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With 'The Lost City' and 'Infinite Storm,' two women, two very different adventures

Sandra Bullock gladly takes up the mantle in her new comedy/adventure "The Lost City."
Credit: Paramount Pictures

THE LOST CITY

Ah, to be stuck in the jungle with Channing Tatum. Somebody has to do it!  Sandra Bullock gladly takes up the mantle in her new comedy/adventure "The Lost City." She's a best-selling romance novelist. He's her cover model who tends to blur the line between fantasy and reality. She's also a reclusive widow. Her husband was an archeologist who specialized in ancient languages, and she's familiar, too.  When a megalomaniac played by Daniel Radcliffe, is bent on finding a rare jeweled crown, he seeks her out. We call it 'kidnapping!' Soon she's off to an exotic island said to be home to this crown. Who comes after his damsel in distress, but hunky Tatum! He doesn't go it alone, though. He enlists a mercenary he met at a meditation retreat, played by Brad Pitt. Mayhem in the pursuit of bad guys follows.

Having last seen Bullock in the bleak drama, "The Unforgivable," I couldn't wait for a rom-com. While this is entertaining, (I'm sure everyone's heard about her pulling leeches off Tatum's backside) it's not the knockout that I was hoping for. Pitt sets the bar so high with his silly send-up, the rest never catches up. Bullock says this is her last movie in a while, wanting to devote more time to her kids. I wish she'd exit on a stronger note, but I'll take anything from her and enjoy it.

(Paramount Pictures. Rated PG-13. Running Time 1hr. 52m. In Theaters Only)

 INFINITE STORM

She's braved a tsunami in 2012's "The Impossible," now Naomi Watts is scaling the heights in "Infinite Storm." So, you'd think she'd be your go-to gal when danger descends. On the contrary. She says you'd want to go ahead and call someone else!  "Infinite Storm" is based on the true story of Pam Bales, a seasoned climber and rescue team member in New Hampshire. One day she sets out on a hike, and a blizzard moves in. As she turns around to go back, she encounters a man who appears to be stranded but resists her help. Eventually, she learns they share life-changing stories of grief, and it all comes poetically full circle.

It's interesting what kinds of films were produced during the pandemic. They tend to deal with isolation and feature small casts. This fits that mold but is a cut above - a fine adventure about the lengths we're willing to put ourselves through to come out on the other side. Despite her humility, Watts is very convincing and is in steady hands with Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska.  Mavericks fans, you'll be interested to know, the movie was filmed in Luka Doncic's homeland of Slovenia, while he's at the top of the NBA!

(Bleecker Street. Rated R. Running Time 1hr. 38m. In Theaters Only.) 

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