Weekly Roundup – Naked Singularity & VAL

Val on available on Amazon 8/6/21

Val Kilmer has been out of the public eye for a good while now, after his massive success in the late ’80s and the early 90’s, he has been relatively quiet as of late and not showing up in many large studio films. There have been reports of him dealing with cancer, but on the whole, he seemed to just be keeping to himself and laying low. Somewhat of an enigma, Kilmer’s personal and professional life seemed to be at odds, leaving the general public with the idea that he may have been a “Hollywood bad boy”, but as the documentary will explore, there is way more going on in Val’s life.

Showing an intimate portrait of his life, thanks to his own obsession with filming everything. The directors Ting Poo and Leo Scott were given a wealth of home videos to choose from, compiling a complete exploration of his life, from childhood to palling around with Hollywood great like Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn. It explores the great heights of TOP GUN and the frustrating lows of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. All the while being narrated by his son Jack Kilmer.

Cancer may have taken his voice, but it certainly has not taken his creativity or his ferocity towards life. A joyful experience.

4.5 out of 5

Naked Singularity 8/13/21

NAKED SINGULARITY is a film that doesn’t fit within one genre, on one hand, it’s a drama about the justice system and the maddening process of being a public defender in a system that seems rigged against them. But there is another wavelength, something itching just below the surface. It has elements of absurdity and comedy, but it is also dark and pessimistic.

Starring John Boyega, Olivia Cooke, Bill Skarsgård, and Ed Skrein, and written and directed by Chase Palmer. Boyega is always a pleasure to watch on screen, he brings a vulnerability and humaity to his roles that is hard to find. He plays well off of Skarsgård, but the two don’t share enough of the screen to make a difference in the final product.

Palmer and co are definitely trying for something different and I applaud that. It takes big swings, never fully missing, but also never connecting. The story disconnects too much, straying away from the main characters plight and leaving a disjointed narrative. Once Boyega’s character gets fed up with the legal system and decides to steal millions from one of his clients it becomes a fun little heist film. Unfortunately, what could have been a fun and clever heist is bungled by less than thrilling direction and a clear lack of vision. Bogged down by unnecessary storylines and characters that are too one-dimensional, and while there is entertainment to be found, it’s best not to look too close. 

2.5 out of 5

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