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MIXING IT UP

 

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019

An unusual mix of genres marks this week’s new movies, led by a unique documentary from “Lord of the Rings” filmmaker Peter Jackson.

“They Shall Not Grow Old” (R). Peter Jackson’s documentary about World War I is unique in that it uses no narration and is composed entirely of footage that was, according to the credits, “Shot on location on the Western Front, 1916-1918.” The original black-and-white film has been colorized by computer and converted to 3-D, and the film comes to town on the heels of rave reviews.

“Miss Bala” (PG-13). Loosely based on a true incident (and a remake of a Mexican film), this thriller stars Gina Rodriguez (TV’s “Jane the Virgin”) as Gloria, a Los Angeles makeup artist who travels to Tijuana to visit a friend. But when they visit a nightclub and her friend disappears, Gloria begins a search that will send her down a rabbit hole as she is forced to work for a drug cartel to save her. With Anthony Mackie.

  

“The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story” (PG-13). This Christian film is set in India during the late 1990s as a missionary couple (Stephen Baldwin, Shari Rigby) violates the country’s laws against proselytizing. When lawmakers can’t get anyone to testify against them, a newspaper recruits a rookie reporter (Sharman Joshi) to dig up some evidence. Based on a true story; shot on location in India.

“Destroyer” (R). Nicole Kidman, under heavy makeup, plays a burned-out Los Angeles police detective who was traumatized by an undercover operation when, as a young cop, she infiltrated a vicious gang of bank robbers. Now the head of the gang is out of prison and apparently vack in business, so she decides to re-enter his world to take him down. With Sebastian Stan, Tatiana Maslany and Bradley Whitford.

“Cold War” (R, in Polish with English subtitles). A black-and-white period romance loosely based on the parents of co-writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski. Here, a musical director takes a young singer under his wing in post-World War II Poland and their subsequent romance evolves over several years as they dream of escaping to the West during the Cold War. Nominated for three Academy Awards, including best director, best cinematographer and best foreign-language film.