New re­leases for a night at the movies

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WILDLIFE

Paul Dano’s keenly in­tel­li­gent and qui­etly pierc­ing di­rec­to­rial de­but is about a mar­riage that col­lapses dur­ing au­tumn, 1960.

Four­teen-year-old Joe Brin­son (Ed Ox­en­bould) watches as his newly un­em­ployed fa­ther Jerry (Jake Gyl­len­haal) leaves town to help fight a for­est fire rag­ing in the moun­tains nearby.

Dad’s de­par­ture ig­nites a dif­fer­ent kind of con­fla­gra­tion at home, where Joe’s mother, Jeanette (Carey Mul­li­gan), re­leases years of pent-up dis­sat­is­fac­tion and emerges into a de­fi­ant new un­der­stand­ing of her­self. Joe’s fa­ther is ab­sent for a long stretch of the pic­ture, and Gyl­len­haal makes you feel the weight of his ab­sence. Mul­li­gan’s per­for­mance is too spe­cific and too wrench­ing to be re­duced to a mere gen­er­a­tional state­ment. This is her most fully formed role since her per­for­mance in an­other early-60s piece, the Bri­tish com­ing-of-age drama An Ed­u­ca­tion. Rated M. TNS

BO­HEMIAN RHAP­SODY

Rami Malek should be ap­plauded for cap­tur­ing the spirit of Fred­die Mer­cury with such fi­nesse in this biopic. Hats off also to Gwilym Lee for his por­trayal of Brian May. The film fol­lows Queen from their be­gin­nings play­ing in pubs, when Fred­die was still Far­rokh Bul­sara, a bag­gage han­dler at Heathrow Air­port, to the band’s height of su­per-star­dom.

The film cli­maxes with Queen’s un­for­get­table per­for­mance at Live Aid in 1985. The in­ter­nal ar­gu­ing, re­la­tion­ships with his friends, fam­ily, lovers and man­age­ment of­fer in­sight into the work­ings of Queen and the man who fronted the band with such pas­sion but, more than any­thing, this is a cel­e­bra­tion of their unique style of mu­sic. It will rock you.

Rated M. An­nelies Gart­ner

GOOSE­BUMPS 2: HAUNTED HAL­LOWEEN

There’s a new group of kids in a new town who are taken in by the evil machi­na­tions of ven­tril­o­quist’s dummy Slappy. Sonny (Jeremy Ray Tay­lor) and his friend Sam (Caleel Har­ris) pick up Slappy at a creepy old house while do­ing a junk run.

Of course, they promptly re­cite the in­can­ta­tion found in his pocket, as one does when one hap­pens upon a ter­ri­fy­ing pup­pet, and bring him home. Slappy, who ap­par­ently longs for a fam­ily, is happy to in­gra­ti­ate him­self with Sonny’s sis­ter, Sarah (Madi­son Ise­man), a se­nior strug­gling with a scummy boyfriend and col­lege ap­pli­ca­tions, and their har­ried, snarky mum, Kathy (Wendi McLen­don-Covey).

The plot is of lit­tle con­se­quence. All that mat­ters is once Slappy’s out of the box, he wants to make some mis­chief, and mis­chief he makes, with the as­sis­tance of all the crea­tures he brings into ex­is­tence.

It’s a shame Goose­bumps 2 misses the mark so badly, when the first film was such a sur­pris­ing and de­light­ful hoot. Rated PG. TNS

Pic­ture: McClatchy Tri­bune

Bo­hemian Rhap­sody.

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