Remember Charles Bronson, the actor who in the 1970s and 80s, made a slew of bloody revenge dramas during his golden years? The career of Liam Neeson has taken a similar trajectory. The latest example is “Memory,” the story of an aging hit man who gains a conscience but loses his memory. When he’s assigned to assassinate a child, this hired killer rebels against those who employed him, but Alzheimer’s disease complicates his efforts. The premise of “Memory” is intriguing, but the execution is lumbering in this ugly, excessively violent, and off-putting action flick.
Ben Foster gives a terrific performance in the well-meaning true story, “The Survivor.” Foster plays Harry Haft, a Polish Jew who used boxing to survive the horrors of Auschwitz. In post WWII America, Haft exploited his boxing notoriety in an attempt to locate his lost love, a Jewish woman who was sent to another concentration camp. Telling his harrowing story in a newspaper article put him at odds with many of his fellow Holocaust survivors. The film’s intentions are impeccable, but the meandering plot and lackluster pacing of “The Survivor” lessen the impact of what should have been a riveting, inspirational movie.
The impact of climate change provides the backdrop for the latest DisneyNature documentary “Polar Bear,” now available on Disney+. The film follows the life of a young ice bear cub who learns how to navigate the increasingly difficult Arctic environment from her steadfast mother. Catherine Keener provides the anthropomorphic narration from the point of view of the cub. Beautifully photographed, “Polar Bear” provides a low-key glimpse into the harsh and ever-changing realities of life in the glacial north.