Directed by Dito Montiel
Opens July 10
When a busy working actor dies unexpectedly, an extended wake continues onscreen. James Gandolfini died in the summer of 2013, but his final work in The Drop didn’t surface until over a year later. Three Philip Seymour Hoffman movies came out after his January 2014 passing, and his final one, the last Hunger Games movie, won’t debut until the fall. And here now is Robin Williams, gone just under a year, in Boulevard his final onscreen performance after two posthumous releases in 2014 (one more, his voice-only work in Absolutely Anything, will follow this year in Europe, and probably next year in the U.S.).
It finds Williams in understated, dramatic mode, rather than the pseudo-edgy bluster he played up in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and Merry Friggin’ Christmas; though of course it doesn’t really matter in that his legacy is assured, I’m glad this one went last.
The Third Man (1949)
Directed by Carol Reed
Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton), author of pulpy, second-rate Western novellas, is lured into the foreboding danger of postwar Vienna by his estranged lifelong friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Typically down-on-his-luck and over a barrel, Martins succumbs to the offer—only to find when he arrives that Harry is dead, impelling Martins into a chiaroscuro chase of ambiguous morality. This Vienna is threadbare and rain-slick; skepticism abounds and there’s nary a native Austrian in sight. Reed’s direction and Graham Greene’s screenplay reach a summit of perfection: a balloon man, a sewer chase, and an inimitable Ferris wheel confrontation—all to the sounds of the unrelenting zither. Samantha Vacca (June 26-July 9 at Film Forum in new 4K restoration; showtimes daily)
Night at the Museum is the most financially successful of 20th Century Fox’s three family-centric trilogies of the past decade, with bigger special effects than the Wimpy Kid series and, one would hope, more adult appeal than the hallowed Chipmunks trilogy. Though they aren’t particularly adult or even especially funny, the Night at the Museum movies do attempt to pacify cranky parents with a truly impressive collection of performers collecting what I can only hope are truly impressive paychecks for the task of standing around and cracking the most wan, least engaged jokes this side of a Grown-Ups movie.