Some met and exceeded expectations... Iron Man 2... The Sorcerer's Apprentice... and my favorite of the year so far... INCEPTION!
Some fell short.
We saw the Jerry Bruckheimer touch fall flat with The Prince of Persia. Perhaps he is focusing too much on the CSI franchise? M Night lost a little more of the magic putting out what certainly will be the front-runner for the Worst Picture Razzie in The Last Airbender. Twilight: Eclipse has only dug a deeper chasm between the "real" vampire world and the make believe world of glittery wonderful love-filled blood suckers.
I can say that my enjoyment of some of the big budget blockbusters aside, my summer has been exceptionally saved by the little things. The little indies that could...films like WINTER'S BONE, MOTHER (Korea), THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (Best Foreign Film from Argentina), CYRUS, and now by THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT is exactly the kind of film that is keeping the essence of cinema alive. Movies should not be...I can't believe I am going to say this...about big explosions, big boobs, and dumb action (okay, well not entirely and not all the time).
The best summer movies have always been movies that make you think. Using the motto of the Fine Arts Group Film League: "It's OK to think while watching movies." (Stan Brakahge-American Filmmaker) We should be taxed at the theater, and I don't mean sales tax!. We should be pressed to decipher the deeper meanings in the films we love. We should always ask why...ask how...ask more of the movies that we watch...let me say it proper....the films that we watch. Armond White may not agree, but I will continue to think about movies and I will offer my opinions as to those movies. Some of my friends call me a critic. I say I'm just a guy who loves to watch and write about movies. Who's to say I am wrong?
You are correct Mr. White, I don't offer the a comparison to the history of celluloid as it compares to any piece of art on which I choose to comment, but I choose to write my opinions in a means to continue to shape myself, as well as those around me. I would write even if I were the only one to read my own hand, for in writing, I learn more about myself.
Meet Paul...played beautifully by Mark Ruffalo. Yes, he has more of an ego that anyone would typically like in a person, let alone in a movie character; but with his screen charisma, it somehow works.
This breaks free of being a fun movie and it finds a place in really enjoyable cinema. There are great moments of comedy and drama and it all sits with you as a not-to-heavy-handed commentary on the changing nature of family in our society.
This movie builds and culminates in exactly the manner that anyone would hope. It is not entirely clean. There are not smiles all around as the credits roll. But for better or for worse, you rise from your seat feeling as though you peered through a window into the lives of reel people and not characters in a movie.
Ahhhhhh....to ruminate on film...is there no greater escape but into the world of the cinema!
Next up, as far as I can tell, will be The Girl Who Played With Fire. If you haven't yet seen Dragon Tattoo, do it. You will want to fall in love with this heroine in Lisbeth Salander. Till next time...
A big PS....be sure to check out The Tobolowsky Files at SlashFilm.com. Stephen Tobolowsky is a famed character actor, and in my mind one of the most brilliant entertainers and storytellers of our generation. Remember Ned Ryerson....needlenose Ned! BING! Find a link to his podcast at:
He just may be Paul Harvey for our generation! I have shed tears at nearly every story he has shared, as they are as moving as they are uplifting. Swing over to SlashFilm and give him a try. If you like to talk more about the movies, also check out the SlashFilmCast, the Official Podcast of Slashfilm.Com, which can be found at:
Dave, Devindra, and Adam do a fine job of presenting just about everything you could ever hope to read or hear in the world of film. Also, just because these are recorded as podcasts, remember, you can stream them right in your browser!