Saturday, August 31, 2013
Summer's Over, Back to School, But the Fall Movie Season Approaches
As the summer movie season fades out with a whimper, I look forward to, hopefully, better releases this fall. With travels up to Maine and out West to the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada, taking in the oft-used film location of the Alabama Hills above, I found less time to blog, and I did not report on the following:
The Conjuring, a clever and suspenseful haunted house tale with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga; Planes, basically Cars with wings, a cheerful romp that provides memorable images as the planes engage in a global aerial race; 2 Guns, a violent dick flick (as opposed to chick flick – credit to my younger brother for this), in which Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg engage in some pretty creative dialogue as they take on a drug cartel backed by the CIA (supplanting Nazis and Arab terrorists, I guess, as the new stock movie villains); and Getaway, an action-paced flop with an incredibly unwieldy plot, a tired Ethan Hawke, and Selena Gomez, looking cute and very un-tough as she attempts to stretch her acting repertoire.
What’s next? There are some movies to look forward to, but just not my favorite genres. Despite the silly preview with Sandra Bullock swinging in space, I’m looking forward to Cuaron’s Gravity. An extended preview of Captain Phillips, with Tom Hanks, has increased my interest in this movie. And Ron Howard’s Rush, whose plot seems to be a remake of Grand Prix, looks compelling. Of course, we will check out anything by Scorsese – with DiCaprio as an additional draw (The Wolf of Wall Street). Meanwhile, Jason Bellamy and I will have to check out The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, since we watched them filming on Sixth Avenue in NYC, and the lady managing the extras allowed us to sit in the back of one shot, so there’s a very slight chance, but a chance nonetheless, that we are in the final cut.
Will also see The Monuments Men (bad title) because it may achieve some of the look and tone of The Great Escape; The Invisible Woman because Fiennes and Charles Dickens are big draws for me; American Hustler because of a cast led by Bale; August: Osage County because I’ve taught the play in A.P. English for the past three years – and I’m curious how the casting will work out, since I think most of the performers are miscast – except for Sam Shepard who has all of one scene; Catching Fire because it’s, you know, Jennifer Lawrence and The Hunger Games, and it's a must-see for all teens and high school teachers, though I feel the second book is ponderously gimmicky; and Prisoners because I’ve seen the preview so many times and I’ve got to find out who kidnapped the girls.