July 2014 Movie Preview

C: July, always the month of second-tier blockbusters, and this year, the month of one- or two-word film titles. (Not all of them, but seriously, more than usual. Odd.)

M: Whoa whoa whoa… second tier blockbusters? Me thinks you need a history lesson. Are the Harry Potter movies second tier? What about the Dark Knight sequels? Pirates of the Caribbean? Forrest Gump? Saving Private Ryan? X-Men? Inception? Die Hard?

E: Yes, but she’s weirdly right about this year.

M: It was the “always” that caught my attention.

C: Okay, fine! I guess I did need a history lesson. But this year, without speaking for any other, they are sort of second tier, and a few of the summer’s biggest movies (like Guardians of the Galaxy) won’t come out till August. Which is not to say, by any means, that nothing in July looks good. In fact, the first of all looks pretty intriguing…

July 2nd

Begin Again

C: I’m tentatively charmed by the look of this, the latest “unlikely adorable pair of people makes a record” movie from the director of Once. In this case the pair is Mark Ruffalo, a music producer fired for being irresponsible, and Keira Knightley, a singer-songwriter who’s been living in the shadow of her rocker (ex-)boyfriend, played by Adam Levine. CeeLo Green also has a role.

E: I adore Once and am quite fond of Ruffalo and Knightley, which makes this one of the films I’m most excited about all summer, and certainly for July.

M: I have never seen Once, and in fact its existence snuck from my memory until the start of this conversation.

E: UGH!  I’m loaning you my copy this weekend.

C: It’s a lovely little movie, an inspiring sweet story with a bit of sadness and very intimate feeling, as if you’re peeping into real people’s lives (not in a gross way). But the main reason to see it is the fantastic music.

E: Oscar-winning lovely music, even.

C: This one will, by default, have a different feeling with big stars instead of up-and-coming musicians in the leading roles.

M: If you say so. And I will note, I looked it up, and it didn’t in fact escape my memory. I flat out never heard of it. Anyway, tell me more about the music. Do Ruffalo and Knightley actually sing? Can they actually sing?

C: Ruffalo plays a producer, as I said, but I saw Knightley on The Daily Show recently and Jon Stewart (who’d seen the film) expressed genuine amazement at her surprise singing talent. “I was just quite disappointed that I didn’t sound like Adele,” Knightley replied with charming diffidence.

Tammy

C: It’s hard not to like Melissa McCarthy. Even though I haven’t seen her in anything since Gilmore Girls (and why do articles about her rise to fame never mention her 7-season gig as a series regular on that?) — haven’t see Bridesmaids, or The Heat, or her TV series — I’m happy for her fame. She’s just got that likeable quality. That said, I doubt I’ll see this either.

E: Yes.  I wish her well, I think she’s terrific, I love that she’s a movie star, but I have no interest in this at all.

M: I like her a lot, and I’ve actually seen some of the show (Mike and Molly), and both movies you mention, and liked them both, especially The Heat. I’m also baffled by the lack of mention of Gilmore Girls, which Mrs M loved. That said, not only do I doubt I’ll see this, it looks like crap.

C: I’ve got to agree. Plus, it’s a little crazy seeing Susan Sarandon play McCarthy’s grandmother here. Not least because she’s only 25 years older than McCarthy, but also… wow, Sarandon’s at the old lady phase of her career now?

M: Honestly, Sarandon should have been there a long time ago. It felt like she was too old for Kevin Costner (never mind Tim Robbins) in Bull Durham, and that was 26 years ago. As for Hollywood and age differences, Sean Connery was 11 years old when Harrison Ford was born, but played his dad more than convincingly in the last Indiana Jones movie. (la la la la. No Indy movies have been made since The Last Crusade! la la la la)

E: That’s your one example?  Because Connery got Catherine Zeta Jones as his love interest after playing the elder Mr. Jones.  Not very persuasive.

M: (In my best Governor Tarkin voice) You have a better example, a more appropriate example? Then name the film.

E: I’m not going to name a movie, because I disagree with your contention!

M: You just can’t think of one. And while I wouldn’t disagree in theory that Connery was too old for Zeta Jones (except that she married Michael Douglas), the point was the age difference between Sarandon and McCarthy. In that context the Ford/Connery age difference is completely relevant. So there.

C: Yet as a line of argument, “that can’t be called ridiculous, because I found an even MORE ridiculous example” is not terribly sound. Especially since 26 years for two generations divides out to barely more than 11 years for one generation.

Earth to Echo

C: I could call this “E.T. for a new century” but I don’t think that does justice to the fact that I’ve never seen a trailer like this before. There’s an adorable alien, and a band of kids trying to save it from frightening faceless government goons, but it’s filmed like a low budget adult thriller, shaky-cam style, with the children supposedly recording everything on their smart phone cameras. I’m curious to hear about whether that device (no pun intended) will bring new interest to a familiar story.

M: You think? As much as I want to like it, and have heard good things, the style of the trailer reminded me of Welcome To Yesterday, which is not an endorsement. I HOPE it’s this generation’s E.T. though.

E: I’m tentatively excited; I think my kids could like this a lot, and now that we’ve seen the terrific How To Train Your Dragon 2, there’s surprisingly little for them at the multiplex.

M: Yes, Hollywood please listen up, we need more family fare. And no, the Transformers franchise does not count.

July 4th

Life Itself

C: In beautifully meta fashion, this is a documentary film about legendary film critic Roger Ebert. Shall we count how many reviews of it use the phrases “thumbs down” or “thumbs up”?

M: I’m sure someone, somewhere will turn that into a drinking game.

E: Ugh.  People are so predictable.

C: I like that you’re already disgusted by humanity due to some hypotheticals we’re positing.

M: Seriously.

Wrinkles

C: An animated film about old age, set in a retirement home and featuring a friendship between two men who live there, one of whom has early-stage Alzheimer’s. Not a children’s movie, obviously. Originally in Spanish, but Martin Sheen and Matthew Modine provide the dubbed voices of the main pair.

M: Sounds like it could be a sequel to Up. I’m not joking.

E: I don’t know how to respond to that.

M: How about with a passive aggressive non-response?

C: It looks much less colorful and like much more of a downer than Up. And no, I didn’t just do that on purpose. And yes, the beginning of Up makes me sob, just like everyone else. But I suspect this is more of a sad ending movie.

M: Fair enough.

Heatstroke

C: A sullen teenage girl, her sketchy father, and her father’s sexy, sullen new girlfriend are on safari when they run afoul of some poachers killing a rhinoceros. Things go very, very south from there and the girl and woman end up on the run from heavily armed bad guys in the desert.

M: I have friends who are literally on a safari in Africa right now. I don’t think I like this premise. Let’s move along.

July 11th

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

M: Did anyone actually like the first film in this reboot? I don’t know many people that saw it, and none of their reviews of it screamed “blockbuster sequel.” On the other hand, despite any recent issues with the PC police, I love Gary Oldman.

E: I watched it on cable.  It was — fine, I guess?  The CG was terrific, but the story unfolds tremendously slowly.

C: I get confused about the Planet of the Apes reboots. There have been two reboots? With two movies each, to date? Plus eight thousand sequels to the original? Is that right?

M: No, the first reboot, the Marky Mark/Tim Roth one, I don’t believe had any sequels. That one was just titled Planet of the Apes, too. This reboot has the far-too-similarly titled “Rise” and “Dawn” of the planet of the apes. Seriously, who decided on those titles? Dawn is when the sun rises. Even now, seeing the commercials plastered all over everything, I keep thinking the new one is Rise, and the one from two years ago is Dawn. Ugh.

C: I hadn’t even thought of that, but of course you’re right, they’re synonyms. Gah! That’s worse that the Twilight titles in terms of difficulty to remember.

E: And these aren’t exactly reboots as much as they are prequels — explanations of how Earth became the planet of the apes.

M: I think we’re mincing words.

C: Truth be told, one movie about scary apes taking over the planet was enough for me.

M: I don’t know, I’m hoping this does well enough that they make a third and title it Ascent of the Planet of the Apes, or Daybreak of the Planet of the Apes, or maybe Wee Hours of the Planet of the Apes. Hee hee, I like Thesaurus.com (which, coincidentally, is playing an ad for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

Boyhood

C: Now this is an interesting one.

E: Oh yes.

C: Richard Linklater, who’s known for filming the trilogy about three encounters in the lives of two people, played by the same actors, across almost 20 years (1995’s Before Sunrise, 2004’s Before Sunset, and 2013’s Before Midnight), here does something equally if not more innovative. In one film, he showcases the life of a boy from age 6 to age 18, played by the same actor. That’s right — they’ve been filming this for 12 years.

E: On and off.

M: Really, E? Pretty sure no one in our reading audience thought that C meant continuously.

E: Shut up.

C: M, thank you for that.

M: That’s what I’m here for.

C: So this young actor has the curious name of Ellar Coltrane. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette co-star as his divorce parents.

E: I hope it doesn’t sound mean to say that Arquette and Hawke had much buzz 12 years ago when this project started.

M: Now, not so much.

C: I thought of that too! But as for the aging idea… this is a concept I’ve often wished it was possible to put into practice. Take, for instance, films where the actor playing the protagonist as a child grows up to be great in their own right — Anna Paquin as the young Jane Eyre, for instance, or Daniel Radcliffe as the young David Copperfield. How great would it be, I’ve often thought, if someone went back and re-filmed the latter part of Charles Dickens’s classic with the now-adult Radcliffe in the starring role?

E: That might be complicated as far as getting the rights to the old footage, but it IS a fascinating idea.

M: I think the bigger problem is that Radcliffe is still the same height.

C: Don’t be mean. Who cares. He’s a great actor.

M: First off, your response should have been “why you gotta be so ruuuuude.” Now, as for Radcliffe, are we sure of that? He was great in one role (which he played 8 times), true, but despite good critical reviews, nothing else he’s done has done well. I hope you’re right, that he is, and that he doesn’t end up in Mark Hamill voice-actor jail.

C: Nothing else he’s done has been the kind of project that makes big money. And since he’s rich, he can do all the little interesting projects he likes. The good critical reviews speak to his acting, I think, a lot more than the lack of huge box office for small films.

M: Critical reviews speak to critics, who as you know I tend to differ from much of the time. And I’m pretty sure that at least The Woman in Black was intended to at least “do well” which was what I said, not make “big money.” I’m not looking for him to be in Michael Bay movies, just something that people actually think was good. Anyway, we’re way off topic.

E: To return to not-quite-the-point, I’d certainly go see an updated Copperfield starring Radcliffe.  Paquin might be too old to play Jane Eyre again — and someone remade that story last year, so it’d be harder to fund.

C: Yes, that was more a thought I had some years ago. And of course once the finished film is released, it’s never really going to happen because of rights and royalties and so forth.

E: And obviously, you’d have to assume all the original cast — all the actors in the early bits — would re-sign and still be around by the time the child star was old enough.

C: What I’d like is to see a director and cast do that intentionally. But what Linklater has done here, I suspect few filmmakers would have the patience to do. Whether it’s good or not — and frankly, the movie itself looks “slice of life”-ish and therefore kinda depressing — it’s an incredible idea.

M: Like Cast Away, but on an even longer scale.

Made in America

C: For starters, why make  a documentary called this? Just so people searching either the movie or the TV show of that name on Netflix can have false hope that their quarry is available to stream?

E: Huh?  I don’t get that as an objection.

C: You don’t get that I think they should’ve come up with a more original title? I don’t see what’s puzzling about that. Look how many things IMDb lists with that title. And that’s just movies. There’s also albums, books, poems…

M: To be fair, a few of those are the titles of TV episodes, not shows — but no, it’s not the most original title.

C: Anyway, this Made in America is a documentary about a music festival produced by Jay-Z, and directed by… wait a sec, Ron Howard?!

M: Opie Cunningham! Opie Cunningham! Opie Cunningham!

C: I wish I knew what that means.

M: Oh, I feel like such a failure as a big brother! It’s from a classic Eddie Murphy SNL sketch where he’s interviewing Ron Howard, who was just starting directing at the time. Howard wants to talk about that, but all Murphy will talk about is The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days. In the end he starts chanting “Opie Cunningham” as only Eddie Murphy could do. Even in this world gone plastic, it’s so classic.

C: And people wonder why I communicate through pop culture references. Ladies and gentlemen, my big brother.

Affluenza

C: After the case of Ethan Couch, who killed 4 people while driving drunk and was let off without jail time because his attorneys successfully argued he suffered from “affluenza,” I just don’t see the appeal of watching a fictional film about wealthy kids without guidance, rich emotional lives, or discernible features (okay, that may be unrelated, but I couldn’t tell anyone apart in this trailer) party their way through life. Even if the big surprise lesson at the end is that money can’t buy happiness.

E: Wait — are you sure?  Money can’t buy happiness?  No way!

C: That’s the buzz around town.

M: Actually, I think the buzz has been going in the other direction, unfortunately. That said, wasn’t this already released last year, but called The Bling Ring then?

E: Nope.  That one was an actual true story.

July 18th

The Purge: Anarchy

E: Ah, here it is.  The inevitable sequel of the horror movie you can’t believe made enough money or fans to merit such treatment.

C: There’s one every month, it seems like.

M: When The Purge came out it was actually a pretty big hit. I knew a bunch of people that liked it, as opposed to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That said, the sequel looks atrocious.

C: So did the first one.

M: So, is that a point in this one’s favor? The first one also looked atrocious, but was well-received and people liked it…

E: I’m not sure you can really say that it was well-received because you know a few people who liked it, but sure.  Someone must have.

C: Someone must like all these horror movies that get sequels. Those people, I can confirm from first-hand observation, are college undergraduates.

M: Look, I don’t really WANT to be in the position of defending this, but it was made on a $3 million dollar budget and made $90 million world wide. People liked it. My saying that I knew people that liked it was to contrast the Apes movies, which I know no one that liked, not as the be all end all. Geesh, try to pick up on context! That all said, I think our readers can tell that none of us are going to see this one.

C: I don’t know why you’re mad. We’re all agreeing. I remember my students (college freshmen) mentioning it. I think E was just interpreting “well-received” in the sense of aesthetic judgment, rather than in the sense of “made a huge profit.”

Sex Tape

C: Youtube has already been ruthlessly spamming us with commercials for this. Which is pretty awkward, I have to say, when you’re trying to watch adorable puppy videos with small relatives or parental units.

M: Thankfully I haven’t run into that problem when my 7-year-old has been trying to watch things on YouTube, but yeah.

E: C, I think your use of “us” is a bit, I don’t know — optimistic?  Premature?  Incorrect?  I’m quite relieved not to have that issue.

C: Yeesh, I didn’t realize I needed to be careful of blackening Youtube’s good name.

M: You do. It’s owned by Google, and we get readers from Google searches, so tread lightly.

C: It has happened to me on two occasions, on two different computers, that this ad came up repeatedly before videos. In case you’re wondering what I’ve been watching, I can only remember one case, in which the video was a musical number from Bye Bye Birdie.

M: Prime fodder for ads for a movie named Sex Tape if there ever was! As for said movie, I like a lot of the people involved. Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Nat Faxon (Ben of Ben and Kate), Rob Lowe. Note, however, Cameron Diaz is not on that list. And this is from the director of Bad Teacher (also not on my list), and LOOKS like it’s from the same person as Bad Teacher, if you know what I mean. I’m out.

C: And it’s called Sex Tape. Just saying. We aren’t exactly the bull’s-eye audience for this one.

M: What were you saying before about undergrads?

Planes: Fire and Rescue

E: Ah, here it is, the inevitable sequel to the direct-to-video-looking Cars knockoff, Planes.

M: I will say, it has one good line in the preview, where the cars are jumping out of the plane. The plane says something to the effect of “I can’t understand why anyone would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane,” to which one of the cars replies “But we’re not, we’re jumping out of YOU!”

E: Yeah, that’s a fun line.

C: Forgive me for overthinking this, but in Cars the cars are basically animals — they don’t have drivers, they even kiss, weirdly enough — so is it strange to anyone else that these machine-animals can ride inside each other?

E: You are so over-thinking this.

M: Totally. Besides, in Cars Lightening McQueen rides inside Mack, the 18-wheeler who drives him around, but accidentally drops him, leading him to get “lost” in Radiator Springs. Not that I’ve seen that movie a few times, or anything. However, if you really want to go with the whole animal thing, maybe it’s like a kangaroo pouch?

C: …I can accept that.

And So It Goes

C: Billy Joel-inspired title. That counts for something.

M: It does. Very little, but something.

C: Michael Douglas his usual selfish, spoiled curmudgeon — for laughs this time around. There’s the obligatory plot where having to take in his granddaughter softens him up. Diane Keaton co-stars as the friend/love interest who overlooks his wacky terribleness. Rob Reiner directs.

E: And Rob Reiner directing used to be such a plus.

M: Seriously, depending on how you feel about The Bucket List, you can make a case that his last good movie was A Few Good Men. Plus, I feel like there have been about a mabrillion different movies with this basic premise. Not the grandfather part, but you know what I mean.

C: There was this novel called Silas Marner and it pretty much went from there.

E: Or Heidi?  I’d rather just re-read Heidi.  Stay at home and watch/read Heidi, people.

M: Yes, watch Heidi, listen to the John Williams score, which at times hints strongly at the theme he created for Star Wars either years later!

Wish I Was Here

E: Ah, here it is, Zach Braff’s inevitable sequel to Garden State.  Er, follow up, ten years late.

C: What? “Inevitable” is not the word I’d have used here. “They’re still funding Zach Braff movies?” is a question I might have used.

E: It’s a running gag, C.  Run with it.

M: E, to paraphrase Mary Poppins, there’s nothing like a good joke. And that was nothing like a good joke.

E: I suppose it will just sound surly if I note that it wasn’t Mary Poppins who said that?

C:Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn’t say that!” (Pauses for the three people who got the reference to smile, and everyone else to look confused.)

M: I got it, and my eldest will, too, as she was introduced to Clueless just this week!

C: Oh, that makes me so happy! But to return to the subject, it’s not that I don’t love Garden State, I do, but Braff’s fallen off the radar pretty thoroughly for some time. I don’t think anyone saw, let alone liked, his second movie The Last Kiss.

M: Maybe he’s using actors whose schedules overlapped because they were making Boyhood?

E: I suppose this is what passes as a good joke to you?

M: I’m willing to bet mine draws more smirks or chuckles than yours.

C: I should clarify for our readers, by the way, that this is NOT a sequel to Garden State, nor does it use the same characters. Zach Braff plays a dude married to Kate Hudson with two funny kids. His dad, played by the great Mandy Patinkin, is seriously ill. He has some issues with his brother, played by Josh Gad.

M: PSA for our younger readers, or parents of youngsters: Gad does the voice of Olaf the Snowman in Frozen. Apologies for the interruption. Continue.

C: No, that was good information. Jim “Sheldon Cooper” Parsons also makes an appearance (if you can stretch your mind back a decade, he actually is in Garden State too!), as does Braff’s Scrubs costar Donald “Turk” Faison.

E: That just makes me want to rewatch Garden State, which I liked very much at the time.

M: Another one I’ve never caught, actually.

E: No?  It’s worth renting.  I can’t even think who Jim Parsons would be.

C: He plays, if you recall the film, Peter Sarsgaard’s mother’s embarrassingly young boyfriend, who works as a knight at the local renfaire and shows up to breakfast in armor.

E: OH.  Now I must rewatch Garden State; that’s going to be even funnier to see Parsons in that role. In my defense, this movie seems pretty similar to Garden State, right?  Dude dealing with daddy issues, just ten years older and in his own married-with-kids phase instead of the searching for love single phase?

C: Sure, but it could still be well done.

E: I wasn’t saying that was necessarily a bad thing!

C: And of course — and this really is inevitable — people are already talking about the Wish I Was Here soundtrack. Since the moment that Natalie Portman’s manic pixie dream girl introduced Braff’s character to The Shins with the words “You gotta hear this one song, it’ll change your life, I swear,”  Braff’s had a reputation as a brief but meteoric arbiter of taste in indie circles. I found a track listing for the new soundtrack and while it looks amazing and I will buy it, I’m already familiar with most of these artists. There’s even a lesser-known-but-amazing Paul Simon song (“The Obvious Child”) to match Garden State‘s (“The Only Living Boy in New York). So Braff’s playing it a bit safe this time, it seems.

E: Maybe people should just buy Rhythm of the Saints?

M: Or maybe the way we discover new music has improved in the past 10 years, and it’s harder to fill a soundtrack for a movie that will not be released for months with artists people don’t know?

E: Oh, I don’t know.  As the internet reminds us daily, the world of unsigned musicians is pretty big.

C: But they’re all on Youtube. I think you’ve probably hit it on the nose there, M. Speaking of which, take an early listen to the Bon Iver song here.

Mood Indigo

C: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) directs, Romain Duris (Heartbreaker) and Audrey Tatou (Amelie) star. It does bizarre and mesmerizing things with the visuals, but otherwise looks like a simple cute/sad love story.

E: I don’t know Duris, but Gondry and and Tatou are a draw for me.

C: Heartbreaker was a random Netflix watch for me. It’s funny.

E: So, I think that suggests tentative interest from the two ladies, anyway.

M: You were right to leave me out. Yawn.

C: Tentative, yeah. But, with the single exception of Amelie, every French romance I’ve ever seen made me really, really depressed. I think the only other French films I’ve ever liked were farces. The Dinner Game, anyone?

July 25th

Hercules

E: Hercules Hercules Hercules!  The Quibbling Siblings love us some Greek mythology.  Pity that no one ever seems to make good movies out of it…

C: Who put the glad in gladiator? …It’s not The Rock, that’s for sure, who doesn’t seem at all cheerful about being in this rote sword-and-sandals epic.

M: Why, WHY, with all his money (not to mention charisma) can The Rock not hire someone to make better career choices for him?

E: Do you think people have been offering him Hamlet or Oskar Schindler and he’s got an evil agent turning them down, M?  Maybe this is as good as it gets if your professional name is The Rock.

M: Look, the guy’s worth about a billion dollars. I’m pretty sure he could do most any project he wanted to. He could make some little indie thing like Nebraska, or be on a show like True Detective, or something. He can wait until he has something good, and not have to resort to picking oranges near Fresno. He’s likable, and has some talent. He *should* be in better movies than he is, is all I’m saying.

C: I’m not sure charisma and acting skills are the same thing, especially when you’re trying to step into Russell Crowe’s shoes. Other than the Nemian lion, the Erymanthian boar, and a few other mythical beasties, there don’t seem to be too many fantastical elements to this jaunt through mythology; they’re trying to play demigod Hercules as a pseudo-historical hero, a la Gladiator, it seems.

Lucy

C: Let me just get this out of the way — HUMANS DO NOT USE ONLY 10% OF OUR BRAINS. I mean, seriously, we’ve all seen brain scans on science programs, if not in real life. Yet somehow this asinine premise keeps getting used. “Lucy is the first human to use more than 10% of her brain.” That means, for some reason, that she has superpowers and also can feel pain less than normal people.

M: Okay, before I start agreeing with you and tearing this movie to shreds, I believe that its not referring to physical 10%, but to the potential of the human brain.

C: Even in that interpretation, it’s just an arbitrary number someone made up.

M: Oh, I agree completely, and it’s totally overused in movies. That aside, I am SOOOO disappointed by this. The promo materials start off looking great.

E: Yes!  It totally did.  Then Lucy/Scarlett Johannson starts bending time and space with her souped-up brain.

M: Exactly! It goes all batty from there. Sorry, but regardless of what percentage of your physical brain or brain potential you are using, you cannot change the laws of physics. You can’t stop bullets by thinking. Unless their concept is either that The Force is real, and our brains are just to under-performing to notice or be one with it, or that she’s in the Matrix.

C: Wait, you two can’t stop bullets by thinking? …Amateurs.

A Most Wanted Man

C: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: let’s outlaw the whole A ___ Man movie title genre. It’s getting way too hard to remember which is which.

E: Getting?  It’s been that way for about a decade.  People need to listen to you, sis.

M: No argument here.

C: In this case though, the title comes by way of classic spy thriller novelist John le Carré, and the film has the memorable distinction of being one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last.

E: Which means I’ll feel vaguely guilty about not seeing it.

C: Really? I’m surprised this isn’t something you want to see, E.

E: Well, I don’t know. On the one hand, it’s clearly well made – good actors, nicely filmed, tense, all that.  LeCarre’s generally not my ideal, however – he’s rather grim and humorless and just makes me incredibly depressed about the state of the world, none of which says “summer night out” to me.

Magic in the Moonlight

C: This is my Pick of the Month in terms of sheer delightfulness potential. The setting is the French Riviera in the 1920s. Colin Firth…

M: Okay, I was wondering why you were excited. I need hear no more. Continue.

C: No wait, this pushes so many more of my buttons.

M: Perhaps, but once the “Firth” button has been pressed, both you and E are on board no matter what else follows.

E: I resent that implication.  I resemble it, but I resent it.

C: I accept it. Firth plays a stage magician with a hobby of unmasking fake psychics and mediums. Emma Stone plays a self-proclaimed spiritualist who’s attached herself to a wealthy family. He’s utterly charmed by her, but can he trust her? It all sounds great, but there’s a catch: Woody Allen directs.

E: That’s your catch?  It’s not that Stone seems to be set up as a potential love interest for Firth?  Because EW.  I love them both, I love this premise, but EW.

M: Entertainment Weekly? What do they have to do with it?

C: Groan.

M: I’ll be here all week. Thank you.

C: So okay, the age difference is creepy for sure, but that’s also due to the director. Allen is all about the older guy/younger woman romances in pretty much every movie. And the pedophilia in real life.

M: Don’t forget incest.

C: It all goes way beyond ew. And yet… I love both actors. This looks great. Moral dilemmas all around!

M: No dilemma here. Woody Allen = avoid. I’m out.

Advertisements

6 comments on “July 2014 Movie Preview

  1. Sarah S. says:

    I love reading your monthly movie reviews. That is all.

  2. Pam says:

    M, rent/borrow Once. It is a very good movie. Glen Hansard is actually quite known in Ireland (and he was the long-haired redhead in The Commitments (part of the duo that starts the band), a favorite among my nuclear family). It is not too much an indie either. it’s just a great story, well-told with terrific music as your sisters point out.

    Boyhood sounds interesting. Linklater loves Hawke, so no surprise he cast him 12 years ago. C, cool idea about Radcliffe and Pacquin playing Copperfield and Eyre the adults, respectively. It would take patience and the right director to do it well.(and the right ability to find that child star who will have adult power… We’re not exactly casting the Olsen twins in these movies) I’m sure Boyhood is slow and intimate, and probably a downer, but I’m intrigued. (rentable).

    Also, agree with the youngest sib that Radcliffe is a good actor. His Broadway/West End turns in Equus, Master Harold and the Boys (with Uncle Durdsley) and others were critically acclaimed. He grew into his role as the books got better and the movies got better. Lucky him. And he used to be a punk in interviews (cocky, smarmy in his young teens) but definitely projects modesty and humility in recent years.

    I’m with you all on no interest on Purge: Anarchy (or any other super-violent franchise). or Apes.

    I will support Zach Braff’s new movie (again rent most likely but open to seeing him in my old artsy theater) because I enjoyed Garden State. I have a total bias in that I live in NJ and knew Jim Parson’s character worked at Medieval Times, a tacky NJ landmark (with 6 other locations), 2 miles from my current place, not “local renfaire” 🙂 He has good friends in the business and calls on them. Probably, slow, rites of passage, great personal touch, with uplifting /though sentimental ending. I can handle that. Plus, Faison will help keep it real. (you caught that, right M&C)

    We will probably see Planes: Fire & Rescue in the theaters. My kids are quite aware of it and we have a $5 theater down the street.

    Lucy? meh. Colin Firth/Allen – rentable. (though I haven’t seen a Woody Allen movie since Bullets Over Broadway or Mighty Aphrodite, I always think I will…. and yes, he’s gross.) The real(isn) movies don’t really jump out at me. Sex Tape looks AWFUL, and I like Corddry, Kemper, Segal even… I will be happy when opening weekend is over for Lucy and Purge, there will be fewer commercials.

    I enjoy your reviews too, gives a more personal angle to a bunch of lists and barrage of commercials. I also like jumping in on the convo as you can see. I have seen a ton of commercials for Hundred Foot Journey, which looks great, too bad it opens 8/8. Why, why, are they advertising so much.

    and unrelated, but for your TV preview: Gotham, Benjamin McKenzie as young Police Commissioner Gordon!

    • E says:

      Pam, he did pick up a copy of Once from us! And I made it out to see Begin Again, which I really loved; maybe not as much as Once, but still, a lot. Our Dad is now referring to it (of course) as Twice.

      The Sibs are all super excited for Gotham, Pam. Not that I want it to be September, but I’m looking forward to it a lot. Same goes for the 100 Foot Journey. Maybe I’ll make that a birthday-ish date movie.

  3. […] Remember just last month that we were discussing Daniel Radcliffe? Well, we’ll get a decent opportunity to judge his […]

  4. […] He last directed And So It Goes, about which I said in our July 2014 preview “Seriously, depending on how you feel about The Bucket List, you can make a case that his […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s