Thur­good Marshall biopic heads up busy week at movie the­aters

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - TAP WEEKEND - CHRIS FO­RAN

When he’s not play­ing T’Challa — the Mar­vel Comics su­per­hero Black Pan­ther, to us — you’ll likely find Chad­wick Bose­man play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural fig­ure in 20th-cen­tury Amer­i­can life.

No com­plaints here: Bose­man was ter­rific as Jackie Robin­son in “42” and as James Brown in “Get On Up.”

He has a dif­fer­ent kind of real-life hero to play in “Marshall,” an ori­gin story of sorts about Thur­good Marshall, a tow­er­ing civil rights lawyer who would be­come the first African-Amer­i­can Supreme Court jus­tice.

The Marshall he’s play­ing is a young at­tor­ney who, in 1940, is sent to Con­necti­cut to de­fend a black chauf­feur (Ster­ling K. Brown) ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault of his white em­ployer (Kate Hud­son). Be­cause the judge won’t let him speak in court, Marshall is paired with a young Jewish lawyer, played by Josh Gad, who’s fend­ing off prej­u­dice as well.

“The film stands on its own as a com­pelling court­room drama, com­plete with sur­pris­ing rev­e­la­tions — and while we hope things will go his way, this case could just as eas­ily prove the one that mo­ti­vated (Marshall’s) fu­ture cru­sade,” Va­ri­ety critic Peter De­bruge wrote.

FILMS

“Marshall” is rated PG-13 for ma­ture con­tent, sex­u­al­ity, vi­o­lence and some lan­guage. It runs for 118 min­utes.

‘Happy Death Day’

Let the “Hal­loween”meets-”Ground­hog Day” jokes be­gin.

In “Happy Death Day,” Jes­sica Rothe plays a self-ab­sorbed col­lege stu­dent who, at the end of her birth­day, is mur­dered by a masked crazy per­son — then she wakes up, to re­play the same day over and over.

Un­less, that is, she can fig­ure out who the killer is and stop them.

“Happy Death Day” is rated PG-13 for vi­o­lence, gore, sex­ual con­tent, lan­guage, some drug ma­te­rial and par­tial nu­dity. It runs for 96 min­utes.

‘The For­eigner’

Jackie Chan does some­thing Amer­i­can au­di­ences haven’t seen him do for a while in “The For­eigner”: He plays the ac­tion straight.

In this thriller di­rected by Martin Camp­bell (“Casino Royale”), Chan plays an ex-mer­ce­nary turned busi­ness­man in Lon­don who, af­ter his daugh­ter is killed be­fore his eyes in a ter­ror­ist bomb­ing, is hell-bent on learn­ing the iden­tity of the bomber. When the po­lice won’t help, he turns to a govern­ment of­fi­cial (Pierce Bros­nan) in Belfast who, it turns out, might have ties to the ter­ror­ists.

The joint U.K.-China pro­duc­tion is get­ting solid re­views, with bonus points for Chan’s per­for­mance. “It’s good to see Chan swap­ping his happy-go-lucky per­sona for two hours for some grav­i­tas as a tragic rogue with a marked past,” re­viewer Clarence Tsui wrote for The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter.

“The For­eigner” is rated R for vi­o­lence, lan­guage and some sex­ual ma­te­rial. It runs for 113 min­utes.

‘Pro­fes­sor Marston & the Won­der Women’

The story be­hind the man be­hind the comic­book char­ac­ter Won­der Wo­man is ac­tu­ally more com­pli­cated than all that stuff about liv­ing on an is­land with Ama­zons and hav­ing a Lasso of Truth.

In “Pro­fes­sor Marston & the Won­der Women,” Har­vard psy­chol­o­gist Wil­liam Moul- ton Marston (Luke Evans) sets out to cre­ate a comic book in the 1940s fea­tur­ing a pow­er­ful wo­man hero, while hav­ing a se­cret iden­tity of his own: a pri­vate life cen­tered on his wife and aca­demic part­ner, El­iz­a­beth (Re­becca Hall), and their lover, Olive (Bella Heathcote). As his cre­ation takes off, their com­pli­cated world gets even more com­pli­cated.

Ne­wark Star-Ledger critic Stephen Whitty gave the movie 3 stars, say­ing the “un­con­ven­tional love story at the heart of this — and the three ac­tors who act it out — help pa­per over” some of the movie’s sto­ry­telling problems.

“Pro­fes­sor Marston & the Won­der Women” is rated R for strong sex­ual con­tent and lan­guage. It runs for 108 min­utes.

‘Colum­bus’

In “Colum­bus,” John Cho plays a man who, af­ter com­ing from Korea to take care of his ail­ing fa­ther in Colum­bus, Ind., bonds with a lo­cal wo­man (Ha­ley Lu Richard­son).

Why Colum­bus? The city is cel­e­brated as a mecca for Mod­ernist ar­chi­tec­ture, and Cho’s fa­ther is a renowned ar­chi­tec­ture scholar who be­came ill dur­ing a speak­ing en­gage­ment there.

The movie is a late­comer to the­aters in Mil­wau­kee (it be­gan its run else­where in Au­gust), but it had some of the best re­views of any movie this sum­mer.

Ari­zona Repub­lic critic Bill Goodykoontz gave it 4 stars (out of 5), call­ing the movie’s heart­felt, still-life ap­proach “an in­vi­ta­tion to see a movie whose beauty stays with you long af­ter it ends.” “Colum­bus” is not rated, but has brief nu­dity and smok­ing. It runs for 104 min­utes.

‘Lov­ing Vin­cent’

“Lov­ing Vin­cent” is am­bi­tious on two fronts: First, it sets out to ex­plain the life and death of painter Vin­cent Van Gogh; then it does so us­ing painted an­i­ma­tion, done by hand, frame by frame by 125 artists.

Re­views have been mostly pos­i­tive, es­pe­cially for its vis­ual style. Bos­ton Globe critic Ty Burr gave it 21⁄2 stars, call­ing “Lov­ing Vin­cent” “a jaw­drop­per on the level of craft and tech­nique.”

“Lov­ing Vin­cent” is rated PG-13 for ma­ture themes, some vi­o­lence, sex­ual ma­te­rial and smok­ing. It runs for 94 min­utes.

‘Take Ev­ery Wave’

If you seek a leg­endary surfer, look no fur­ther than “Take Ev­ery Wave.”

The doc­u­men­tary by Rory Kennedy about surf icon Laird Hamilton draws from fresh footage, Hamilton’s per­sonal ar­chives and in­ter­views with just about ev­ery­one who knows him and mar­vels at his skills.

“What Kennedy came to see, and what ‘Take Ev­ery Wave’ demon­strates with­out doubt, is that Hamilton’s per­sonal jour­ney is ex­tra­or­di­nary enough in its scope and push­ing-the-lim­its achieve­ments that we feel priv­i­leged to have such an in­ti­mate glimpse into how it all went down,” Los An­ge­les Times critic Kenneth Tu­ran wrote.

“Take Ev­ery Wave” is not rated. It runs for 118 min­utes.

BARRY WETCHER/OPEN ROAD

Chad­wick Bose­man plays lawyer and civil rights giant Thur­good Marshall in “Marshall.”

PATTI PERRET

Jes­sica Rothe has to re­live her birth­day over and over — and get killed over and over — in “Happy Death Day.”

STX EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

Jackie Chan plays a griev­ing fa­ther who will learn the iden­tity of the ter­ror­ist who killed his daugh­ter by any means nec­es­sary in "The For­eigner."

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