Frederick Wiseman's 'National Gallery' at the Texas Theatre

Opening: ‘National Gallery,’ ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain,’ ‘The Better Angels’

Tsui Hark's 'The Taking of Tiger Mountain' at Cinemark Legacy (Well Go USA)
Tsui Hark’s ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’ at Cinemark Legacy (Well Go USA)

Opening:

  • The Taking of Tiger Mountain (d. Tsui Hark) Set in 1946, this wartime drama pits multiple sides against each other, all in quest of a strategic mountain post. Not being familiar with the battle nor the players, I found it a challenge to keep track of the heroes and villains, but the film is rarely static, which means it’s easy to sit back and get caught up in the visual experience. (Being familiar with Tsui Hark’s past work helps; I’ve often been baffled by elements of his storytelling , which is usually rescued by his ability to orchestrate action sequences.) Granted, the effects work is not always top-rate, but, again, by the point that became an issue, I was already captivated for whatever unfolded on screen. Again, it’s a pleasure to see Tsui’s ability to stage and assemble action sequences remains strong. The film is playing an exclusive engagement at Cinemark Legacy in Plano; it’s a smaller auditorium, but features good sound and projection, and the stadium seating is fine. The English subtitles are well-timed and easy to read.
  • National Gallery (d. Frederick Wiseman) The new documentary by master filmmaker Frederick Wiseman explores the famed museum in London. Texas Theatre.
  • The Better Angels (d. A.J. Edwards) Abraham Lincoln’s childhood. With Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, and Wes Bentley. Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.
  • The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (d. Tom Harper) Sequel to 2012 gothic horror piece takes place four decades later, as a group of children are evacuated from London during World War II to the apparent safety of a mansion in the rural countryside that, they soon learn, is still haunted by a vengeful ghost. In wide release. Reviewed at Twitch Film.
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