Jan Wahl Movie Review: “Magic in the Moonlight”, “And So it Goes”, & “To Be Takei”
You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)_ KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews three new films this week; Woody Allen’s latest “Magic in the Moonlight”, “And So it Goes” from director Rob Reiner and starring Michael Douglas, and a documentary about Star Trek star George Takei, “To Be Takei”.
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (PG-13)
Woody Allen movies can be amazing and unforgettable (“I’m still loving “Midnight in Paris”) and sometimes they can play like an afterthought. As beautiful as it sounds and looks, “Magic in the Moonlight” is not a major Allen effort, but more like second tier. Still, like all of his work, it is worth seeing. Colin Firth, one of our best actors, stars as a magician trying to expose a possibly phony clairvoyant. It takes place in the French Riviera circa 1920’s gorgeous clothes and setting. It’s the casting of the woman at the center that feels so wrong. Emma Stone has been good before, but as a love interest to Firth, she is made up to look very young and innocent. This definitely hurts believability and romantic fun. Still it’s worth the trip, just fly with lowered expectations.
AND SO IT GOES (PG-13)
That excellent actor Michael Douglas plays an obnoxious realtor wanting to sell one last home before retiring in this new Rob Reiner romantic comedy. When given custody of his granddaughter— his life changes. In true rom-com fashion, his kind neighbor is there to save him and his granddaughter until he learns to change himself. Douglas is perfectly caustic and believable, especially in his scenes with theatre veteran Francis Sternhagan. Diane Keaton doesn’t cut it; too wispy and naive, with a voice that makes the idea of her headlining as a singer impossible. Pleasant summer escapism, but should’ve been better; especially with an eccentric leading lady like Bette Midler or Glenn Close.
TO BE TAKAI (not rated)
Directed with detail and affection by Jennifer Kroot, this is a documentary about Star Trek’s George Takai, a political and LBGT activist. His childhood was spent in the U.S. Japanese internment camps and his memories are poignant and touching. There are moments of humor, especially his relationship with William Shatner. This is a courageous, unusual man, worth blasting off with. Live long and prosper, George.
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