“Bridget Jones’s Baby” (R) 3 1/2 stars (out of four)
A stellar cast and clever writing makes for a bountiful arrival with “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” the third and presumably final chapter of the “Bridget Jones” movie trilogy. Beginning in 2001 with “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and continuing in 2004 with “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” the third trimester finds Bridget (Renee Zellweger) on her 43rd birthday, still single and very alone.
Convinced by a co-worker that she needs to sexually liberate herself, Bridget first sleeps with a handsome American online love guru Jack (Patrick Dempsey) at a weekend music festival, only to fall into the arms, once again, of Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) one week later. Despite using what she thought was protection, Bridget finds out she is pregnant, but doesn’t know by which man. First trying to covertly discover which man is the father, Bridget eventually confesses what’s up to Jack and Darcy, who, without any idea who the father is, both vie for her love.
Fans of the “Bridget Jones” series will no doubt love “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” while those new to the trials and tribulations of Bridget will be filled in with flashbacks of Bridget and Darcy so the narrative makes sense. Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver was written out of the new film, but in a creative sort of way that he remains in spirit. Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones and Emma Thompson are wonderful in their key supporting roles.
“Blair Witch” (R) 1 star (out of four)
The more things change the more they remain the same with “Blair Witch,” the second sequel to the micro-budget indie-turned-blockbuster hit “The Blair Witch Project” from 1999. Another “found footage” movie, the only difference between “Blair Witch” and the original film is that the footage is culled from memory cards this time around instead of videotape. Otherwise, the set-up and execution is exactly the same (and no doubt bloodier and more violent).
Convinced by YouTube footage that includes a glimpse of a woman he believes is his sister, Heather Donohue (the woman in “The Blair Witch Project”), James (James Allen McCune) assembles a small crew of friends to venture out into the desolate woods of Burkittsville, Maryland, to find her.
Hear Tim’s reviews of the films on “The KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard and Michele Tafoya, starting 13 minutes in.
Well aware of the legend of the Blair Witch, James — accompanied by the couple who discovered the YouTube footage – and his crew, document the search with GoPro-like cameras and a drone, telling the tale, essentially, from their point-of-view. Their first night in the woods, the search party begins to hear strange noises and eventually, screams, which escalates into a violent night of terror at the house shown at the conclusion of “The Blair Witch Project.”
Trudging through the footsteps of the first movie, “Blair Witch” was no doubt an ill-advised film project, because essentially, it’s a remake of the 1999 original. Mercifully short at 89 minutes, “Blair Witch” is proliferated by shaky cam movements from beginning to end, even though there are no real scares to be had for the first 50 minutes.
The sad thing is, once the terror begins and the crew takes flight through the woods, the action and camera movements are so manic that it’s hard to tell just what exactly is going on. Covertly filmed under a different title and surprisingly revealed at this summer’s San Diego Comic Con, “Blair Witch” should have remained a buried secret.