I don’t let too much time pass between seeing movies. The Alamo Drafthouse is a second home to Chris and I; we keep them in business. The heat of summer gives us even more reason to retreat to the cool, dark theaters and it’s one of my very favorite things to do. Here are a few movies we’ve seen lately:
By far, the most humorous movie we’ve seen this summer is Trainwreck. Already a huge Amy Schumer fan, I’ve really grown to love movies written by comedians. For one thing, they are funny. And another? Comedians look out for each other which means there are always lots of good cameos. (See Chris Rock’s Top Five.) If you indulge me in one more comparison to Top Five, standup comedy often walks on the dark side with depression, addiction, and general dysfunction at its core. Rock overtly explored these themes, as Louie CK regularly does on his eponymous show. While Schumer’s fictional tale doesn’t delve into the underbelly of the standup world, it doesn’t shy away from dark themes of dysfunction and a life not lived to its fullest. She’s clearly seen plenty of sadness and isn’t afraid to go there.
A well-rounded cast that most notably included LeBron James playing a highly likable version of himself, perhaps to keep this from being a “girl” movie. Rich in both character development and jokes, Trainwreck is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.
There’s been plenty of buzz about Amy, the documentary about deceased singer Amy Winehouse. Chris and I went to a morning screening and downed coffee and French toast while I tried not to cry. We were (are) big fans of Winehouse and I was deeply saddened by her passing four years ago. Her talent was often overshadowed by her troubled life, so well-documented by the tabloids. Much of the footage in the documentary came from home movies and that same tabloid footage, with interviews all taking the form of voiceovers.
My favorite moments were seeing her live performances, least favorite thing was watching her go from young and healthy to a ghostly drug-addicted shell of a person. For me, this was very difficult to watch. Apparently her father didn’t like the way he was portrayed and will put out his own film to set the record straight. We’ll see about that.
For me, Jurassic World goes does down as the biggest disappointment of the summer movies. A fan of the original Jurassic Park, I was happy to see nods to the 1993 classic, in small references throughout as well as the opening music. I also really like Chris Pratt and am thrilled to see his career has taken him so far. Well, I should advise fellow Pratt fans to stick to Guardians of the Galaxy if you like plot, character depth, and satisfying story development. If you like a couple screaming hours of dinosaur chasing and little else, then you’d probably like Jurassic World. But I thought it was terrible.
Speaking of terrible, Aloha was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Early buzz was not good, but we chose to see it because 1) I wasn’t paying attention to the buzz, 2) it had a good cast, and 3) a Cameron Crowe movie should at least have a killer soundtrack. Would that I could get those hours of my life back, they’d be better spent doing literally anything else.
Aside from the offensive whitewashing, etc, this was a piece of garbage on every level. A week after seeing it, Chris and I were still talking about how awful it was. He said, “I just can’t get it out of my head…how BAD it was. I feel traumatized!”
There’s little risk involved in seeing a Disney Pixar film. While I’m not exactly a hardcore Disney buff by any means, I appreciate the movies and how much talent and work go into each one. The writing, acting, and animation are always superb and Inside Out was no different. Plus, Amy Poehler as the lead voice? YES, please!
What I didn’t expect was how much I’d cry. I’m quick to cry in a movie anyway, so this isn’t a foreign concept to me. But I didn’t think I’d sob quite this much. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. Maybe I was tired. Maybe the movie stirred up some deep mourning of childhood happiness and innocence. Either way, I’d recommend tissues.
People Places Things
People Places Things opens at Alamo Drafthouse on August 14th. I watched an early press screener so that I could report back to you and am happy to say, it was fantastic. Flight of the Conchords fans will love Jemaine Clement in this role of loving father, teacher, and graphic novelist. It’s funny, heartwarming, a bit melancholy…everything you’d want in a charming indie dramedy. I’ll watch this one again.
What have you seen lately? Any recommendations for me?