If the classic Japanese film “Rashomon” were set in medieval France, it would have looked a lot like “The Last Duel.” Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodi Comer and Ben Affleck star in the true story of knights who battle to the death when one accuses the other of raping his wife. What’s intriguing about this examination of historical misogyny is that the story is told three times, from three different perspectives: one from that of each knight and one from that of the victim. Ridley Scott directs from a screenplay by Damon, Affleck and Nicole Holofcener. The production values are impressive, and the cast is fine. The pacing, however, is erratic, which hobbles this overlong epic a bit. Even so, “The Last Duel” is an involving costume saga that should resonate with the “Me Too” generation.
Leslie Odom, Jr. and Cynthia Erivo star in the experimental time travel romance, “Needle in a Timestack,” written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley. While the cast is attractive and the premise is interesting, the herky-jerky narrative structure makes one suspect that this one was done in by someone’s misguided editing room tinkering.
If you’re a fan of the late Lou Reed, Todd Haynes’ skillfully made and informative documentary “The Velvet Underground” is right up your alley. The voluminous archival footage, mostly from Andy Warhol’s Factory days, provides an insider’s glimpse into the avant-garde rock band’s troubled history. If you’re not a fan, there’s likely very little in “The Velvet Underground that will change your opinion.
All of your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, and fineartsgroup.com.