- The Lunch Post-LAFCA Awards with Alonso Duralde, Amy Nicholson and Karina Longworth
- The Lunch with Justin Chang, Chief Film Critic for Variety: Down to the Wire on 2013 …
- The Lunch with Director Shaul Schwartz of ‘Narco Cultura’
- The Lunch with Dir. Joel Allen Schroder of ‘Dear Mr. Watterson …’
- The Lunch with John Sayles, Director/Writer of ‘Go for Sisters’
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Shaul Schwartz was a photojournalist who spent decades covering global hotspots — but after covering the drug war in Mexico, he made the jump to documentary filmmaking with his new film, Narco Cultura. Contrasting the work of a CSI police officer in Juarez, Mexico who spends time cleaning up the human slaughter of the war on drugs and the career of a L.A.-based member of the popular group Buknas de Culiacan, ‘Narco Corridos’ who sings songs glorifying the drug chieftains of Mexico, Narco Cultura looks at the pop culture of crime … and at what happens when crime becomes its own culture. Currently in theaters, Narco Cultura will expand into more markets in the coming weeks; see the film’s official website for more information.
The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.
This week on The Lunch, we talk with director Jacob Kornbluth, (r, above) director of the new documentary ‘Inequality for All.’ Featuring ex-Secretary of labor (and now Berkeley Professor) Robert Reich (l), the film’s a look at the growing gap between rich and poor in America — and how the expansion of that divide actually hurts both sides of that age-old equation. During The Lunch, Kornbluth and I talk about campaign finance, the visual display of data, how the documentary functions in part as “Graduate Schoolhouse Rock,” and more.
Let me know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find us on twitter @TheLunchPodcast …
Our iTunes page for the Lunch is right here; if you enjoy the show, maybe you might be kind enough to give us a review?
The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment.
This week, The Lunch welcomes film journalist and author Karina Longworth, author of the new book “Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor,” where Pacino’s career (and the changes in Hollywood throughout that career) are examined through 10 performances, from “The Godfather” to “Jack and Jill.” Karina and I talk about Pacino’s early work, hard-copy research, the “Hoo-ah!” nature of late Pacino performances and ponder what it is, exactly, that makes a movie star. This week, we dined (and recorded) at The Sunset Junction Coffee Shop, in Silverlake; Ms. Longworth can be found on twitter @karinalongworth …
Let me know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find me on twitter @TheLunchPodcast…
Our iTunes page for the Lunch is right here; if you enjoy the show, maybe you might be kind enough to give us a review? The show is also available directly below or as a stand-alone player on Soundcloud.
The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment (whose upcoming “You’re Next” is due in theaters Aug. 23rd).
Plenty of choices on the big screen this week. Elysium, with Matt Damon, feels more like the videogame of a science fiction film than it does a science fiction film, which is regrettable — it’s also pretty much a cover version of Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. From my Geek Nation Review:
“Any similarities to District 9 are far from coincidental, as a working-stiff guy gets his body terminally modified and has to not only fight to save himself but also liberate a people. The plot device of the magic healing booths is fairly thin as well – what, there’s not one miracle machine on the surface of the planet for anyone in need to buy, beg, borrow or steal? Elysium is also a film where you can feel any attempt to think and talk about ideas or character slump and slide away as the film has to stoop, squat and stretch itself into a wholly conventional third-act action closer mandated by the production-line construction that goes into any film that costs over $40 million. And the finale, which is meant to be stirring, just represents an entirely different can of worms being opened both within the story and within the film itself.”
As for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, I’m confused by the reviews beating it up for not being big, grown-up or bold enough — can’t a kid’s movie be for kids? As I note in my Screencrush review,
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is exactly the kind of film that was made for me to take my teen and tween nieces to, not for me to enjoy. There’s some bloodless peril, not even a whiff of romance and plenty of spirited action … There’s fights and sights and cameos, and if Nathan Fillion‘s Hermes lacks the snap and style of Uma Thurman‘s Medusa from the first film, there’s a lively baddie in Polythemus, a colossal-yet-squat cyclops brought to life with clever CGI and the rumbling, rousing voice of Ron Perlman. Lerman is a more active action hero, as well — decent, determined, fighting not for glory or fortune but rather to help his friends. Lerman was fine in ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ but the breezy, easy adventure of the ‘Jackson’ films seems to suit him, and he wears the character well. Filmgoers and fans will be able to follow the character arcs and the fight scenes, with both done well and simply enough to suffice. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is hardly the stuff of legend, but by keeping the plot straightforward and the storytelling clean, it’s an odyssey the intended young audience will be glad to take.”
Finally, Planes opens on the big screen, and, uh ….
“When Disney formally bought Pixar in 2006, the hope was that the small, scrappy upstart would revitalize and change the super-sized, deep-pocketed, tradition-bound company that purchased it. Seven years later, Planes suggests the opposite can happen. Planes borrows a world from Cars, but even compared to that soulless exercise in animated automotive adventure, Planes is dead in its big, googly eyes and hollow inside.”
We’re the Millers opens wide as well, but I haven’t seen it; at the same time, it’s a film from the writer-director of Dodgeball, so that alone makes me want to see it.
On DVD, don’t be fooled by the flash and flair of Oblivion; it’s a wash, script-wise, and while it looks great (or, rather, like a series of ’70s Prog-Rock album covers), it’s the same old same old in its script. (My Geek Nation Review is here.) My pick for the week would be Mud, an excellent moody drama about live on the river and how things float on by; Matthew McConaughy is excellent, and writer-director Jeff Nichols is a real talent. (My 4/5 MSN Movies review is here.)
Until next week,
This week on The Lunch, Director Joshua Oppenheimer talks about his film “The Act of Killing,” which finds an ex-member of the ad-hoc Indonesian death squads who killed millions as part of the establishment of the Suharto regime in ’65-’66 — and, by giving that ex-murderer access to a film crew, encourages calm, thoroughly respectable ex-killer Anwar Congo to shoot vignettes that reminisce about what he did and how — functioning, essentially, as art therapy for monsters. It’s one of the year’s best docs, and you can find my Toronto review of the film here. You can find the film on twitter at @theactofkilling; it’s currently in theaters from Drafthouse Films.
Let me know what you thought of the podcast here, or you can find me on twitter @jamesrocchi …
Our iTunes page for the Lunch is right here; if you enjoy the show, maybe you might be kind enough to give us a review? The show is also available as a stand-alone player on Soundcloud.
The Lunch is back for the 2013-2014 season thanks to the sponsorship of Snoot Entertainment (whose upcoming “You’re Next” is due in theaters Aug. 23rd).
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim opens this Friday, and as much as I like the man’s lumpy bumpy style, I couldn’t buy the characters or the story or do much else other than the absurd circle of The monsters fight the robots like this because Mr. Del Toro wanted to make a movie where The monsters and robots fight like this because …
The heroics of the film involve a lot of Screenwriting 101 clunkers — Charlie Hunnam used to be a robot pilot but his brother died; Rinko Kikuchi wants to be a robot pilot to avenge her family; Idris Elba leads the anti-monster robot program, with his most substantive qualification apparently being that with his baritone he can make even this script sound good. ‘Pacific Rim’ isn’t a story that has cool ideas and visions in it; it’s cool ideas and visions, with a story reverse-engineered from that.
The cinematography, effects and design work are all superlative, and Del Toro’s eye for the bizarre still makes it through the film’s monsters and designs. In a phrase you could apply to almost every blockbuster this year, ‘Pacific Rim’ is technically accomplished; the better question is what, exactly, it’s trying to accomplish in the first place.
As for Grown Ups 2, well, this is what I was thinking about Grown Ups:
Years from now, when future generations want to know exactly how idiotic, insipid and insulting the worst of early 21st-century pop culture could be — whether they ride hover cars or mutant cockroaches, whether they dine on food pills or each other — they will simply have to watch a copy of “Grown Ups,” the latest film from Adam Sandler. They may lack some of the cultural context that helps us in the here-and-now appreciate how lazy and greedy “Grown Ups” is: Will they know of the mid-’90s era of “Saturday Night Live” and how it spawned the careers of Sandler and his co-stars Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade? Will “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” where Sandler first worked with co-star Kevin James, be lost to the ravages of time? Even if they lack that cultural knowledge (and oh, briefly imagine living in that blessed age), though, they’d have to nonetheless recognize “Grown Ups” as the sloppy, vain junk it is. They will, if they’re still human.
The not-so-fab five male leads of “Grown Ups” are playing childhood friends reunited at the funeral of the basketball coach who led them to a championship in their distant youth. After the funeral, the five and their spouses, children and some relations head to the lake house where they spent their boyhood summers. Sandler, a wealthy Hollywood agent, fears his children are becoming brats spoiled by his and his fashionista wife Salma Hayek‘s success. Rock is a harried house-husband. James is hiding recent bad news. Schneider has a slew of broken marriages and distant children in his wake. Spade is a perpetual Peter Pan, unattached and unhappy. Imagine if “The Big Chill” were made today. And obsessed with flatulence, urine and breast milk. And every female character a hag, a harridan, a harpy or a hottie. And if none of the characters seemed to actually like each other.
As for the week on DVD, your choices include The Host (more from Twilight author Stephenie Meyer,) Dead Man Down (a fairly solid thriller) and the tepid Admission; your best bet is Spring Breakers:
There’s more to “Spring Breakers” than its gold, guns and girls aesthetic — but, at the same time, not a lot more, and the film’s construction deflates a lot of the energy and emotion it builds up early on. An associate noted how this film was a grim and scary portrait of the generation that believes YOLO — you only live once; the warning Korine buries under day-glo colors and music video-styled images is that you also only die once, too, and that lasts much, much longer. “Spring Breakers” went over like gangbusters with the thrill-seeking, hype-pumped crowd at The Paramount Theater here; it’ll be interesting to see how it plays in malls and multiplexes, and if the audiences can discern it’s not a high-five going up to celebrate their awesomeness but more a fist zooming in to smash at their consumer’s complacency. “Spring Breakers” is far more visually interesting than it is dramatically engaging, but it’s hard not to be hypnotized but its grim glamour as the repeated line of “spring break forever” sounds less and less like a rallying cry and more and more like a curse.
Playing canon bad guy and desperado Butch Cavendish in “The Lone Ranger,” William Fichtner gets to fight, face down and imperil both Armie Hammer’s Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp’s Tonto … and to disappear beneath layers of wild, weird make-up. We spoke with Fichtner in New Mexico about Western action, putting on his look and his varied career …
James Rocchi: When they said to you “Here is the idea for the look, the wild hair, the grime, the curled lip, the scar…” did you say, as an actor, that’s crazy exciting, to disappear into a part?
Wiliam Fichtner: I didn’t say that out loud, but I sure thought it. It was a bit of a surprise to me, becauseI had a conversation with Gore on the phone; I had never met him before. I’m a huge fan, but I talked to him about the film, and I said to him at the end of the conversation “God, I’d love to find a guy that doesn’t really look like me.” And Gore said, (Laughs) “Don’t worry about it,” because he was already aware of what Joel (Harlow, Makeup Department Head) was thinking about. So when I came to Albuquerque, first day that I got here, we did the hair and make-up test and the wardrobe fitting and Joe put the whole thing on, which took about three hours, and I was blown away. I’m like, “Bring it on man, thank you.”
You’re somebody I’ve been watching for years in great stuff, from “Go” to “Armageddon” to “Contact.” But here, at first, I was thinking … “That’s Mr. Fichtner?” It was such a transformation. Did you freak yourself out a little bit watching dailies?
Oh, I never watch dailies. Yeah, I usually don’t watch anything until it’s completely done.
Voicing the angular-and-enthusiastic Anti-Villain league agent Lucy Wilde, Kristen Wiig (of “Saturday Night Live” and “Bridesmaids”) gives “Despicable Me 2″ a crazy shot in the arm of energy — and more than a little karate-chopping, tazer-wielding action. We spoke with Wiig in L.A. about animated acting, Bond villains and their real estate agents, and why heart matters in animation …
MSN Movies: I was talking to Mr. Bratt about this: Acting is so physical. There’s motion. There’s even how you carry yourself and how it affects your voice. Do you find that when you’re doing animation you still do all those things to just carry it through your vocalizations? Are you flailing around a lot in the booth?
Kristen Wiig: Yeah. I mean I think you have to physically take on the character even though you’re just doing the voice. I mean, I think you would do that anyway because they are filming you as you’re recording all your lines and everything. And especially with my character, who’s very energetic.
Karate chopping her way through the film?
Right. Yes, exactly. So I had to move around. I had to move around a little bit.
So you sound right when you’re chopping.
Exactly. I was really chopping I think, maybe. I don’t know. (Laughs).
Just as the Super Bowl means that every American might find a refresher on the rules of the NFL useful, Oscar time marks one of the few occasions when fashion — and, even better, capricious fashion’s more level-headed sibling, style — matter above and beyond the way they do normally.
Many invitations this weekend — and during your life — will read ‘Black Tie’ For ladies, it’s the one time when the decision-making process is easier for them than gentlemen: Put on a block-rocking dress. For gentlemen, though, it’s a bit more complicated. Here, a few notes on “Black Tie.”
– When you think “Black Tie,” you think of bowties and tuxedoes, elegant silk black neckties with skinny lapels, white smoking jackets as James Bond stalks Goldfinger. But what Black Tie means is actually much, much simpler, with a fairly binary definition: Black Tie is defined by the gentleman’s waistband never being visible. This means either a vest, or a cummerbund, but — technically — it has nothing to do with the tie you wear or its color (about which more later). Make sure you start with either a vest or cummerbund so that, when your jacket is open, you can’t see the waistband (and NEVER remove your jacket, not until you’re at home or everyone else is) and you’re 99% of the way there.
– Vests can be tricky if you’re larger — I can’t wear them without looking like a cartoon mole — and, as ever, you will do far better wearing something that matches your jacket with dignity than you will selecting a vest’s color and cut and fabric for reasons of ‘contrast.’
– As for the Cummerbund, you want it so that the folds of the apparatus are open to the top — not downward. (You can tell yourself it’s “There to catch the crumbs,” if you’re 12; just have the pleats open upward.) It should match your tie and jacket. It should be black.
— While we’re talking about Vests, Cummerbunds and Ties, let us note that for gentlemen, variations of color are to be avoided. First of all, the host has requested Black Tie in order to not only ensure a degree of formality, but also a degree of uniformity; baby-blue tuxedoes and plaid cummerbunds go against this hope. As ever, whether black tie or not, remember the essential rule of men’s wear:
A gentleman dresses to be appreciated, not to be seen.
More to the point, Coco Chanel’s classic advice that a lady should take one thing off before leaving the house does not only apply to gentlemen, I think it applies doubly — and as Black Tie requires so many bits and bobs already, you’re already behind the game. Simplify, simplify, simplify. (This is why I also take a stand, persistently, against pocket squares — if you can take it off, take it off.)
– The tie offers three challenges/options. The traditional pre-tied tie welded to a length of fabric with a clip at the other side of the pre-tied tie is adequate — just make sure you have it properly tight around your neck, and, like leaving your jacket on, do not take it off until undressing. On the other end, there are elaborate guides to tying a bow tie on-line many of you will have the dexterity and experience to follow. (Again, as a bias, I find bow ties suitable only for Jimmy Olson, Orville Redenbacher and corrupt, corpulent Southern elected officials — and, thus, unsuitable for gentleman’s wear outside of Black Tie.) As a middle way — and this works, even if you have to fuss at the center-point afterwards – just take the bow tie and have you, or someone else, pretend they’re tying it like shoelaces as its tight on your neck, adjusting the loops and single-strands of the knot as required after to even/flatten. It sacrifices perfection for being done, though, and is eminently achievable in a jiffy.
– Your shirt should be the traditional wing collar; the points of the collar should go behind your tie. Studs are optional (again, simplify) but if you do choose to wear them, make sure they match your cufflinks. I prefer a French-cuff shirt with Black Tie, which requires cufflinks, but again, basic black and silver — no engraving or jewels or mosquitoes trapped in amber. 1/2 inch of your sleeves shot be visible past the cuffs of the jacket.
– The jacket should be single-breasted, never double-breasted, which are a) a disaster for shorter men and b) a disaster for everyone else but Pierce Brosnan. You have many collar options, but again: Stay with plain black. The contrast between a black satin lapel and the black fabric of the jacket should be your most showy moment.
– The trousers should a) have a satin stripe along the exterior side stitching and b) require braces. (It goes without saying that every part of the ensemble should be cleaned, pressed and fit well.)
– Tradition can demand a shiny, patent-leather shoe with Tuxedoes; for Black Tie, either acquire a pair or just go with your best, cleanest, best-polished leather slip-on; laces are a no-no.
– Make sure you are well-groomed. Again, your hosts have requested Black Tie to note formality and uniformity; you should respect that, as a guest.
– While you can technically wear, say, a black jacket with vest and conventional neck tie, or a white diner jacket with a pleated shirt and black bow tie for Black Tie, these are a) attention-getting devices and b) much more difficult to pull off than the narrower variations-on-a-theme a traditional tuxedo offers; again, a gentleman stands out through gradual conversation revealing character, not immediate “color-popping” revealing a desire to stand out.
– Owning a tuxedo is less annoying than you think — and if you have two or more events a year, it pays for itself. Check EBay and thrift shops as well; one of the pleasures of a timeless garment is that you can buy one from the ’50s – as I did for my first tuxedo — very cheaply. Also, tuxedos aren’t big retail ‘movers’ – you can often find them on-sale, if you look carefully and make sure you’re not buying some wide-lapelled joke just for value.
So, here it is — and while I’m taking part in MSN Movies’ Top Ten listing, I also thought I’d put some links and my whole list here. Nothing is in order after movie #1, really, and the ‘Worthy 25′ is not some too-kind day-care-style distribution of good news but, rather, a firm set of proofs to the idea that yes, 2012 was a great year for movies.
1. Zero Dark Thirty
“Stark and tough and smart, “Zero Dark Thirty” is a masterwork from a master filmmaker, a truly exceptional work that combines the questions and qualms so often found in the grey areas of the real world with the kind of storytelling and art so rarely found in the shared darkness of the movie theater.”
2. Holy Motors
‘Carax has made more of a dream than a story or a film, but it’s a dream about stories (the ones we tell people we love, the ones we tell ourselves) and about films (the ones in our hearts and our heads). Funny and heartbreaking, brilliant and bizarre, “Holy Motors ” is one of the best films of this year and a wholly unique work mixing compassion, chaos and comedy to startle us into seeing and celebrating how improbably lovely and sad our improbable lives on this unlikely planet are.”
3. Rust and Bone
“Love, they say, conquers all. If you think about it, that’s as much a warning as a promise, and “Rust and Bone” understands how life means pain, and how life can make pain into something more, if you let it. Everyone in Rust and Bone is wounded, and no one has a relationship predestined to end with hugs in time for the credits. In an Oscar season full of films offering sepia-toned homework, the lovably “mentally ill,” and singing revolutionaries facing down baritone bourgeois, a movie as flinty and superb as “Rust and Bone” stands alone as the real deal. Honest but never cruel, and striving for redemption while showing what agonizing work that takes, “Rust and Bone” is a must-see drama that will reward moviegoers who are both smart enough to seek it out and grown-up enough to take it.”
4. Django Unchained
“Like a blood-soaked Blazing Saddles, “Django Unchained” is a critique based in love, a celebration that understands what’s worth condemnation. “Django Unchained” isn’t just a product of how the young Tarantino watched a thousand Westerns and came to understand what was in them—it’s also a product of how the young Tarantino watched a thousand Westerns and came to question what wasn’t in them. The morality (or lack of thereof) of slavery and murder runs through the film, and Tarantino’s observations cut deep.”
5. How to Survive a Plague
No review, but let me say this: In a year when the spectacle of “Les Miserables” is being considered for Oscar consideration — not necessarily undeservingly — I still found this documentary about the organized struggle against AIDS the most moving, inspiring and touching story of revolution in the streets in the name of love I saw this year. A masterwork.
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild
“William Carlos Williams said that “the pure products of America go crazy,” and much of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” speaks to that observation, from the drinking and the stubborn refusal to leave The Bathtub to the meat and murder of daily life there. (At one point, an informal teacher for the community’s feral and filthy children dumps out a bucket of crawfish and exclaims “Meat. I’m meat, you’re meat … everything is meat.”) When the end comes — death and despair and hope and healing in one bitter and beautiful celebration — Hushpuppy explains that one of the things her father taught her was how, “You have to take care of things smaller and sweeter than you are.” There’s no heaven promised or present here — a bright, blaring sign makes a blunt joke to that effect — but our small heroine notes that “one day, the children of the future will know … that there was a girl named Hushpuppy, and she lived in The Bathtub with her daddy.” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is as unique as it is uneven, as unforgettable as it is uncomfortable, and trembles with the energy, bravura and passion of director Zeitlin, his cast and his crew like some rough animal snorting and stamping with horrible wonder and the possibility of both loss and understanding.”
7. Take this Waltz
“And yet, “Take this Waltz” is also, for lack of a better words, infuriating and troubling — not because of what it gets ‘wrong,’ but because the things it gets right are buried under your skin like a splinter you can’t dislodge, tearing at the nerves and flesh. Critic Carina Chocano recently wrote a New York Times Magazine piece on how what the cinema needs, perhaps, are fewer “strong” female characters and more real female characters; this film serves as a demonstration of that idea. William’s Margo is deeply flawed, perhaps irredeemably broken, capable of monstrous selfishness in the search for happiness — and human, and as worthy of happiness as anyone. As we are. And Polley isn’t afraid of sex, nor is she banal enough to think it cures all ills, or that it can’t be used as a weapon. (Polley gets the sad fact only people who’ve been in ugly and protracted breakups know: Nothing could ever be more intimate than denying someone intimacy.)
Before you think this all sounds dour and sour, though, also know that there are moments of laughter and joy here. Rogen subsumes his good humor into a performance — Lou, a cookbook writer, knows full well what his chicken-centered work-in-progress is doing to his life and diet — and there’s also a note of play here (even as it feeds into Polley’s theme of permanent adolescence and immaturity extending into our adult relationships); when Williams and Kirby taunt each other as ‘gaylords’ it’s horrible, real, immature and funny. And the films’ use of music — from a raucous party-scene Feist cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Closing Time,” to a montage set to the Cohen song the film takes its title from depicting a relationship in fast-forward, hot sex and warm affection cooling to calm domesticity and freezing into half-aware snuggling while TV-watching — is excellent, with the exception of a pop-song from the past, used in two scenes, too good and brilliant and thematically appropriate and trashily perfect to name. Suffice it to say that Polley can find the pathos behind an ’80s one-hit wonder and turn that song’s dimwit chorus into an elegy on how time’s arrow moves only in one direction.”
“Compliance” makes no attempt to hide the turn of its plot, and the film doesn’t hinge upon it, either: “Officer Daniels” is a fraud, but even as a voice over the phone he can get Sandra and Becky to obey — and when Sandra’s boyfriend Evan (Bill Camp) is recruited to watch Becky, things get far worse. (Some have found the film clammily exploitative; after reading up on the depravities and indignities of the actual case, I can assure you Zobel actually shows a remarkable amount of restraint.) “Compliance” evokes nothing less than Kafka’s “The Trial,” where Josef K. is accused of unnamed charges so firmly and fiercely by the apparatus of the state that even he begins to doubt his innocence. But “Compliance” is about far more than the timeless and universal worry — and, in many cases, hope — that we will have to submit to a higher authority.”
9. Kill List
“New from director Ben Wheatley of “Down Terrace,” “Kill List” is one of those rare films where if anyone tries to tell you more than adjectives, just punch them. Full of surprises — and an incredible sense of dread — “Kill List” starts as an ex-soldier takes a freelance contract that’s highly illegal and that leads to terrifying consequences.”
– From my 2011 SXSW roundup at MSN.
10. Safety Not Guaranteed
“Yet the sub-plots and the jokes always work towards and speak to the film’s points about how we live and how we should live, about how we can see our past looking backwards but have to still peer at the unseeable future, how it may be better to live and be crazy than wrap one’s self in a straightjacket of sanity. And “Safety Not Guaranteed” — a caution that could be said about life just as much as it could be said about time travel — also manages to out-think, out-feel and out-write the majority of big Hollywood romantic comedies by actually showing us, and actually letting us enjoy, the process by which you understand Kenneth and Darius might find something in each other.
Plaza is best-known for her sardonic office assistant on “Parks and Recreation,” yet while Darius is cut from similar dark-shaded cloth, Plaza also gets to do some very nice, very subtle and silent acting as Darius opens up a little. Duplass — more physically funky and playful than he’s ever been, shoulder-rolling and shooting to prepare for “when the heat’s hot” — flips gracefully from bizarre conspiracies to sincere intimacies, tech talk to crazy action, managing to be neither Doc Brown, Dr. Who or Travis Bickle while lightly evoking all three”
… As for The worthy 25, well, they’re not Top Ten level-stuff — but I do believe you’re denying yourself the pleasures 2012 offered at the movies if you didn’t see them. So, for your consideration:
11. Moonrise Kingdom
13. Sleepless Night
14. The House I Live In
15. Sound of My Voice
16. Cloud Atlas
18. Wreck-It Ralph
19. The Hunger Games
20. Damsels in Distress
21. Oslo August 31
22. Middle of Nowhere
23. The Kid with the Bike
25. Miss Bala
27. Ruby Sparks
28. Haywire/Magic Mike
29. Cabin in the Woods
30. The Law in these Parts
32. The Grey
33. Hello, I Must be Going
34. Wuthering Heights
35. Carre Blanc
Happy and safe holidays to you all,