And You May Ask Yourself: What Awaits Us in ‘The Lost City’?

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The Lost City (CREDIT: Paramount Pictures)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nuñez, Brad Pitt, Raymond Lee, Bowen Yang

Directors: Aaron and Adam Nee

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for A Few Bursts of Violence and Strategically Shot Nudity

Release Date: March 25, 2022 (Limited)

Should The Lost City be discovered, or should it remain lost? That is the question. Or maybe it’s not really the question, but I’ll nevertheless go ahead and ask it because I’d like to have something to focus this review around. And by bringing up the topic of focus, I don’t mean to imply that this film lacks focus. Far from it, in fact! You heard it here first, folks: this is a movie with a straightforward plot that’s easy to follow. Sandra Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a novelist who gets kidnapped and taken to a legendary location from her latest book, while Channing Tatum plays the ditzy cover model who attempts to rescue her, and eventually they make their way out the other end. It’s globe-trotting, high-stakes fun that’s designed to be oohed, ahhed, and laughed at. And I imagine that pretty dang close to 100% of audiences will know exactly when to provide those gasps and chuckles.

So if I have one big criticism about The Lost City, it’s that it’s perhaps a little too straightforward. I hoped for some charming repartee between Bullock and Tatum, as well as a full course of comic relief supporting performances from the likes of Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, and Bowen Yang. And that’s exactly what I got! But not much more. There’s one surprising development early on involving one of the biggest stars, but afterwards I was left with a sense of, “Yes, that was an adventure.” Here’s the deal: if you’re going to cast Daniel Radcliffe as an eccentric billionaire villain, things should probably get unabashedly weird. Instead, they only get kind of weird. Who knows, maybe I was just infected by the malaise that Loretta was giving off by resenting her career and audience.

But here’s what stuck with me in a welcome way, and why The Lost City might just be worth tracking down. A showcase scene involves Bullock peeling leeches off Tatum after a jungle river swim, which necessitates him dropping trou to make sure she checks every crack and crevice. They keep it PG-13, but this is a classic case of survival-minded lack of modesty that keeps things rolling along. And then there’s an unforgettable performance from Oscar Nuñez (aka Oscar from The Office) as a guy who has a plane and a goat. It makes sense in context, or at least part of it does. And the rest that remained nonsensical is where I derived most of my joy from. So I guess my answer is: I’d like to find this titular city while still feeling like I’m at a loss.

The Lost City is Recommended If You Like: Sandra Bullock unexpectedly witnessing her male co-stars in the buff

Grade: 3 out of 5 Cover Models

‘Together Together’ Review Review

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Together Together (CREDIT: Bleecker Street/YouTube Screenshot)

Starring: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Julio Torres, Rosalind Chao, Tig Notaro, Sufe Bradshaw, Fred Melamed, Nora Dunn, Anna Konkle, Evan Jonigkeit, Jo Firestone

Director: Nikole Beckwith

Running Time: 90 Minutes

Rating: R

Release Date: April 23, 2021

Now that I’ve seen Together Together, I’ve got to wonder, can I now call it “Together Together … Together“? Do Ed Helms and Patti Harrison have room for a third. And would that third be anybody (and everybody) in the audience to see their little film? That might sound like an awkward arrangement, but it surely fits with the vibe of a fortysomething single dad-to-be forging a tight platonic bond with his twentysomething surrogate. But anyway, what I’d really like to focus on is Anna Konkle, who shows up for one scene as a New Age-y birthing coach. Excuse me while I fan myself. Also, Nora Dunn and Fred Melamed are on duty as Ed Helms’ parents, which is significant because I’ve also seen both of them in other parental roles recently (Dunn on the new ABC sitcom Home Economics and Melamed in the sensational Shiva Baby).

Grade: Julio-Torres-as-One-Man-Greek-Chorus Energy

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 4/23/21

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Rutherford Falls (CREDIT: Peacock/YouTube Screenshot)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Mortal Kombat (2021) (Theaters and Streaming on HBO Max)
Together Together (April 23 in Theaters, May 11 On Demand) – Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, and surrogacy, oh my!

TV
Rutherford Falls Season 1 (Premiered April 22 on Peacock) – Mike Schur, Ed Helms, and a town bordering a Native American reservation walk into a sitcom.
Romeo and Juliet (April 23 on PBS) – A new production from London’s National Theater starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor
A Black Lady Sketch Show Season 2 Premiere (April 23 on HBO)
-93rd Academy Awards (April 25 on ABC) – Handin’ out those Oscars.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Premiere (April 28 on Hulu)

Music
-Eric Church, Heart & Soul – A three-part album released over the course of a week!
-Dinosaur Jr., Sweep It Into Space