Blancanieves, Da Vinci's Demons, Wish You Were Here 


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Wish You Were Here (R)

Entertainment One

Wish You Were Here is a frustrating and handsome film. Written and directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith and photographed by Jules O'Loughlin, it stars Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price as an expecting couple who follow her sister, played by rising star Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies), to Cambodia to keep an eye on her, as she's accompanying a new boyfriend traveling for work. That boyfriend doesn't return, kicking off a tear-soaked guilt-a-thon that teases its I Know What You Did Last Summer revelations by restructuring the narrative a million ways to Sunday. The biggest obstacle is that the film chooses the wrong sister to highlight. Price and Edgerton's downward marital spiral gets the lion's share of screen time, virtually ignoring Palmer's much more captivating presence and position in the group. The result is an occasionally tense, perennially weepy affair that admittedly looks terrific. — Justin Strout

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Blancanieves (PG-13)

Cohen Media Group

Blancanieves is one of the most gorgeously realized films I've seen in a long time, so much so that after it was finished, I hit that play button all over again just to take in whatever cinematic sumptuousness that I might have missed the first time. A Spanish retelling of the classic story of Snow White, it's filmed in a crisp black-and-white style that does an even better job of being an homage to the silent era than Best Picture winner The Artist did a few years back. Young Carmen is the daughter of a world-renowned bullfighter who suffers a paralyzing trauma on the day she is born. After Carmen's mother dies, dad marries his wicked nurse who forces her out of the house, where she picks up with a band of dwarves who perform as matadors for laughs. I'm pretty sure you know where the story is going, and it does go there, but the true joy of Blancanieves is watching it get there. — Louis Fowler

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Da Vinci's Demons (NR)

Starz/Anchor Bay

While most of the accolades for original cable fare tend to be spread between HBO and Showtime, lesser-known pay-channel Starz has consistently been delivering wonderfully smutty historical fare for many years now, most notably Spartacus and Camelot. Let's go ahead and add Da Vinci's Demons to this list. Created by David S. Goyer, best known as the co-writer of the Dark Knight trilogy, Demons finds the titular Leonardo Da Vinci a tortured genius with a superhuman gift of knowledge in a time when it's looked at as something evil. As Leo tries to bring the light of learning to the world, becoming a superhero of sorts, he also opens himself up to many enemies who don't want the world to learn. In lesser hands this would be one big unintentional joke, but Goyer once again shows his deftness while handling the type of hero who works in the shadows of the status quo.— Louis Fowler


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