INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 3D. Forget that they chose a Scot, the capable Peter Capaldi, to play an Italian -- sure, Doctor Who is a popular series, but come on: There are plenty of Italian actors who speak decent English (you can see a few right now on Netflix's Marco Polo) -- and then decided to shoot it all in 3D, while giving the dumb-ass poster the look of a horror film, this remains mostly a single-talking-head movie with a nod to some of the original Renaissance Man's singular work. Yes, the 3D scenery is pretty to look at, but in general it seems, as does most else in this grade-school-level doc, to border on the pointless -- except for those folk who know next to nothing about Signore Da Vinci.
Julian Jones (shown at right) both directed and co-wrote (with Nick Dear) the movie, so he gets most of the (dis)credit here. Jones has made a perfectly OK paean to one of history's geniuses, skirting along on automatic pilot regarding everything from the guy's history to his inventions and his art. Capaldi, below, does his best stern-voice-and-visage act, even if he does not begin to seem in the least Italian. And some of the scenery (I presume shot in Tuscany) looks lovely. Otherwise, this is all just a documentary-by-numbers look at its subject.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
Submarine Deluxe and History Films and running somewhere between 80 and 85 minutes -- opens this Friday, December 19, in New York City at the Village East Cinema and in Los Angeles at the Crest Theater. For other playdates, click here and scroll down.