials include commentary by Hackford, a making-of featurette, an introduction to Parker’s character, “The Origin of Parker,” exploring the mind of the character and a look at the film’s fight choreography.
“A cool, violent, efficient adaptation of the taciturn anti-hero - the creation of Donald E. Westlake, writing as Richard Stark - who’s out to restore order in a bloody world in his own bloody way,” says critic Bruce Diones in The New Yorker.
Side Effects (R, 106 minutes) A clever, intriguing, ever-changing and totally unpredictable thriller about a woman (Rooney Mara) who turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband’s (Channing Tatum) coming release from prison, and the increasingly bizarre events that follow. “With Side Effects, writer Scott Z. Burns and director Steven Soderbergh, the team behind Contagion, play the same tricks on their viewers that they play on their beleaguered characters,” says our critic Dan Lybarger. “They strategically withhold data, create plenty of opportunities for false expectations and load the movie with characters who aren’t quite who they appear to be. Fortunately, the audience fares better than anyone in the film.” With Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Beautiful Creatures (PG-13, 118 minutes) Set in South Carolina, this supernatural love story concerns a rebellious high school student (Alden Ehrenreich) fascinated by underground literature and a mysterious new girl who possesses supernatural powers; together they uncover dark secrets about their families, their history and their community. “This fantasy about witches and warlocks walking among us was clearly produced for the Twilight crowd, but a witty script and the enjoyably hammy performances from Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons broaden its appeal,” says critic J.R. Jones in Chicago Reader. Adapted from a young adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. With Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum. Directed by Richard LaGravenese.
MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 05/24/2013