Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 16, 2013

CALLERI: Redgrave and Stamp shine and del Toro does it right

Niagara Gazette — When it’s so hot that it’s almost too hot to think, one of the better choices you can make to escape the heat is to sit in an air-conditioned movie theater. Of course, sitting and watching something that isn’t worthwhile might make the soaring outdoor temperature seem positively inviting.

Fortunately, there are two good motion picture choices with an appeal that, in a just world, would span all age levels. Granted, the audience for each of them is decidedly different, but I never automatically eliminate a demographic from the possibility that it might enjoy something completely out of their comfort zone.

Why shouldn’t a teenager enjoy “Unfinished Song,” the quirky, tune-filled British comedy, which is about devotion to one’s life partner? And that said, what’s to prevent your grandparents from getting a kick out of “Pacific Rim,” especially considering that they were certainly around for the birth of cheesy monster movies involving rubbery reptiles destroying every city in their path?

What’s important is that both movies are well-made, stay true to their genres, and offer common sense believability as they tell their stories.

"Unfinished Song" should be seen for a number of reasons but especially because of the two screen legends who star in it. Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp are an elderly married couple who live in a pleasant neighborhood in London. In their own way, they are truly dedicated to each other.

Redgrave's positive-thinking Marion has recovered from cancer and enjoys singing at the local community center. The goal of her choral group is to get invited to a competition that would make them, as well as their families and friends, proud. Winning isn’t everything. Stamp's Arthur is a delightful curmudgeon completely devoted to Marion, but in his own determined way. He may be a grump, but he is completely her grump. He’s an English bulldog to her good-natured collie.

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