New films this week:
— “Ashes of Time Redux” (rated R), a re-edited version of Wong Kar-Wai’s 1994 martial-arts fantasy.
— “Flow: For Love of Water” (not rated), a documentary about the World Water Crisis.
— “Quantum of Solace” (rated PG-13), the second James Bond spy thriller starring Daniel Craig.
— “Roman de Gare” (rated R), a French mystery/thriller about double-crossing authors.
Though it’s shorter by nearly 10 minutes, the visually imaginative “Ashes of Time Redux” is still muddled and nearly incomprehensible. As a result, it feels longer than its scant 90-minute running time.
“Roman de Gare” does feature some good performances — from veteran Fanny Ardant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet regular Dominique Pinon . But neither of their characters are likable. It’s hard to care about what happens to them.
And while “Flow” does have an interesting concept, its execution is a bit dry. It needs more graphics to break up the numerous, “talking-head” style interviews.
The week’s best movie is the new 007 adventure, though it is a little convoluted, plotwise. It might not be a bad idea for fans to re-watch its predecessor, “Casino Royale,” since this film picks up the action from there. Also, it is as violent and nasty as the “Bourne” movies, though the opening car chase sequence is terrific.
Which, if any, of these movies figure into your weekend plans?