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England’s Edgar Wright casts a glorious summertime spell with “Baby Driver,” a speed- and music-propelled gangster saga that transforms into a coming-of-age character study. In 2009, Wright began scripting his film with specific music tracks. This is a pop opera whose eclectic, often electrifying soundtrack keys every moment of his wildly energized story. The wheelman, aptly and simply named Baby Driver (Ansel Elgort, “The Fault in Our Stars”), is baby-faced and aloof in his shades and silence from the bank robbing gang that Doc (Kevin Spacey) has assembled. Baby wants to believe he’s apart from the mayhem created by Doc’s thieves: gung-ho Buddy (Jon Hamm, amazing) and his equally lethal girlfriend Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), scary Bats (Jamie Foxx, mightily memorable) or grumpy Griff (Jon Bernthal). Baby dreams of getting out.
Sofia Coppola may have won both the venerable Palm d’Or and the best director prizes at Cannes with her sex-besotted Southern Gothic tale “The Beguiled,” but I was not quite as beguiled as the Cannes judges by the film, although I adored the cinematography, and the performances are undeniably very good. Based on a 1966 novel by Thomas Cullinan, young Corporal John McBurney, played by Irishman Colin Farrell, is taken in reluctantly by school headmistress Miss Martha (a sexually simmering Nicole Kidman), head of a household of French verb-conjugating young women in the waning days of the Civil War.
“DESPICABLE ME 3”
“Despicable Me 3” starts with a duo of fart jokes and heads metaphorically, if not anatomically, downwards from there. All I can say is: Bring back Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand). Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) are still married. After Gru and Lucy are fired from the Anti-Villain League for not defeating washed-up, 1980s TV star-turned-supervillian Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker of “South Park”), Gru discovers he has a twin brother named Dru (also Carell).