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Into the Storm

Sorry, no sharks will be found in Steven Quale’s Into the Storm. Not counting humans, there are no representatives of the animal kingdom in the movie, not even a lost or endangered kitty cat. Plenty of tornado power though, and mammoth destruction in this flick. Actually, with all the inconceivable awesomeness of the natural forces unleashed, there’s surprising little emphasis on human casualties. (But the two that are wracked up are depicted in emphatically dramatic and horrific ways.)

The Hundred-Foot Journey

In a brief scene in Lasse Hallstrom’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, Helen Mirren, as the imperious proprietor of a provincial French restaurant, confronts her kitchen staff with a limp, overcooked stalk of asparagus, the product of a grievous lapse, she makes clear. It’s tempting to treat that stalk as a symbol of the movie’s limp failures. (Didn’t Oscar Wilde advise that the proper response to temptation is to yield to it?) There is some unintended irony in the disparity between the film’s insistence on the importance of superior cooking to human happiness and its own often flavorless results.

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