The new movie The Conjuring has been called "scary as hell" and "the summer's scariest movie"—it's so frightening, in fact, that it earned an R rating despite an absence of any explicit violence, sex, gore, or foul language. According to star Patrick Wilson, the film gave the ratings board a case of the willies that was simply too intense for a mere PG-13.
The title of In a World… references the catchphrase of one Don LaFontaine, who until his death in 2008 was the voice behind thousands of movie trailers. He teased car-chasing, landmark-exploding action pictures and epic, tearjerking bids for Oscar nominations with an impossibly plummy voice that earned him the nicknames "Thunder Throat" and "The King of Voiceovers," not to mention millions of dollars. In the movie, LaFontaine's real-life death is the catalyst for an epic rumble of another kind—the bid for a new set of pipes to take over as reigning monarch of blockbuster voiceovers.
My grandmother, Geneva Wright, in the 1950s in Syracuse, New York.
I grew up hearing a story.
My grandmother was a cleaning lady for a white family that kept the fingers and toes of black people in a jar on their mantle. No, this was not slavery. This was 1940's South Carolina. When I saw Lee Daniels' The Butler, I thought of my grandmother's experience, and how one can endure and somehow withstand dehumanization on a daily basis, only to survive, and love after it all.
I love a summer blockbuster. I'll take a dystopic future flick, a classic underdog tale, and all of the explosions you can send my way. When it comes to summer movies, escapism is a major draw; it's nice to sit back and fully immerse yourself in an alternate reality.
But it's hard to immerse yourself in a reality where people like you are relegated to the margins of the storyline. Which was my experience when watching this summer's Elysiumon the big screen.
The name, the legend, the fantasy, the pariah, the political lightening rod: Linda Lovelace stood for a sexual revolution that she could not enjoy for herself. She made porn mainstream as the star of infamous movie Deep Throat, yet porn was something she was forced to do by her abusive husband. New biopic Lovelace is not a celebration of sex, porn, or the infamy of Deep Throat—it's a look at the unhappy life she lived off-camera.
The Sapphires is a feel-good film about being "black" in a cross-cultural context. I loved it.
Based on the true story of four Aboriginal women who form a singing group and are invited to Vietnam to perform for American troops during the 1960's, the film has been lazily dubbed "the Australian version of Dreamgirls." But it's a lot more than that. So, when I saw the American DVD cover of the film, I cringed a little. It's at left below, compared to the original Australian cover:
Photo: Kristin Wiig, crying some beach tears in Girl Most Likely.
There's a certain risk involved in being excited for a film. High expectations often lead to disappointment, especially when you spend two years anticipating a film.
Such was the case with Girl Most Likelyand me. When I first heard about this film, it was called Imogene and still in pre-production. The premise intrigued me immediately: a female playwright fakes a suicide attempt and is forced into the custody of her overbearing mother.
Isn't there room in the '80s sex-comedy canon for comedies that let girls be just as goofy, hedonistic, and—perhaps most important—consequence-free as their dumb-fun boy counterparts? There is—it's just that it hasn't come out until now.