In the past few years, the feeling of excitement and wonderment I’d once gotten out of big-budget summer tentpoles has been missing; I assumed I’d outgrown it. But with the latest entry in the “Star Trek” franchise, J.J. Abrams has brought that anticipation back to the summer movie line-up. With “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” Abrams shows us that not only can he build a masterfully crafted sci-fi action adventure, he can make a damn good movie around it.
Foreign Friday is your weekly adventure outside the United States to explore the cinematic offerings of the rest of the world. This past Sunday, America celebrated a holiday the best way that it knows how, by shoveling a great amount of food in its mouth hole and washing it down with a torrent of alcohol. As a belated celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I make the trek to Mexico by way of Netflix for “Sleep Dealer”.
The Southern Gothic genre has a long and storied history. For a period of time it seemed like filmmakers were abandoning the genre. Thankfully, it has been experiencing a resurgence as of late. Mostly independent features have been quietly slipping into theaters exploring a gritty South entrenched in violence. “Mud” is an entry that proves the genre still has plenty of interesting stories to tell.
One filmmaker stands against a world in turmoil, fighting a power that nods disapprovingly in his direction. He fights for three things: explosions, Miami and bikini clad girls. That’s right, Michael Bay is back and this time he’s not messing around with battling robots or Shia LaBeouf. ”Pain & Gain” promises muscles and sweat but might be just as empty as its characters’ heads.
“In a World…” marks Lake Bell’s first foray into feature film and its clear that she’s learned a lot in her long career. With “In A World,” she assembled an expert cast of characters and wrote a smart and funny script that plays to the strengths of every performer to create a short and entertaining film.
Over the past couple years, the demonification of the wealthy has been riding pretty high. With the Occupy Wall Street movement and a Congress that grows increasingly disconnected from the voting base, the wealthier have become an easy target; currently having more in common with Lex Luthor than Daddy Warbucks. However, this focus has been placed firmly on the banking industry and politicians, and let’s be honest, we all know that there are plenty more rich people that can do just as much bad. Enter “The East,” a thriller offering just enough to set itself apart from the dregs of its genre, to remind us of the villainy of corporate America.
“Some Girl(s),” adapted by Neil LaBute from his stage play of the same name, is a film from director Daisy von Scherler Mayer starring Adam Brody. The film tells the story of a unnamed man (for the purposes of this review, referred to as “Guy”) as he travels across the US visiting women from his past.
“Lonely Boy,” from director Dale Fabrigar and writer/lead Alev Aydin, is an original film about a man afflicted with schizophrenia. A small, independent feature, the film has strong characters, and builds slowly to a riveting third act that leaves you at the edge of your seat.
“Here One Day” is an intensely personal first-person documentary by Kathy Leichter that tells the story of Leichter and her family coming to terms with the suicide of her mother, Nina. The film focuses on the effects this tragedy had on Nina’s family and friends, and the things Leichter discovered about her mother in years that followed.