Hank Williams was one of the greatest country music stars of all time. His short and complicated life could make a truly great movie. Sadly, the musical biopic “I Saw the Light,” ain’t it. British actor Tom Hiddleston stars as the singer/songwriter whose cheatin’ ways, abuse of booze and drugs and emotional instability torpedoed all of his relationships. Elizabeth Olsen plays his talentless wife who wanted him to make her a star. These gifted actors can’t overcome the script’s fractured and episodic nature that never allows it to achieve any dramatic momentum. The only time the movie comes to life is during the sporadic musical numbers, and none of those are performed in their entirety. “I Saw the Light” could easily have been called, “Lost in the Dark.”
What’s the value of a single human life? That’s the question at the core of “Eye in the Sky,” a cerebral thriller starring Helen Mirren. Mirren plays a British Colonel who heads up a secret drone operation attempting to disrupt a terrorist cell operating in Kenya. The British military, government officials and their U.S. allies engage in a tense, protracted debate on whether or not to bomb the nest when it’s probable that a young girl, an innocent bystander, would also be killed. The terrific cast also includes Aaron Paul, Jeremy Northam and the late Alan Rickman. The ethical questions this smart film poses should make for good post-movie coffee talk.
Also opening this week, “Meet the Blacks” is a spoof of the “Purge” horror franchise. Mike Epps and George Lopez star. “God’s Not Dead 2” is the sequel to the 2014 faith-based hit. Melissa Joan Hart stars. “City of Gold” is a documentary about eccentric LA restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold.