AMER­I­CAN AN­I­MALS (15)

Uxbridge Gazette - - Film Reviews -

THE ro­bots in dis­guise re­ceive a wel­come and sweetly sen­ti­men­tal re­boot in the sixth in­stal­ment of the Trans­form­ers fran­chise.

Travis Knight, Os­car nom­i­nee for the ex­quis­ite stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion Kubo And The Two Strings, re­places Michael Bay in the di­rec­tor’s chair for a fam­ily-friendly ori­gin story cast in the mould of The Iron Giant.

Bum­ble­bee un­folds be­fore events of the orig­i­nal Trans­form­ers and ser­vices a softly beat­ing heart be­neath gleam­ing metal through the touch­ing friend­ship of the tit­u­lar Au­to­bot and a grief­stricken girl played by Pitch Per­fect alum­nus Hailee Ste­in­feld.

The 22-year-old ac­tress de­liv­ers a beau­ti­fully cal­i­brated and sin­cere per­for­mance, cap­tur­ing the awk­ward­ness of a teenager who hears her pain echoed in the songs of The Smiths.

Pro­duc­tion de­sign­ers go to town with late 1980s pe­riod de­tail – amus­ingly, the De­cep­ti­cons are cred­ited as ar­chi­tects of ★★★★★

THRILLER, based on a true story. Art stu­dent Spencer Rein­hard (Barry Keoghan) takes a tour of the spe­cial col­lec­tions sec­tion of his univer­sity’s li­brary, and con­ceives a plan to steal sev­eral rare edi­tions with ath­let­ics schol­ar­ship stu­dent War­ren Lipka (Evan Peters). Spencer and War­ren re­alise they need ad­di­tional man­power and in­volve two friends – Erik Bor­suk (Jared Abra­ham­son) and Chas Allen (Blake Jen­ner) – as a look­out in­side the li­brary and a get­away driver. Their best-laid prepa­ra­tions fal­ter and fra­ter­nal bonds buckle un­der the strain of a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

■ Down­load/stream from De­cem­ber 31 and avail­able from Jan­uary 14 on DVD/Blu-ray.

Evan Peters as War­ren Lipka

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