Watch Jennifer Lopez, ‘Father of the Bride’ and ‘Spiderhead’

‘Mad God’

The word “visionary” gets thrown around too often, but there really is no better way to describe the spectacularly dark animated sci-fi film “Mad God” or its creator, Phil Tippett. Tippett is best known for his effects work on franchises like Star Wars, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park. Tippett began producing “Mad God” in the 1990s before putting it aside and returning to it a decade ago. The film is an intricately detailed portrayal of a twisted, irretrievable universe. It’s also a showcase for Tippett’s mastery of stop-motion animation techniques, which he had to give up in his day job when CGI became the Hollywood standard.

“Mad God” has a simple plot that is said to be repeated twice. In both halves of the film, a masked character known as “the Assassin” embarks on a carefully planned mission to destroy a hellish world teeming with monstrous creatures and unimaginable cruelty. Tippett eliminates squeamishness in the first part of the film, which is dripping with bodily fluids and peppered with scenes of extreme torture. Part two of Mad God is more colorful and whimsical, although ultimately the whole picture feels like a nightmare rooted in a deeply pessimistic view of reality.

Tippett eschews dialogue and lets his amazing designs and intricate animations tell the story. It’s an impressive achievement – if perhaps not dazzling enough to sway viewers who can’t stomach unbridled grotesqueness. However, for animation and sci-fi fans with strong stomachs and adventurous tastes, Mad God is a must-read. There has never been a film like this: an unabashed tour of the darkest recesses of a brilliant artist’s mind.

‘Crazy god.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 23 minutes. Available from Shudder

‘half time’

The title of Jennifer Lopez’s documentary, Halftime, is primarily a reference to the Super Bowl LIV halftime show in Miami that Lopez co-hosted with Shakira in 2020. Directed by Amanda Micheli, the film is part comprehensive biography of the actress-singer-dancer-businesswoman and part cursory documentary about the heady months leading up to that Super Bowl performance, which coincided with Lopez’s Oscar craze for attracted the film “Hustlers”.

“Halftime” also refers to Lopez reaching the milestone of her 50th birthday while still being strong, fit and popular. Having been on TV and movies since her early 20s — and a superstar since the late 1990s — it’s easy to forget that Lopez’s time in the spotlight has been marred by rumours, jokes and jabs, from her talent to her curves and her personal life was scrutinized. Micheli covers all of that while also documenting the hard work and deep emotion that goes into Lopez’s day-to-day life as a beloved entertainer and mother of adolescent twins.

“Halftime” is not a warts-and-all exposé. It’s an unapologetically pro-Lopez project, revealing only what the star wants to convey to her fans and skeptics alike about how she’s dealt with her many disappointments in her career. But Lopez was such a strong cultural presence that she deserved this kind of tribute. And the film’s ending, with her big Super Bowl moment — peppered with subtle political commentary on President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric — proves cathartic, as Lopez once again shows her in a mainstream showbiz context can work to express something deeper about yourself.

‘Half time.’ TV MA for Language. 1 hour, 36 minutes. Available on Netflix

‘Father of the Bride’

A man and woman flank the bride at a wedding in the film "father of the bride."

Andy Garcia, left, Adria Arjona and Gloria Estefan in the film Father of the Bride.

(Warner Bros.)

Edward Streeter’s 1949 graphic novel Father of the Bride has inspired several films, each in its own way following the book and commenting on the expensive and arduous rituals of modern American weddings. 2022’s Father of the Bride – directed by Gaz Alazraki from a screenplay by Matt Lopez – takes the action to Miami, where finicky Cuban-American architect Billy Herrera (Andy Garcia) ponders his engaged daughter’s unconventional life plans and her Mexican annoys fiancé’s spending-happy family.

Alazraki and Lopez add some more melodrama to the mix, with Billy’s wife Ingrid (Gloria Estefan) pushing for a divorce and their youngest daughter Cora (Isabela Merced) fuming at how much money they are willing to devote to bride Sofia ( Adria Arjona) when they don’t support their own dream of becoming a fashion designer. There’s a lot more action in this “Father of the Bride” than necessary. But the unique cultural touches add fresh flavor; and the big emotional buttons at the end of the film are as effective as ever. Like a wedding itself, all the stress and hassle pays off in a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

‘Father of the Bride.’ PG-13 for short stimulating material. 1 hour 57 minutes. Available on HBO Max

“Gods wrath”

Based on a novel by Guillermo Martínez, Argentine drama The Wrath of God stars Macarena Achaga as Luciana who has a complicated relationship with her former boss, a troubled genius and best-selling author named Kloster (Diego Peretti). The narrative bounces between past and present, and is anchored by an investigative journalist named Esteban (Juan Minujín), whom Luciana asks to investigate her suspicions that Kloster is responsible for the deaths of people close to her – but who soon finds out The writer could make similar claims about his ex-employee. Directed by Sebastián Schindel (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Pablo Del Teso), The Wrath of God is often too clever when it comes to uncovering its mysteries. But it has a strong and challenging theme, asking whether its characters’ misfortunes are their own fault or just a case of the Almighty playing capricious games with humanity.

‘Gods wrath.’ In Spanish with English subtitles (also available dubbed). TV-MA for Suicide, Sexual Violence and Smoking. 1 hour, 38 minutes. Available on Netflix

‘Isolated’

A lollapalooza of a twist ending elevates “Isolated,” a suspense film that, for much of its first 75 minutes, is just another well-acted, cleverly produced twist on an all-too-common horror subgenre. KateLynn E. Newberry plays Nell, who wakes up in a largely unadorned cell at the beginning of the film, not knowing how she got there or how to leave. Through conversations with an unseen neighbor and a series of unfathomable tests, Nell gradually hatches an escape plan. The prison sequences are captivating, though rarely as tense or disturbing as in Saw or Escape Room. It’s only when Nell finally comes out that “Isolated” really gets interesting – for reasons best left untouched. Viewers who stick through the more routine parts of this image will be rewarded.

‘Isolated.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 39 minutes. Available on VOD

Also stream

Two men are talking in futuristic armchairs.

Chris Hemsworth (left) and Miles Teller in the movie Spiderhead.

(netflix)

“Spider Head” is a wry, dystopian science fiction film based on a story by George Saunders about a behavioral theorist (played by Chris Hemsworth) who uses drugs to control prison inmates’ desires. Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett play two of the test subjects in this cautionary tale directed by the talented Top Gun: Maverick helmsman Joseph Kosinski. Available on Netflix

“Jerry and Marge are growing up” Bryan Cranston stars as a retired factory worker and amateur mathematician who discovers a glitch in the Massachusetts state lottery and shares the mystery with his struggling, small-town Michigan neighbors. Based on a true story, this sympathetically upbeat dramedy features a cast of well-known actors, including Annette Bening as the hero’s wife, who uses her multi-state lottery trips to rekindle their romance. Available on Paramount+

Now available on DVD and Blu-ray

“Hunter of the lost treasure” returns in a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook Edition that offers perhaps the best home video presentation yet for one of the most popular films of all time: a hilariously entertaining globetrotting adventure from director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas, with Harrison Ford as the archaeologist Indiana Jones fighting Nazis with his whip and wits. priority

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-06-17/review-mad-god-jennifer-lopez-halftime-father-bride-andy-garcia Watch Jennifer Lopez, ‘Father of the Bride’ and ‘Spiderhead’

Sarah Ridley

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