Instant Gratification: “Chef” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix Instant


Pick of the week: “ChefMy full review is here. While some elements of Jon Favreau’s indie hit strain credulity (I can’t imagine Scarlett Johansson really getting that worked up over someone making spaghetti), this is an amiable film about pursuing what you love, and a celebration of American cuisine. And it will teach you how to make a great grilled-cheese sandwich.

Continue reading

“Lucy”: In the sky with diamond-tipped bullets


“Lucy” is now playing at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema and Sundance. R, 1:30, two stars out of four.

Scarlett Johansson’s year at the movies has been inhuman. First, she played a sentient computer program in “Her,” then a predatory alien seductress in “Under the Skin.” Now, in Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” she’s a woman who becomes superhuman when an experimental drug unlocks 100 percent of her brain power. The days of playing zookeepers in “We Bought a Zoo” seem long behind her.

Continue reading

“Under the Skin” in black and white


Never be lulled into thinking that a stylist has nothing to say. Jonathan Glazer has made three films all heralded for their style, but he uses those visual gifts for more than just figuring out the coolest camera angles. His debut, “Sexy Beast,” began as a late middle aged take on the British crime film, the camera gliding over Ray Winstone’s baking flesh, but became a strange and sad portrait of middle-aged reckoning.

Continue reading