March on to Filmdonia


I love movies. It depresses me when I see so few in a month. Filmdonia is even farther away than it looks!

library dvd
Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)

One day, I saw one of the greatest trailers I have ever seen. Just out of nowhere, there it was. (You should watch it too.) But then , it being 2021, movies being slippery, it managed to come and go to and fro and never did get my paws on it. But then, over a year later, I saw a tweet saying a person never went wrong recommending this film and hey! the library had it. And the librarian told me it was so, so good.

So now I've seen it. And it is as mad as I'd hoped. And I realized, most movies this insane that I have seen are Guy Movies. The closest I can think of is Ruben and Ed. The mix of dopey characters and unreal reality and goodheartedness and utter insanity? Ruben and Ed. Best comparison I can make.

Anyway, Barb and Star (you can learn more about their names from some new information included only in another trailer that I just found looking for the first trailer) get some bad luck and decide to leave town for the first time ever and end up in Florida and, well, you know Florida.

Come for the madness. Stay for the love.

library dvd
The Lady in the Van (2015)

The name Alan Bennett is only vaguely familiar to me. Perhaps because of The Madness of King George or perhaps because of one of his other well known works which I know from title only. But he is not only writer but two of the primary characters in this film—the man who lives his life and the writer who turns that living into plays. And much of the living for fifteen years bumps into the madwoman living in a van on his driveway.

The play is a comic study, to be sure, but it is also the tragedy of a lost soul navigating a dirty mortality.

It's also a bit shameful, to see Britain in its 1980s doldrums arguably outperforming America today when it comes to taking care of our poor.

Anyway, the acting is stellar and the direction invisible. Both good choices, given the material.

Century Hilltop 16
The Batman (2022)

I realized, talking to some 17yrolds about this movie, just why it is they keep making more of them. It does not matter how good previous iterations are. Each generation craves a Batman all their own. And yes, this one does do cool things like have a terrifying/funny villain and some veddy cool shots and probably the best detective story in any Batman movie and we could go on, but the main thing is this: it is new. And therefore it is theres.

The way Batman Forever made me chase a runaway shopping cart, the way Batman Begins felt like now we are grownups with a Batman to match—that's what The Batman will be for this years' folks, 15 – 25. And hey! They deserve it as much as I did.

I loved this movie, but it wasn't for me. And it can't be for me what it will be for them. And I'm happy to let them have it.

I do hope they let Matt Reeves take another crack at it. I want to see what the Batman becomes as he transitions from Vengeance to Hope.

library dvd
The Awful Truth (1937)

The essay included with the Criterion claims this is the greatest of the screwballs. That's a big claim. And I'm not sure I buy it. I felt it took a while for the movie to find its legs and, on first viewing, I was confused by the movie's refusal to address either character's (potential) infidelity. But once it got going, oh my. Plenty of laughs and chaos. And better than My Favorite Wife, although that one includes some of the same stars and a near-identical final cabin-attic set.

But even if this movie weren't fun (and it is) and even though it's not the greatest screwball (sez I), it would have to be worth watching on historical grounds as the first time Cary Grant truly plays Cary Grant. Fascinating to learn that the film was practically improvised and that Grant was so unhappy and uncomfortable he tried to pay his way out of his contract. Perhaps, if he had succeeded, you and I would never have heard of him. Who can say.

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