This summer it seems like there were even more super hero movies than usual for that time of year--Thor, Green Lantern, Xmen: First Class, Captain America, etc. My favorite of all of them this year is a dark horse pick that people either didn't like or missed altogether, and that is Super with Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon.
This would make a great double feature paired with Kick-Ass, though this one is more heartbreaking. I was surprised at how moved I was as I left the theater. (It would also make a good "Kevin Bacon playing a douchebag" double feature with Xmen: First Class). This is one I would have totally missed if it weren't for my film group.
I'm pairing these two together, because in a way they made me ask some of the same questions of myself. Both could be summed up like this: a planet is coming this way, so what do we do? What does this mean? Both are sci-fi without gadgets. They are not the same movie, by any means, though.
I came out of Melancholia thinking, "Wow, a lot of people will hate this." To me, it's worth viewing and getting through the difficult bits for the first eight minutes which entail a trippy visual experience that I can't compare to anything I've ever seen before, and for the last thirty seconds or so. Another Earth is a little less "what the fuck?", so while being gritty and cool, it will be a little more palatable for some. Both allow for hours of conversation fodder.
I really related to this story directed by and starring Vera Farmiga, which is based on a memoir called This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, by Carolyn S. Briggs (I believe the book can now be found as Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, because of the movie adaptation). Her character is into adulthood in the eighties, whereas I was a child then, but I was taken right back because of how accurately they captured the era. Her brand of Christianity is slightly more intense than what I grew up with, but I recognized some of the characters on screen from my religious upbringing--not literally, but by their type. Her disaffection felt similar to mine, and I left really having to process what I'd just seen. I'll definitely see it again, and if I can fit it in will read the book.
This was my favorite movie of the year. I didn't expect to like it that much, but when the term film noir began to be tossed around, I thought I'd better give it a try. I was gripped from the beginning and was surprised that there was only one action-packed chase scene. Most of his driving, like the character himself, is very methodical and contained. The opening sequence which features this is one of the most intense I've seen.
I was surprised at how snubbed this movie has been--I thought it would be Oscars all around, but I think only Albert Brooks was nominated on the acting end of things.
Night of the Iguana
Richard Burton, Ava Gardner (after whom my niece is named), and Deborah Kerr star in this really wonderful black and white movie from the early sixties based on the Tennessee Williams play of the same name. I enjoyed watching this with my film group in one of our members' wicked awesome home theater that he built piece by piece all by his onesies.
I can't believe I'd never seen this before. To me it was just the poster on the wall of every male-inhabited dorm room I'd ever been in. It was playing in some theaters this summer for a one night only event due to the blue-ray coming out, and again I went with my film group. I've never been so totally lost in the screen at the movies. It really seemed like a look into an over-the-top parody of something, but I know some of the creators of the film insist they've walked into offices where there was a mountain of cocaine on the desk, and this was considered by the desk-sitter as nothing out of the ordinary or as something to hide. I was really more fascinated by this movie than I ever imagined I would be, and like many fans I will view it multiple times before it's my turn to go out in a blaze of machine gun fire (or by whatever means I may depart).
Harold and Maude
Another great one I'd missed before now. As I watched I understood a few more jokes from Will & Grace that were a mystery before. :)
The Book of Mormon (the musical)
Hello. My name is Elder D. And I would like to share with you the most amazing soundtrack.
I'm kind of in love with them right now.
Blue Crown, by Harvey Littleton, 1988
- Mistaken for Satan