The Samaritan

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I’m at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Damsels In Distress A newcomer at Seven Oaks College is guided through her year by a trio of erudite girls determined show her the light of socializing, reason and dating beneath her station. It’s to defend your love Greta Gerwig when she seems to end up in fairly shitty movies more often than not, but the odds favored her starring in a true winner eventually. That time has come thanks to Whit Stillman’s smart, funny and somewhat satirical look at modern day college life. Gerwig plays the trio’s leader and the one who most believes their own brand of bull, and it’s a joy to watch her play with such loose and casually humorous dialogue. Adam Brody has a small role, but it’s enough to remind us all that he should be headlining more comedies. Also available on DVD. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes]

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Samuel L. Jackson finally gets to put Nick Fury aside and play a serious, well-rounded character in The Samaritan, a new film noir. The experience of watching Jackson actually act is the primary pleasure to be gleaned from David Weaver’s movie, which places the star in a narrative that’s so grim and hopeless it’s no fun at all. Experienced con artist Foley (Jackson) leaves prison after serving 25 years for the murder of his partner. He just wants to be left alone, but alas, that’s not to be. His partner’s embittered son Ethan (Luke Kirby) has orchestrated a gigantic snare aimed at forcing Foley to take part in an ambitious, risky con targeting crime kingpin/oenophile Xavier (Tom Wilkinson). Foley spends most of the movie angrily resisting Ethan’s overtures, engaging in repeated violent confrontations. But his antagonist, played with sheer smarminess by Kirby, has a big trump card: a pretty young woman named Iris (Ruth Negga) who’s carrying a big secret.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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