There are movies you see once and you never want to see again. Other movies require multiple viewings in order to pick up on the subtext and subtitles. And then there are the enjoyable enough movies to leave on the TV over and over again just because they’re fun. Wreck-It Ralph is one of those rare movies that’s fun for a revisit yet is peppered with enough hidden references to make to make the rewatch worthwhile. After a second viewing this weekend, I still walked away impressed. Ralph keeps to the 8-bit world of old-school arcade games and moves flawlessly into the HD gaming experience that was starting to take root when I stopped going to my local arcade.
Two recent documentaries, two different coasts, one scary enemy, and hundreds of hours of footage. This is the history and legacy of the AIDS crisis in North America, as told by the cameras and concerned filmmakers who were there.
The most annoying way in which this film tries to encapsulate 2011 is by making its characters as media-saturated as possible. In the twenty-first century, we have apparently transcended platitudes simply by becoming conscious of their presence in our lives. These hip young New Yorkers with their telephone cameras and their rainbow parties are too self-aware to internalize movie cliches without repeatedly making self-deprecating verbal references to said cliches in casual conversation, preferably while incorporating pop psychology terms like "emotionally damaged," "intimacy issues" and "coping mechanism." Their banter is wholly unsatisfying because it's not actually witty, it's just a bunch of semi-tactless observations and mashed-together pop culture references delivered as if they were jokes (I haven't heard Third Eye Blind mentioned this many times since... ever).
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a perfect display of what Spurlock’s brand personality analyst calls his mix of "playful and mindful" qualities. He sells himself with a shit-eating grin, riding the wave of his own charm, which is a force unto itself—fueling the camera equipment, feeding the crew, somehow exempting him from an icky breakdown of integrity even while dressed in a suit jacket cluttered with corporate sponsor decals. He convinces you that the film’s corporate doublespeak tagline ("he’s not selling out, he’s buying in") is actually true, that there is a difference.
Claire Danes is starring in a new HBO movie premiering tonight based on the life’s work of animal scientist, livestock consultant, inventor, and writer Dr. Temple Grandin. In the past, I’ve said that Grandin’s work might bring people closer to understanding animals as sentient beings, deserving of our compassion and protection. But maybe I was wrong.
If you have a tendency to get sucked into bad movies starring formerly
famous actresses, you've probably watched some "Fa la la la Lifetime",
a month-long event in which Lifetime Television brings out its
considerable collection of Christmas movies.
Whether they're are about
Christmas dating, Christmas engagements, or Christmas weddings, the
movies usually to have a few things in common: sassy friends with Canadian
accents, insipid male love interests, excessive seasonal decorations,
embarrassing covers of Christmas carols, and unconvincing dye jobs.
I watched enough this year to discover a sub-genre that’s even more unsettling than your average
cute-heroine-finds-Christmas-love story. I call it the Second Chance