What’s new to theatres and streaming this weekend: May 27-29, 2022

Benediction is one of the movies we cover in our reviews this weekend alongside The Bob's Burgers movie and Top Gun: Maverick
Courtesy of TIFF

Benediction 

(Terence Davies)

There’s a richness to the film language in Benediction, a biopic on First World War veteran and poet, Siegfried Sassoon that feels downright novelistic. I guess that’s just obvious since the screenplay leans heavily on its subject’s words – both the romantic kind and those wielded to protest war – and also because director Davies is a visual poet. He tells Sassoon’s story with his typical formalistic and sensual style, elevating what could easily have been an ornate period piece about lingering trauma and living passionately as a closeted gay man. Instead, it’s pretty fabulous. 102 min. Now playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox. NNNN

The Bob's Burgers Movie is one of the movies we cover in our reviews this weekend
Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

The Bob’s Burgers Movie

(Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman)

I’m a newbie to Bob’s Burgers. The animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard that premiered just over a decade ago went under my radar. But aspects of the show are instantly recognizable from other 20th Century properties like The Simpsons, King Of The Hill and Family Guy – the house-style animation and cheeky satire for starters. But The Bob’s Burgers Movie is also far sweeter and more affectionate, as if there’s a real care for how this awkward and bumbling family of burger flippers holds things together. The plot, which is about the burger family struggling to make rent while stumbling on a murder mystery rife with class tension, goes big to fill out multiplex screens. But the movie doesn’t overextend itself, keeping things low-key, fun and heartfelt – exactly the right recipe. 102 min. Now playing in theatres everywhere. NNNN

Tom Cruise flies in an F18 in Top Gun: Maverick, which we review
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Top Gun: Maverick

(Joseph Kosinski)

Someone threatens Tom Cruise with extinction in Top Gun: Maverick. Well, okay, they don’t threaten Tom Cruise – who has defiantly resisted physical aging as he pushes 60 and could perhaps outlive eternity with whatever serum Scientology is feeding him – but his character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Early on in this sequel to the 1986 Navy propaganda movie, an admiral played by Ed Harris insists on replacing pilots with drone technology. He’s putting humans out to dry while computers take over missions, telling Cruise’s insubordinate daredevil pilot that his kind “is headed for extinction.”

He might as well be talking to Cruise though, the actor and producer who insists on recording breathtaking aerial action with actual humans sitting in F18 Super Hornet cockpits. Doing things for real is Cruise’s mission statement, and Top Gun: Maverick is the latest behemoth flying the flag for his (and our) analog cause. Here’s the rare big studio movie where actors and stuntpeople perform on location while using as little CGI as possible; a movie where Cruise puts his hand on an F18, relishing its very tactile quality in a way that is deeply felt. Read full review here. 137 min. Now playing in theatres everywhere. NNNN

A scene from Stranger Things 4, the new season coming to Netflix with the longest episodes
Courtesy of Netflix

Stranger Things 4: Volume 1

(The Duffer Bros)

A grandfather clock keeps showing up in Stranger Things 4. It’s a death knell from the new season’s Freddy Krueger-like villain, letting out a haunting and elongated dong in the waking dreams of characters from Hawkins who are running out of time. If only Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers took that effectively chilling recurring image seriously. If only they too felt time as a constraint. You may have already heard that the new season boasts the longest episode run times ever for Stranger Things. You half suspect that these episodes are so long because Netflix just wants to juice its “minutes watched” stats with one of its most coveted properties. The new season stretches out the most basic plot lines beyond their breaking point. Read full review here. Seven episodes now streaming on Netflix Canada. NNN

Also opening theatrically this week

The Middle Men

Don McKellar, Pål Sverre Hagen, Rossif Sutherland, Paul Gross and Kenneth Welsh; Directed by Bent Hamer

Streaming guides

Everything on streaming platforms this month:

Netflix

@justsayrad

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