Screening Room: ‘Wasp Network’

Wasp Network

In the 1990s, the Castro regime sent several operatives to infiltrate the Cuban-American emigre community in Miami. Olivier Assayas’ Wasp Network is a fictionalization of that somewhat forgotten sidenote of the post-Cold War years.

Wasp Network is available on Netflix today. My review is at Slant:

Based on Fernando Morais’s 2011 book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War, the film starts out as a crisply paced, lavishly photographed, and character-based study of what the members of the so-called “Cuban Five” spy ring did and how they did it. Unfortunately, it spreads its attentions so wide and at times without consequence that the import of the events it depicts starts to get lost…

Here’s the trailer:

New in Theaters: ‘I’m So Excited!’

Nothing passes the time on a long flight like a Pointer Sisters routine.
Nothing passes the time on a long flight like a Pointer Sisters routine.

Im-So-Excited-movie-posterNews of a new Almodovar film is always welcome, particularly something like I’m So Excited!, which finds him back in full comic form. It’s a dizzy piece of candy-colored nonsense set on a plane where the attendants have drugged all the passengers in coach to keep them from complaining. Meanwhile, in first class, things get more interesting.

I’m So Excited! opened in limited release on Friday and will be expanding around the country soon. My full review is at Film Journal International; here’s part:

The Spanish title for Pedro Almodóvar’s newest film, The Amorous Passengers, is more to the point than its English title, I’m So Excited!, even if it doesn’t leave as much to the imagination. That’s alright, though, as the film itself doesn’t have much truck with leaving anything unsaid. It’s a fashion-magazine potboiler, gossipy and brash, whose attention keeps wandering south of the waistline…

You can watch the trailer here: