By “Cinema” Dave
As I write this week’s column, news is breaking that the host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Robert Osborne has passed away. A film historian with personal relationships from motion pictures’ golden age of movie stars, Osborne’s persona was a major influence upon this film columnist. Regardless of the film he introduced (classic film, an Oscar winner, a historical curiosity), Osborne had a knack of bringing a fresh perspective to a film he had seen countless times. TCM co-host Ben Mankiewicz will follow in Osborne’s footsteps, but the young host has big shoes to fill.
The passing of the torch is a major theme of Logan, this week’s box office champion. A culmination of seven X Men and two Wolverine movies, Logan takes place 22 years into a dystopian future. After decades of saving the world from hostile forces, Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) lives in an abandoned oil field with his old mentor Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Wishing to live his final years in peace, Logan is confronted by a woman who has read too many X-Men comic books. The woman wants Logan to take a special little girl to Eden, which is found in Canada. Unwilling to become involved at first, Logan learns that Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Professor Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) have devious plans for the little girl and her “special” friends.
Starting with Bela Lugosi in Dracula and concluding 17 years later with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Universal Pictures created memorable monster movies that have enthralled many generations. It has been 17 years since Hugh Jackman first portrayed Wolverine. In Logan, he is provided a final curtain call for his duties as an X-Man. Logan is a current classic on the big screen.
The Women’s Balcony opens this weekend at neighborhood theaters. In Hebrew with English subtitles, The Women’s Balcony is a comedy/drama. While attending a bar mitzvah, the women’s balcony collapses in the middle of the ceremony. When it looks like the temple will be closed for a long period of time, a new rabbi quickly comes to the rescue of the worshipers. Unfortunately, he is more like the pied piper.
The temple opens quickly, but the women’s balcony is not restored. Being more orthodox than his predecessor, the rabbi wants the women to cover their heads to display their modesty. Naturally, the modern women rebel.
Unlike the angry protests that we see on the news every day, The Women’s Balcony has an infectious sweetness that will make the ticket buyer smile.