Friday, March 1, 2013
Juice (1992; dir. Ernest Dickerson) Do you like Tupac? If yes, watch Juice. He's scary good in this movie with an emphasis on scary. Knowing what I know about his 'thug life,' I am fascinated even more by him in Juice. Is he playing a character or just being himself? Dude was brilliant but also terrifying.
The Imposter (2012; dir. Bart Layton) I don't want to spoil the twists and turns of this unconventional documentary, about a missing Texas teen and a con man who take advantage of a grieving family. It's a thrilling story that walks a fine line between documentary and drama, told by an fascinating, unreliable narrator.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986; dir. John Hughes) My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988; dir. Charles Chrichton) Since Michael Palin’s travel documentaries aren’t technically movies, I’m going to recommend the next best thing: A Fish Called Wanda, in which he stars as a stuttering sweetheart of a guy alongside fellow Monty Python member John Cleese (not as much a sweetheart of a guy, but still very funny), and jewel thieves Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the hot headed criminal Otto. It’s English comedy as it was in its '80s heyday. When was the last time you watched a movie about people stealing diamonds? IN ENGLAND?! A corny but sweet way to spend a couple of hours.
The Sci-Fi Boys (2006; dir. Paul Davids) Engaging and fun documentary about the generation of filmmakers who were influenced by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, Forest J. Ackerman, the original King Kong, the stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, and the imaginative films of George Pal and went on to make their own horror and science-fiction films. Interview subjects include John Landis (if I see him in one more documentary about horror or science fiction I'm going to spit out my mashed potatoes and proclaim, "I'm a zit... Get it?" ), Peter Jackson (the pre-diet, cuddly Peter Jackson), Steven Spielberg, Ray Bradbury, Roger Corman, and Rick Baker. The love that the filmmakers feel for the subject is present in every frame, though the film does become... how shall we say... a little meandering at time? This did not make any difference to me; I wish it were longer!
Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 (2012; dir. Stevan Riley) Not totally sure about the "untold" part, but for fans of Bond, this new documentary starts with Ian Fleming's books, moving to the meeting of producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, and on to the movies that we're familiar with today, covering the origins of the franchise, the casting of the lead role, and the legal squabbles along the way. Interview clips include Barbara Broccoli (producer), Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, and Daniel Craig. I think my personal highlight was George Lazenby talking about how he figured that he wanted to be James Bond. Hint: it has to do with girls.
Serpico (1973; dir: Sidney Lumet) From the great Sidney Lumet, Serpico is one of the finest movies he ever directed, and was released near the beginning of a fantastic run in the '70s for Lumet that also included Dog Day Afternoon and Network. Oh, and Al Pacino is pretty good too.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012; dir. Colin Trevorrow) I wrote about this one here when it was in theaters. I talked about it here on our Best of 2012 podcast. What more do I need to say? If you've been avoiding it, you are mistaken. It's not quite the movie you think it is. A great cast, good direction, time travel, Mark Duplass, a great ending. Watch it.