I simply can’t find the words (or the feelings behind the words) to describe the soulless hell that is this week’s reboot of Vacation.
So instead, I’m daydreaming — thinking of movies that will never be.
The viewing experience sometimes needs to
be shared, and I’m talking about films beyond the obvious genre
exercises — the found-footage horrors where very little happens,
seemingly made for midnight screenings, or the mythic displays of
cartoonish world-beating violence that dominate the shared mythic realms
of our comic book universes.
Since filmmaking collaborators Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing teamed up back in 2011 on Kid HULK
— a four-minute short about a young Bruce Banner who helps a girl deal
with bullies —
it might be logical to assume that the pair might have been interested
in attracting the attention of the Marvel-movie-universe brain trust in
the hope of securing a coveted gig helming one of the highly anticipated
superhero features on the horizon.
Weaned on ludicrous white-male teen fantasies like Risky Business and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (the
whole John Hughes oeuvre, really), even as an adult I have to admit to a
partiality toward movies in which the teen heroes live in a world
gloriously beyond the attention of parents who bear more than a passing
resemblance to police and other authority figures.
Earlier this year, in McFarland, USA
(from director Niki Caro) —featuring Kevin Costner as Jim White, the
reluctant yet devoted coach of a cross-country team in a small migrant
community in California — we experienced life through the eyes and
situation of White and his resilient all-American family.
The mere mention of The French Connection
conjures images of William Friedkin’s prototypically gritty police
thriller that set up the contrast between Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene
Hackman), the emotionally troubled but doggedly determined cop, and
Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey), the urbane European drug dealer — the
smooth criminal, if there ever was one — supplying pure heroin to all of
North America like a contemporary conglomerate ruling the international
While riding the waves during a recent screening of Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy
— the new biopic exploring two significant periods in the life of Brian
Wilson, the studio wizard behind the Psychedelic Pop symphonic sound of
The Beach Boys — I experienced a subtle yet momentarily surprising
Recently I caught myself having an out-of-body experience. In the midst
of a heated discussion about a new release — Gil Kenan’s completely
unnecessary Poltergeist — I blurted out that Hollywood should stop
This isn’t real life, Good Kill, this new movie from writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War),
about Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke), a long-serving and highly
decorated pilot who now “flies” drone missions from a trailer in the
Nevada desert and bombs targets in the Middle East.
Cultural fatigue looms over every frame of Maggie,
the new release from director Henry Hobson and screenwriter John Scott
3, setting up a seemingly monumental obstacle for the newbie feature
filmmaking team to overcome.