Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby! (x3)

Two days, three movies, what a glorious world I live in now. Whenever I blog about movies under the heading "Let's All Go to the Lobby!" I only talk about movies I see in the theatre. From Monday evening to Tuesday evening, six of those 24 hours were spent in a theatre. There is only one thing I like more than sitting in a dark room staring fixated ahead: KW.

On Monday, I went to a screening of Wall*E with good ole Dave. This is the latest film from Pixar and it is certainly on par with the other good movies the studio has delivered. The animation is exquisite: very detailed and very finely textured. The story is very cute (a great date film) but also harps on the need to be eco-friendly. Not a bad message, but teetering between well-done and over-the-top.

Tuesday presented a double-dip at the Tivoli. First up was "When Did You Last See Your Father?" directed by Anand Tucker, who also directed "Shopgirl," a surprisingly good Steve Martin film (which there haven't been many of lately, but Martin wrote the screenplay). This was a surprisingly good movie. I didn't know what to expect, but I figured it would be a dopey play on the father-son relationship where the son feels distant from his father and they reconcile at the end. That wasn't exactly the case, however. Colin Firth does feel distant from his father and seeks his approval and love. Jim Broadbent plays his father: a snarky, womanizing, old codger who seeks adventures with his son as a way of showing his love and affection. What Firth doesn't realize, as shown through flashbacks at various stages of his youth, is that his father enjoyed his company and was devastated when Firth left home and embarked on his path to manhood. This is a very touching film. See it with your dad, don't see it with your dad, see it on a date. It's an emotionally charged piece that is worth seeing and will definitely get you choked up as you reflect on your own paternal relationship, good, bad, or otherwise.

The final film was "The Wackness," an audience favorite at Sundance. The film stars Josh Peck, of "Drake and Josh" fame, and Ben Kingsley. The film is set in New York, circa 1994. Peck plays a dope dealer who has just graduated high school. He has a psychiatrist, who he sells dope to and eventually falls for his shrink's daughter. The movie isn't overly stylish (though there are a few great sequences and some neat graphics) but it has a great soundtrack and the performances are pretty strong. Kingsley is exquisite in his role as a disenfranchised shrink in a failing marriage. The film is as much about him as it is a breakout role for Peck. The film drops hints and details about its time period rather blatantly (people drinking Zima, a new rapper named Notorious B. I. G., and the death of Kurt Cobain) which is a little jarring at first: that is trying hard to let you know that it is 1994, not 2004, but it works.

You couldn't go wrong with any of the films mentioned here. Each has a different distinquishing quality: Wall*E and its animation, When Did You Last See Your Father for its poignancy, and The Wackness for its flavor and culture.

K-Dub and I leave for Chicago tomorrow! We will now be joined by my younger sister, Karen, so that will be an interesting experience, both the trip with Karen and her experience at the comic con. Farewell, my web-based friends.

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