The weather has been beautiful lately, and there isn't much need to stay in and watch a movie - but, on those rainy days that leave you no outdoor option, a nice DVD can come in handy. Here are a few I think you should give some attention to:
"Drive" - A Nicholas Winding Refn film (The uncompromising director of "Bronson", the "Pusher" trilogy, and "Valhalla Rising"), "Drive" is brooding, slow, violent, and wonderful. Beautifully shot, with a nod to late-80's style that reminds me of Michael Mann's finest works, the film does a great job of building towards a climax, developing characters and moods without the use of expository dialog or predictable characterizations.
Ryan Gosling is very good, as is Carey Mulligan, and, while Brian Cranston is under-utilized and Ron Perlman is a little heavy-handed and caricature-ish, Albert Brooks is pretty amazing. Hiring Brooks as a bad guy was inspired casting, and the kind of move that makes me love Refn's films.
This is not a feel-good movie. It is a downer of a story, but a triumph of a film. I can't express how nice it is to see filmmakers like Refn gaining mainstream acceptance and acclaim. It gives me hope that more directors in this day and age will be willing to take chances and make great movies, rather than going the easy route and playing to the lowest common denominator (I'm talking to you, Michael Bay Ratner-Perry...)
While you're at it, make time for "Valhalla Rising" (Mads Mikkelsen is a revelation as 'One-Eye'.) and "Bronson" (Tom Hardy's finest role yet, and proof that he can do amazing work, "This Means War" notwithstanding.) Refn does amazing work in both films, and "Valhalla Rising" is worth watching simply for the trippy, yet beautiful landscapes and floating sequences - there is an immense amount of great camera work.
"Attack The Block" - A British sci-fi flick in which a teen gang from the projects fights off an alien invasion (With Nick Frost and Luke Treadway in tow). Seriously.
Lots of filthy language and bad London slang. Lots of blood (but nothing over-the-top). Copious amounts of drugs and drug references. Explosions and creatures. Anti-authority messages and negative societal stereotypes throughout.
And I never stopped laughing, smiling, or enjoying the film.
No one does black comedy or satire quite like the Brits, and this film plays beautifully from the first frame to the last. I wouldn't show it to anyone with a young and impressionable mind, but anyone who enjoys good film, great sci-fi, and fine foreign fare should enjoy this one. Many thumbs up. Get it and watch it on a weekend with some friends, and then spend the next few hours quoting lines from the film.
"The Muppets" - I have liked Jason Segel for some time now. I think he is funny, creative, and talented, and I enjoyed his work on "Freaks and Geeks", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", and "I Love You, Man", mostly because of the work that Segel did. Never really made me crazy for his work, but it was good. Solid comedy actor and writer. After watching this movie, though, I now love Jason Segel. Big love.
I love Segel because he made a big part of my childhood come to life again. Because he took one of my favorite things in the whole world and made it relevant again. And not just relevant - he made it good again.
"The Muppets" is a tremendous throwback to the original Muppet movies, with amazing musical numbers, awesome action sequences, timely and poignant social references, moving Muppet montages, and everything else that made the Muppets great. I can't say enough about this film, and I am so happy that I have a child who enjoyed it (And gave the excuse to watch it...), and who I can watch it with many times in the future. And I will. It was that good.
So, thank you Jason Segel (and your partner Nick Stoller) for bringing the Muppets back to life in a major motion picture. They deserve it. And so does the rest of the world.
So - check out these three DVD choices and let me know what you think. Have fun watching!!
Solid comedy actor and writer. After watching this movie, though, I now love Jason Segel. Big love.
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|Space Capone at Capone's|
|Space Capone made a landing and performed at Capone's in Johnson City, TN.|