It’s an embarrassment of riches at the cineplex for July 4th weekends. With agonizing temparatures ahead, why not spend it in the blissfull air conditioning of the theater. I still need to see “Brave” and possibly “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter,” but I will be seeing most of these films in the next week and a half. Since the holiday is in the middle of the week, you have two weekends of movies to enjoy.
"Your Sister’s Sister"
Love this film starring Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie Dewitt. It’s funny with unexpected twists that both wrench and warm your heart.
"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"
Charming, hilarious, and quite devastating at the end, “Seeking” showcases Steve Carell wonderful range (like in “Dan in Real Life) and also let Keira Knightly shine sans corset-period dress. The soundtrack is also lovely.
A must see of the year. Following two troubled kids on a journey to discover what they could be with someone who loves them. Music, performances, costumes, everything is beautiful.
Seeing this TONIGHT. So excited. It’s getting decent reviews as well. In Soderbergh I trust.
"The Invisible War"
A new documentary about sexual assault in the military. The DOD figures that over 22,000 service women and men were raped last year. The film as already had an effect, making it possible for survivors to report rape to superior officers. Director Kirby Dick also made “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” and “Outrage”- two excellent films that dig into institutional secrecy, corruption, and hypocrisy.
"To Rome With Love"
When I was in Rome with my fellow Ignatian Educators, I knew that Woody Allen would be there soon after to film his latest starring Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, and Ellen Page. It will be fun to go back to Rome with Woody Allen.
This film is like the really raunchy version of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and I can’t help wanting to check it out. Also, Mark Walberg and Mila Kunis are two actors I enjoy.
"Beasts of Southern Wild"
Everyone is loving this film so I’m going to see if I love it too.
"The Amazing Spider-Man"
Even though I wish this movie DID NOT EXIST, I may still see it. I’m a fan of almost every person in it and I adore the “Spider-Man” universe. But I miss Raimi and Maguire intensely.
Yeah. Oliver Stone. Drug trade. Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek going sinister. Totally seeing this.
"Take This Waltz"
Directed by Sarah Polley and starring Michelle Williams, I have been very excited to see this drama about a woman struggling in her happy marriage with feelings for another man. I think it’s available on VOD, but will be playing in Chicago on the 6th.
I saw “Beasts of the Southern Wild” a few nights ago. It is a rare film with unforgettable characters, striking visuals, and a magnificent score- composed by director Benh Zeitlin. Newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis dominates every scene with a power beyond her young years. “Beasts” has an 84 on Metacritic, with 14 100% scores. A.O. Scott’s review is the definitive piece on the film for me. I encourage you to read the whole review.
Played by Quvenzhané Wallis, an untrained sprite who holds the camera’s attention with a charismatic poise that might make grown-up movie stars weep in envy, Hushpuppy is an American original, a rambunctious blend of individualism and fellow feeling. In other words, she is the inheritor of a proud literary and artistic tradition, following along a crooked path traveled by Huckleberry Finn, Scout Finch, Eloise (of the Plaza), Elliott (from “E.T.”) and other brave, wild, imaginary children. These young heroes allow us, vicariously, to assert our innocence and to accept our inevitable disillusionment when the world falls short of our ideals and expectations.
They also remind us of the metaphysical arrogance of childhood. Because the self and the world are perceived, by an awakening mind, as opposites — what is inside my head and what is outside; what is me and what is not — it seems to follow that they must be equal. I, too, am a cosmos.
Hushpuppy is on intimate terms with the natural world, with the pigs she feeds and the fish she captures with her bare hands; sometimes she believes animals speak to her in codes.
This is only an illustration of the way all small children think, translating the mysteries of an unfolding world into their own terms. But Hushpuppy lives in desolation, and her inner resources are miraculous. She is so focused, so sure, so defiant and brave, that she is like a new generation put forward in desperate times by the human race. She is played by a force of nature named Quvenzhané Wallis, who was 5 years old when the movie was cast, 7 when it was finished, and like many of the cast members had never acted before. She is so uniquely and particularly herself that I wonder if the movie would have been possible without her.
Mostly, it’s about Hushpuppy’s quest to create a family out of a rough father, an absent mother, a backyard menagerie and her boundless imagination. Mama is a bittersweet memory for the girl and Wink. (“Daddy said that Mom was so hot, she walked into the kitchen and didn’t even have to put on the stove.”) His flagrant temper is no match for his daughter’s rhetorical fury. (“I hope you die! And when you die I’ll go to your grave and eat a birthday cake by myself.”) Wink, wandering across the property in a hospital gown, is indeed close to death, a status for which the ever-practical Hushpuppy has contingency plans. (“If my daddy don’t get home soon, it’s gonna be time for me to start eating my pets.”)
The girl may not realize her own emotional and physical prowess. When the exasperated Wink slaps her, she punches him in the chest — a good thump— and he falls over. He’s back in the hospital, where Hushpuppy visits him and notices the beds full of patients attached to feeding tubes. (“When an animal gets sick here,” she observes, “they plug it into the wall.”) Wink will leave her — the girl loses kin and makes new friends at Mach-2 speed — but Hushpuppy is a survivor and a chronicler, the Odysseus and Homer of her own seafaring epic. At the end, she says, “I’m recordin’ my story for the scientists of the future. In a million years, when kids go to school, they gonna know: Once there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.”
1) Silver Linings Playbook
2) Django Unchained
3) The Dark Knight Rises
4) Beasts of the Southern Wild
6) Zero Dark Thirty
8) The Master
9) Perks of Being a Wallflower
11) End of Watch
12) The Hunger Games
13) Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
14) Moonrise Kingdom