I watch way too many movies and sometimes get asked for recommendations. Here’s what I’ve seen in February (thus far).
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) has a crush he can’t talk to, a new boss he can’t stand, and a life he can’t seem to change. A compulsive day-dreamer he’s finally called to action when negative 25, the cover shot for the final print of Life Magazine, goes missing and he has to track down friend and idol, professional adventure photographer, Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn). So many things I like about this movie. Mitty’s day-dreams are incredibly visceral and bizarre but then, so becomes his reality. Trailer says it all and Ben Stiller’s return to directing is pretty great.
August: Osage County
A plains family melodrama depicts a family falling apart…and it is stunning. The drama kicks off shortly after the suicide of patriarch Beverly Weston (Sam Shepherd) and at the eye of the twister is surviving wife and drug addict Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) and their three daughters. It’s a beautiful film for a sadist and what I like most about the story is that there is no satisfaction for anyone. In the hellish heat of the house, family gathers and the tumult begins as truths are spoken and secrets revealed and characters run away to save themselves. Based on the play by Tracy Letts, who also adapted the screenplay, the following is a section of one of my favorite bits in the third Act.
“BARBARA/BEN. She smuggled Darvocet into the psych ward … in her vagina. There’s your ‘Greatest Generation’ for you. She made this speech to us while she was clenching a bottle of pills in her cooch, for God’s sake.
IVY/IKE. God, I’ve never heard that story. Did you just say “cooch”?
BARBARA/BEN. The phrase “Mom’s pussy” seems a bit gauche.”
This trailer cut is a bit of misleading horseshit, but here it is.
Short Term 12
It is amazing and the perfect thing to watch after August: Osage County. The former watches a family fall apart and into ruin, Short Term 12 brings us back from that ruin and depicts how young people who grew up in desperate situations can rebuild their lives, come to peace with the past and move forward. Beautifully led by Brie Larson as Grace, with so many other great performances. Here’s a clip. Marcus is turning 18 and is about to “graduate” from the facility. He’s having a hard time.
Thor: The Dark World
Really it’s just an excuse to watch Tom Hiddleston, who I’m really excited to see in Jim Jarmusch’s film, Only Lovers Left Alive, which premiered at Cannes last summer and will finally have its USA release April 11, 2014. It lacks the gravitas and Shakespearean overtones of the first film, but still a good plot and of course fantastic action flick from Marvel. And Benicio del Toro shines in his bit role as “the Collector”, but what is with that hairdo?
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I have nothing to say about this film. It was enjoyable cinematic candy and I always love seeing Amanda Plummer in any role she can get.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
“I laid low the warriors of old
and their like is not in the world today.”
I watched it for the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Thranduil (Lee Pace). One of these did not disappoint the other however is blameless.