Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Funny and Fatal in DVD

I've seen two very different films released to DVD this week. Hot Tub Time Machine is light, silly, funny and raunchy. The White Ribbon is dark, introspective and mysterious. Both worth a look. In my DVD queue? The Crazies, Pretty Bird and Don MacKay.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knight & Day

I love an action film with running, jumping, shooting, flying, explosions, clever banter and humor. Knight & Day is all of that. This chase film has a couple of good twists as well. A fun few hours away from the summer heat. I had a good time!
PS: Forgot to mention that Hall & Oats is all over this thing. Yes Fatboy I'm looking at you. Giggled every time it came up.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Unthinkable is a story of torture interrogation. A terrorist is captured who alleges to have set three nuclear bombs. Extreme torture methods are used to obtain the locations. Disturbing, graphic and violent, I turned this movie off twice. I understood what the ending said, but it was very unsatisfying. A disturbing film.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 6/25/10

This is possibly the worst summer for movies that I can remember. I've had a lot of weekends that I can't get to the movies, and I haven't missed a thing. Knight & Day opened on Wednesday. Looks decent. Do yourself a favor, see Toy Story 3. Get Him to the Greek and Karate Kid worth a look. Please Give and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are at the local art house. Good thing it's a great beach weekend and the RI Airshow is in town. If it rains, go see Toy Story 3.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mary and Max

Mary and Max is a film full of emotion. This claymation piece explores awkward subjects like mental illness, obesity, alcohol abuse, suicide, privacy, long distance relationships and love. What? Love? Among all that dysfunction? Absolutely. This film has so much heart and says so much about friendship, life, struggle, failure, success and, yes.....love.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Darius Goes West

Listening to Cort & Fatboy a few months ago, David Walker spoke about a fundraiser for DMD. I participated, and they were kind enough to send me a copy of the documentary Darius Goes West. I remembered hearing about this film at Tribeca Film Festival a few years ago, but had not had a chance to see it. Beautifully shot and incredibly inspiring, this documentary addresses disability, dreams and friendship. Darius' friends loaded him and his wheelchair into an RV, and headed to the west coast. They took him in the ocean, rafting, tattoo parlor, hot air ballooning, the best friends I've ever seen. The film is punctuated with raps that provided great insight to Darius and his feelings. A beautiful film, a story of friendship, a story of awareness. The image that stays with me the most is Darius' smile. The issue of mobility and wheelchair accessibility is interesting and eye opening. The awareness issue is very important. Darius is a brave young man, with a degenerative disease, that wanted to raise awareness to disabilities, but most of all, quality of life. This trip was not intended to save him, but to enhance to his life. I love that his dream chair had a cell phone so he could "holla up the ladies" and spinners!! Full Effects was amazing. This film is amazing and inspiring. Well done and thank you. Let's keep the awareness alive and fight DMD.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Writers and War in DVD

In DVD this week is Green Zone. A decent contemporary war film. In The Last Station you get some fantastic performances and an intimate look at the end of Leo Tolstoy's life. In my DVD queue? Nothing. Not a great week for DVD releases. *sigh*

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toy Story 3

Oh Pixar, you've done it again with Toy Story 3. A rich story, vibrant animation (saw it in 2D and it looked great), clever lines and of course, tears. The last four Pixar films have pulled hard on my heartstrings and I've loved it every time. Andy's going off to college, so a transition is in store for the toys. This adventure is clever, funny and makes a statement about friendship and change. The short this time is called Day & Night and is probably the most creative animation I've seen since Destino. The end credits are worth watching. I'd love to see this one again. Well done!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 6/18/10

There are two significant movie openings this weekend. At the multiplex we have Toy Story 3. The latest and greatest from Pixar is getting very good reviews. I'm really looking forward to this one. At the Nantucket Film Festival the documentary Mister Rogers & Me will premiere tonight, and show again tomorrow night (sold out, yay). Film makers Benjamin and Christofer Wagner will be in attendance. I'm excited to see this film get some love on a big screen. It is especially sweet to see it play in Mr. Rogers' summer neighborhood. If you are there, see it! Worth seeing at the multiplex? Iron Man 2 and Get Him to the Greek. Please Give is at the Avon. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mister Rogers & Me Premiere

In 2005 I happened upon a blog written by Benjamin Wagner. Musician, TV producer, runner, writer, New Yorker, the blog covered many topics. One day, in surfing the archives, I found an essay he had written about meeting Fred Rogers in Nantucket. The piece touched me, and I bookmarked the blog. I became a fan of Ben's music, but the descriptive style of his writing was what kept me coming back to read. A creative, energetic young man, he teamed with his brother Christofer to tell of his experience with Mr. Rogers, in a documentary film. A search for the best way to "spread the message" of deep and simple had begun. Through interviews with people who knew Fred Rogers well, and even those who knew him only through their televisions, they explored the ways Fred Rogers touched people's lives, and in turn, made them better for it. The film was completed last year, and submitted to several film festivals. After a flurry of "thanks, but no thanks" letters, the call came that the film would be shown at Nantucket Film Festival. It had found it's proper home. This weekend, the documentary Mister Rogers & Me will premiere at Nantucket Film Festival! The Wagner brothers will be there for Q&As and other film events. On the island where this journey began, the message of deep and simple has found a voice. Nantucket Film Festival, you chose well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Youth in DVD

The only DVD release this week that I've seen is Youth in Revolt. A strong comedy from earlier this year that I really liked. In my queue? Unthinkable, Mary & Max and *sigh* Valentines Day. Yes, I'm a sucker for those all-star casts......

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 6/11/10

It's a flashback week for movie openings. The Karate Kid and A-Team hit theaters. I think I'd be happy to see both of these as rentals. Harry Brown and Vincere hit the local art house. Iron Man 2, Get Him to the Greek and City Island are worth a look. Splice is good, but the ewwww factor on this one is pretty high. A good weekend for house guests for me.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Shuttered DVD

Shutter Island is out in DVD this week. Though I've seen it, this thriller is in my rental queue because I want to see it again with the knowledge of the twists. Well worth another look.
PS Threw in From Paris with Love at the last minute. Hey, it's Travolta!

Sunday, June 06, 2010


A few words about Splice.
messed up

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Get Him to the Greek

For all it's faults (and there are plenty) Get Him to the Greek left me with a good feeling. I credit the performances. Jonah Hill and Sean Combs do a nice job, but the shining star is Russell Brand. Reprising the role of Aldous Snow, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Brand is emotional, enchanting and enthralling. From his delivery, to his body movement, to his voice, I really enjoyed his screen time. The "let's try to wrangle and rehab the rock star" story worked well for me. Worth a look.

Terminator 2 : Judgment Day

When Cort & Fatboy announced their June Midnight Movie at the Bagdad Theater in Portland, OR as Terminator 2, I was sort of meh. I saw the original, but the rest of the franchise held little interest for me. Fatboy Roberts, Dawn Taylor, Mike Russell, Dave Walker and Erik Henriksen got together and recorded a commentary for the film, and uploaded it to iTunes for folks to use at the Midnight Movie screening. As I have always enjoyed these folks' thoughts and knowledge on film, my interest in the film grew. While shopping this week, I was buying a few films as gifts, and there, on the $5 rack, was a copy of T2. I chuckled and threw it in my cart. As the week went on, I did silly things, like research the menu at the Bagdad (tots are famous) and started looking for Portland brews in the local liquor stores. When Friday night rolled around, I had a burger, tots, Terminator 2 on DVD, a great commentary on my iPod and the knowledge that other folks, though 3000 miles away, were enjoying the same. And surprise, surprise, I liked the movie! Thanks to the film folks in Portland, for an entertaining movie night in my humble little living room. Maybe some day I'll get to the Bagdad for a Cort & Fatboy Midnight Movie.