Capusle Reviews – Feb 20, 2021

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo ham it up as a couple of middle-aged nutty mid-westerners who head off a lush holiday island. While there, they encounter Jamie Dornan’s flirty spy, a talking turtle, the spirit of the sea and belt out a couple of musical numbers.  Try as hard as you might you won’t be able to keep a straight face through even a minute of this.

Josh Greenbaum’s no Paul Feig (director of “Bridesmaids”) but the wildly original and welcomingly unrestrained libretto from Wiig and Mumolo will see this one have as long a life as their previous collaboration.

 

Nomadland

A very topical, effortlessly enjoyable piece about a woman (Frances McDormand, in another award-worthy turn) that embarks on a journey through the American West after the recession leaves her account empty.  Nothing too-exciting happens -which only adds another layer or realism to the film – but director Chloe Zhao isn’t so much interested in the events as she is those seemingly inconsequential encounters and loyal representations of character.

Zhao’s intimate and tender script and McDormand’s suitably quiet, affecting performance result in an always-engaging character study about the forgotten.

 

 

Willy’s Wonderland

While some A-listers have resorted to accepting anything that can afford their handsome salary, Nicolas Cage seems hellbent on pursuing films and characters that are wildly off-the-wall and largely haven’t been seen before. Sadly, “Willy’s Wonderland” isn’t the madcap delight of a “Mandy” or “Color out of Space” but the case of a fun but lightweight concept that quickly loses steam – what might’ve sounded like a brilliant pitch does not transfer fab to screen. Based on a short the director filmed earlier, Kevin Lewis’s “Wonderland” sees Cage play a rough and ready petrol head who is hired to ‘clean up’ a seedy, abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. ‘The Janitor’ quickly realizes the animatronics aren’t just alive, they’re out for blood, and it’s up him to obliterate and dissect them by morning. That one joke wears out its welcome pretty quickly.

Aussie actress to play Holly Madison

Fantastic Four with Jennifer Lawrence? Nope!