I would be alone if not for you
The Place Beyond The Pines (2013) dir. Derek Cianfrance
I knew nothing about this film going in (well, other than Ryan Gosling starred which is a pretty good reason to watch in my opinion), but from the incredibly glorious first tracking shot it blew me away. It’s overly long and could have used some serious tidying up, but I loved how stark & ambitious this movie was (same director as Blue Valentine, so there you go). Great acting, great soundtrack and beautifully shot. A delicious slow burner.
Heat (1995) dir. Michael Mann
I think after seeing Smash & Grab, we were in the mood for a good heist film & since this was on many internet lists as one of the best, I was curious. But you know what internet? This movie is one long boring suck. Al Pacino is terrible with his insane hammy acting and if I could have turned it off early, I would have. Huge pass.
Stories We Tell (2013) Dir. Sarah Polley
A tender, heartbreaking and sweet documentary film that mixes archival footage with dramatized faux found footage to tell the story of Sarah’s parents and her upbringing. It’s a great story and Polley wrestles to tell it with fairness and honesty. With her father, Michael, reading the narration, of this intensely personal film, it’s a poignant and lovely telling through and through. A must see.
Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers (2013)
A pretty ho-hum documentary about a sprawling network of ballsy international jewel thieves from the former Yugoslavia.
A Band Called Death (2013)
A pretty incredible story but without the drama of say, Searching for Sugarman, this documentary is a solid watch. The band’s music is awesome and they’re good people, but the content is a little thin (hovering through the same photos gets a little stale).
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
The title of this noir is pretty compelling and while the story doesn’t live up to the name, it’s still highly watchable and Victor Mature’s eyebrows sure are pretty wonderful.
London: The Modern Babylon (2012) dir. Julien Temple
An exciting documentary where history, music, editing and archival footage come together into something energizing, witty and so well told. The amount of research must have been dizzying & the editing is brilliant. A must see & available at VPL.
House of the Devil (2009)
This horror movie has style and tension, but also a whole lotta nothing, but I didn’t mind so much. A college student in the early ’80s gets a babysitting job and it only goes awry from there. It was a fun watch even though the crazy at the end is pretty dumb.
The Bling Ring (2013) dir. Sophia Coppola
Everytime I watch a Sophia Coppola movie I regret it. Every time I think it’s going to be different. I’m always attracted to the story line but she never goes any further than the surface. This film is no exception. Who are these characters? I have no idea. There’s no style here (unlike some of her other films) and it’s boring as hell. Sophia, I give up.
Room 237 (2012)
Several The Shining obsessive fanatics discuss their full-blown theories based on minuscule details found in the movie. If you love conspiracy theories, maybe you’ll love this take. Me, not so much.