Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
If Americans have claimed baseball (and football and basketball) as their national sport, then it is along similar lines that the Soviet Union once claimed hockey as their patriotic battlefield. The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” notwithstanding, the Russian “Red Army” hockey team dominated the ice for years, though, as this documentary points out, it wasn’t all red snowflakes and sunshine. Director Gabe Polsky weaves together the talking heads and archival footage adeptly, though the tension between the American director and his Russian subjects — including star Viacheslav Fetisov — is palpable and unevenly handled. Still, it’s a fascinating, always interesting venture into the story on the other side of that American miracle.
Opens March 6 at Kahala Theatre
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
However wonderful it may be to see Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench barb at one another in their ever-so-posh British accents, not even these legendary thespians can truly save this sequel-that-should-not-have-been. The movie returns to colorful India and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where the neatly concluded plot of the original is stretched to justify its sequel. Hotel owner Sonny (Dev Patel) wants to buy a second hotel, get married and impress a possible hotel inspector, while his elderly guests contemplate sunset-era love and mortality. If the film had stayed focused on its senior-citizen cast, it’d be more palatable, but hefting so much on Patel’s character was a mistake. Opens March 6 at Kahala Theatre