To prepare for this year’s Summer Movie Preview countdown, I took a look back at last year’s lists to score how I did with my prejudgment. I’d give myself a ‘B’. Dark Shadows proved unworthy of the 5th spot and Avengers fared better commercially and critically than Dark Knight Rises (I blame the Good Will Hunting ending). Glad I rated ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ so high as it was my favorite film last year. This year will be a giant TOP TWENTY countdown!
I had originally imagined this review on the series finale of The Office to be celebratory, as the writers managed to finally pull themselves out of the nosedive they were in after Steve Carell bailed and B. J. Novak stole the rest of the parachutes. Fortunately their plane instead crashed through the fourth wall, salvaging these last two seasons. However I realized that with 30 Rock and now The Office done, I am now officially done with network television.
Venus and Serena When I was in boot camp and someone complained that something was too hard, our company commander would tell us to look in the dictionary between ‘shit’ and ‘syphilis’ to find his sympathy. After screening Magnolia Pictures new documentary Venus and Serena, I felt far less manly watching these two women from Compton asking for and taking no sympathy at all.
Usually when I attend festivals or screenings I find myself in an audience with a bunch of people don’t seem to want to be there, in attendance due to some professional or financial obligation to watch something they could care less about. Then there is the positive energy and celebratory vibe teeming from the Turner Classic Movies film festival in Hollywood, held this past weekend April 25th-29th.
The 11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles was held April 9th - 14th at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. Festival creator Christina Marouda and director Anurag Kashyap opened the event with Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur, now one of my all-time favorite films. Check out that review. Midnight’s Children from acclaimed director Deepa Mehta and writer Salman Rushdie closed the fest and a slew of great work debuted in between, culminating in tonight's awards.
As much as my ego likes to think it knows about film there is always something that I am not well versed in. Take India. I hear India and I think of frivolous Bollywood films. Very short sighted of me I know. Despite this myopic view, I attended the Indian Film Festival’s opening night at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood for IFFLA alum Anurag Kashyap’s epic Gangs of Wasseypur.
To everything there is a season. The summer of love has passed. America is knee-deep in Vietnam, hippies, reefer, and new beginnings. The same goes for the Mad Men, after a (counter-culture) fashion. Although some new beginnings seem awfully familiar for a few characters.
The only difference between my life before The Walking Dead and now is that now I can share in my predilection and secret survival techniques for the zombie apocalypse with my wife. Before that zombies just were not that mainstream. You had to go to George Romero or Lucio Fulci for your undead nightmare fix. Now zombies are on TV. Darryl is a sex symbol.
NINA BERRY'S OTHERKIN- TRILOGY WITH A CAUSE
They say to write what you know, so why is Nina Berry writing a young adult series about a teen with a back brace that can shape-shift into a tiger? There’s actually much more to this series, along with a good explanation on her expertise from the author herself as I had the opportunity to speak with her recently about her YA trilogy Otherkin.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS- REVIEW
Psychopaths, by nature, tend to stand out. They must call attention to themselves, lose their minds over the most trivial things, or they’re the creepy quiet one that will saw your head off at a moment’s notice. Imagine having to write these guys. Or hang out with them. Writer/Director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) imagined seven of these maniacs doing all of this in a familiar yet comfy crime caper Seven Psychopaths.