Tuesday, November 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 37
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
AD ASTRA
ARCTIC DOGS
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLACK AND BLUE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CHARLIE’S ANGELS
COUNTDOWN
CRAWL
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
HUSTLERS
IT: CHAPTER 2
JOKER
LAST CHRISTMAS
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MIDWAY
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
PLAYING WITH FIRE
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF ARMORY FILMS

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON


Where is it playing?: Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Writers-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz helm this adventure dramedy about Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. With the help of small-time outlaw Tyler (Shia LeBeouf), and kind nursing home employee, Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), the trio embarks on a Mark Twain-like odyssey.

This sweet crowd pleaser hits all the right notes and is enriched by a stellar cast. It opens with 22-year-old Zak, a ward of the state, stuck in a nursing home because the state “has nowhere else to put him.” The nursing home residents love him because he’s a sweet young man, but he doesn’t belong there. His roommate is Carl (an excellent Bruce Dern), who’s exceedingly tired of watching Zak’s old wrestling tapes of his favorite pro wrestler The Salt Water Redneck, aka Clint (an equally excellent Thomas Haden Church), who runs a small wrestling school. Long story short, Zak eventually slips out of the home and is on the road.

Meanwhile, we meet Tyler, who’s stealing crabs out of crab pots. Through flashbacks, we learn he had a brother, Mark (Jon Bernthal), with whom he fished but who has since passed away. Tyler’s just trying to get by, but the crab pot owners—Duncan (John Hawkes) and Ratboy (Yelawolf)—are now out to get him, forcing him to run. Tyler, at first reluctantly but later joyfully, promises to get Zak to the Salt Water Redneck’s wrestling school, and off they go, Huck Finn style.

The humor throughout is pitch perfect, and there’s something special about watching differently-abled actor Zack Gottsagen embody Zak, who has a lot to teach audiences about what it means to have Down syndrome. There’s a scene when Zak and Tyler are talking about good guys and bad guys in pro wrestling, and it sets up the heart of the film.

Johnson as Eleanor is perfectly cast, and she and LeBeouf have great chemistry as their two characters spark a romance. The film is ultimately about finding your own family, the power of acceptance, but also about redemption, especially for Tyler, whose existence hovers between good guy/bad guy status.

This is a small film with a big heart. I loved it. (93 min.)

—Glen




Weekly Poll
Should school districts invest more into vocational and career technical programs?

Yes. Students need to get on a career path as soon as possible.
No. It's more important for students to learn study skills than specific disciplines.
No. District should save money by partnering with businesses to offer more internships.
Yes, but only if these programs also count for college credit.

| Poll Results