‘Film Stars’ makes an im­pres­sion

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - LIVING - By Amy Longs­dorf For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Based on a true story, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liver­pool” is a fas­ci­nat­ing slice of Hol­ly­wood his­tory.

An­nette Ben­ing stars as ag­ing ac­tress Glo­ria Gra­hame who, for years, en­joyed an on-again, off-again re­la­tion­ship with a nearly three decades-younger British ac­tor named Peter Turner (Jamie Bell).

Ini­tially the ac­tion re­volves around Peter’s de­ci­sion to help care for the gravely ill Glo­ria but flashbacks are wo­ven into the fab­ric of the movie so flu­idly that the ro­mance quickly takes cen­ter stage. Es­sen­tially a two-han­der, “Film Stars” is a tri­umph for Ben­ing and Bell, who pass the chem­istry test with fly­ing col­ors. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu.

Also New to VOD and Stream­ing

The Commuter: The fourth col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Liam Nee­son and Span­ish helmer Jaume Col­let-Serra is nearly as ex­cit­ing as “Non-Stop,” their 2014 outing. This time around, Nee­son is an in­sur­ance sales­man who’s ap­proached by a mys­te­ri­ous stranger (Vera Farmiga) on a commuter train and com­manded to iden­tify a pas­sen­ger named Prynne, or Nee­son’s fam­ily will be killed. At 65, Nee­son might be a lit­tle too long in the tooth to be bat­tling bad guys but he ex­udes such an ev­ery­man vibe that he in­stantly gives cred­i­bil­ity to this old-school ac­tioner. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu.

Bomb­shell: If Hedy La­marr is re­mem­bered these days, it’s for be­ing the glam­orous star of such films as “Al­giers” and “Sam­son and Delilah.” But, as this as­ton­ish­ing doc­u­men­tary chron­i­cles, she was also a natural born in­ven­tor who cre­ated the tech­nol­ogy that makes WiFi and GPS de­vices pos­si­ble. “Bomb­shell” weaves to­gether interviews with La­marr’s chil­dren as well as a fas­ci­nat­ing, never-be­fore-heard au­dio in­ter­view with La­marr her­self to tell the story of the Aus­trian ac­tress’s ca­reer and tem­pes­tu­ous per­sonal life. Don’t miss this one. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu.

The Fi­nal Year: Shot in 2016 and 2017, this ab­sorb­ing doc­u­men­tary spot­lights Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and his for­eign af­fairs team as they at­tempt to lock in poli­cies all over the world which they be­lieve will de­fine their le­gacy. Di­rec­tor Greg Barker cap­tures sur­pris­ing de­tails of life in­side the White House from dead cock­roaches in ad­vi­sor Ben Rhodes’ of­fice to U.N. Am­bas­sador Sa­man­tha Power’s in­sights into Obama’s strug­gles with war and peace. The fi­nal act, which in­volves Trump’s sur­prise vic­tory, finds Obama re­fus­ing to give up hope that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will con­tinue to fight the good fight.

Mercury 13: Here’s the re­mark­able story of the women who were tested for space­flight in 1961 but even­tu­ally dubbed the wrong gen­der to make the trip be­yond Earth. NASA’s “man in space” pro­gram, dubbed “Project Mercury” be­gan in 1958. The men cho­sen – all mil­i­tary test pi­lots – be­came known as The Mercury 7. But away from the spot­light, fe­male pi­lots were also screened. Thir­teen of them passed and, in some cases, per­formed bet­ter than the men. This is their story. On Net­flix.

The Week Of: For­mer “SNL” stars Adam San­dler and Chris Rock team up as two fa­thers with clash­ing views about their chil­dren’s up­com­ing wed­ding. Set over the course of the seven days pre­ced­ing the big event, the laugh­fest also fea­tures “SNL” vet­eran Rachel Dratch and Steve Buscemi. On Net­flix.

For the Kids

Padding­ton 2: A fron­trun­ner for the year’s most de­light­ful fam­ily film, the se­quel to the 2015 hit con­cocts a to­tally fresh ad­ven­ture for the lit­tle bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who’s liv­ing hap­pily in Lon­don with the Brown fam­ily (Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bon­neville). Falsely ac­cused of bur­glary, Padding­ton has to clear his name and un­mask the real vil­lain (Hugh Grant, hav­ing a good time). There’s a de­li­cious prison se­quence built around mar­malade sand­wiches and a gen­uinely ex­cit­ing fi­nale in­volv­ing steam trains. Here’s hop­ing a third in­stall­ment is in the works. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu.

Teen Ti­tles

Hob­by­horse Rev­o­lu­tion: Ini­tially, this doc about teen girls in Fin­land who’ve in­vented a new sport that in­volves jump­ing around on hob­by­horses seems like it is go­ing to be pretty silly. But, af­ter awhile, the girls win you over as they re­count how their strange ob­ses­sion has helped them deal with bul­ly­ing, alien­ation and de­pres­sion. Credit film­maker Selma Vil­hunen not only with elic­it­ing can­did interviews from the hob­by­horse fa­nat­ics but with treat­ing the sport with a wel­come amount of re­spect. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu. Sui­cide Squad - Hell To Pay: With the ex­cep­tion of “Won­der Woman,” DC seems to have bet­ter luck with its an­i­mated en­deav­ors than its live-ac­tion out­ings. That trend con­tin­ues with this en­joy­ably over-the-top car­toon ad­ven­ture. At the be­hest of War­den Waller, the crafty crim­i­nals Dead­shot, Killer Frost, Cap­tain Boomerang and Har­ley Quinn hit the road to steal a pow­er­ful mys­ti­cal ob­ject. Ex­pect a col­li­sion of chaos, gun­fire and bad at­ti­tudes. On Ama­zon, Google, iTunes, Movies Any­where and Vudu.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

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