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.


Steve's Blog said...

Likewise looking forward to the fall movie season, my favorite of the year as it usually contains most works by the christened "mavericks" of the industry. And my favorite filmmakers working today, The Coens have their latest creation, Inside Llewyn Davis coming soon. In line with your reasoning for August, Osage County, I am eager to see the adaptation of The Book Thief coming in November, having taught it and seeing student enthusiasm for the material. I agree with Captain Philips, Gravity, Wolf of Wall Street, and the aforementioned August. However, Rush does not appeal to me. I have to confess my strong aversion for Ron Howard films in general, finding them rather vacuous and without much soul.

Glad you enjoyed The Conjuring. I truly loved the atmosphere--the creepy early 70s, cell phone/computer-free environment. Can't wait for Insidious 2! I like your brother's assessment of 2 Guns as a "dick flick." Could not agree more. The mucho macho banter kept it fresh. I was also very fond of Blue Jasmine and The World's End--probably the two most provocative films so far this year.

Here's to a successful and positive Fall season!

Hokahey said...

Steve, thanks, I'm with you on Ron Howard films. As far as I'm concerned, the best thing he ever did was act in The Shootist with John Wayne. Yes, his films are "rather vacuous."

Apparently, Gravity has gotten great reviews, so now I can't wait, and I'm partial to science fiction.

I am interested in The Book Thief as well. Also, I will not miss another Insidious! Forgot the Coens have a movie. It's nice to have season showcasing the better directors.