Confessions of a Fashionista

Andre Leon Talley in “The Gospel According to Andre.”

 

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“The Gospel According to Andre” (PG-13) — As a boy in North Carolina, Andre Leon Talley discovered luxury in not only the issues of Vogue he found in the library, but also in the smart and well-crafted clothes provided by his grandmother, a cleaning lady at Duke University. Raised in the segregated South, but never accepting its limits, he rose to a life of influence in the New York fashion world, working at the top echelons of Vogue by his mid-30s. Told through interviews and archival footage, with a loving patina of honesty from the man himself. 

“Destroyer” (R) — Nicole Kidman goes deep undercover — so deep there are times you can barely identify the actress portraying LAPD detective Erin Bell. As a young cop, Bell takes a surreptitious role in a crime gang with her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan). They end up party to a botched bank robbery, and Chris is killed by gang leader Silas (Toby Kebbell), who disappears. Years later, Silas’ re-emergence is discovered when a tainted bill is left behind at a murder scene. This brings Bell out full force, tracking him down for retribution and justice.

"Dragged Across Concrete" (R) -- Officers Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are suspended for excessive tactics that are caught on camera, but both have compelling reasons to stay in the game: Ridgeman's wife is sick, and Lurasetti is on the cusp of proposing to his longtime girlfriend. They need money. The pair dig deep in their dirty contacts to find an enterprising little side job -- robbing a group of bank robbers. Standing in their way is a pair of moralist criminals (Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White) with their own compelling reasons for cash. Much like the title says, it's a violent, slow lurch toward a grisly end that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.

"Miss Bala" (PG-13) -- Gina Rodriguez stars as Gloria, a young, pretty LA makeup artist in Mexico to visit her best friend. At a nightclub, the women are witness to some cartel violence. Her friend is kidnapped, but instead of being helped by the police, Gloria is handed over to the cartel. To find her friend, she must embrace her inner baddie and journey through a world of double-dealing drug lords, police, government agents and more. It's an English-language remake of the 2011 version by Mexican director Gerardo Naranjo, and it's a little lighter and a little less gritty.

"Level 16" (NR) -- Canadian director Danishka Esterhazy offers a dystopian and very gray look into a secluded (read that windowless, color-drained, possibly underground) boarding school for girls, who are taught the "virtues" of femininity: cleanliness, obedience, silence, etc. They practice in hopes that being a "clean girl" will lead to adoption by a loving family. The whole thing is headed by a serious bottle blonde with neither a speck of lint on her sharp black suit nor trace of a soul. Suspicious yet? So is Vivian (Katie Douglas), who has just leveled up and joins previous classmate Sophia (Celina Martin) on Level 16, the presumably final level, where new and dangerous rules apply.

"Serenity" (R) -- Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain in search of a great big fish. 

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