We don’t know about you all but we’re feeling awfully dramatic these days. The kids are back in school, summer is officially over, fall is slowly approaching and this means, to us at least, that our trusty Apple TV is more important than ever as the nights get cooler and indoor fun seems more soothing. So here’s this week’s pix picks and some comfort food for your soul.
- Let’s kick off with 2013’s Taylor Hackford directed, “Parker”, a reliably entertaining if somewhat run-of-the-mill crime thriller with an interesting cast that’s giving it their best in pure b-movie fashion. The very basic plot (filmed previously in various incarnations)- Action hero and all-around bad-ass Jason Statham teams up with J-Lo to get some payback after a caper-gone-bad. Michael Chiklis, Clifton Collins, Bobby Canavale and Nick Nolte are in the mix as an assortment of the bad guys “the Statham” has to deal with in his quest for payback but the real reasons we picked this one? The Statham tries on a Texas accent (not-too-painful) and J-Lo drops her dress (thank you) then treats us to a rear view that is still worth the 2013 price of admission. You are welcome!
- Speaking of Bad Guys…this week brings us Director P.T. Anderson’s 2007 Best Picture Nominee, “There Will Be Blood”, with Daniel-Day Lewis as a fearsome, mysterious, morally questionable “Oilman” determined to build a fortune no matter what or who he has to punch holes in to do it. Paul Dano co-stars as his main spiritual hurdle/ineffectual conscious as the always riveting DDL devours everyone in his path and chews up most of the scenery along the way. A challenging, thought provoking film that you may love or you may hate but one you won’t stop watching until the bitter end. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!
- And after that head pounder you may need a breath of fresh air so let’s lighten up with a sweet confection of a comedy from director Jesse Peretz, 2011’s “Our Idiot Brother”. With the comely, charming Elizabeth Banks, the gorgeous , goofy Zooey Deschanel and the soulful, soothing Emily Mortimer as the Sisters, this bubbly movie aims to please. The amiably winning, effortless funnyman Paul Rudd is the title character and sure this is a not-quite-perfect film but it is a comedy you’ll laugh at a LOT as you enjoy the engaging ensemble cast. And Steve Coogan in dastardly scoundrel mode too! The definition of a huggable, light-hearted, feel-good flick.
- How about starting off with a blast from the 80’s past? Indie auteur Jim Jarmusch’s 1984, “Stranger Than Paradise”, is available for cool kicks once again. With John Lurie, Eszter Balint and Richard Edson along as a mismatched trio searching for the American dream on a cross-country quest to nowhere in particular. It’s one of our JJ faves.
- Ready for more 80’s and in the mood for some belly laughs? Then try 1983’s, “Easy Money”, starring the one-and-only Rodney Dangerfield as a hapless schlep (what else can Rodney be) who just might come into a fortune if he can only clean up his act and keep his fingers out of the cookie jar. With Joe Pesci along for the ride as his not-so-helpful buddy this isn’t the Rodney film we always dreamed of but it’s so damn close that we don’t mind.
- And if you’re in the market for a bracing true story of obsession and insanity then tune in and check out Werner Herzog’s fascinating 2005 documentary, “Grizzly Man”. Always captivated by madmen, this time Herzog films the frighteningly obtuse Timothy Treadwell as this obsessed and oblivious nature lover attempts to commune with wild Alaskan grizzly bears. A sharp look at one man’s dangerously misguided folly and heedless nature’s cruel wrath.
- One for the Girls– Director Garry Marshall’s popular 2001, light-hearted fantasy/fairy tale, “The Princess Diaries”, is available this week for all your beloved tweens with tiaras in their eyes. Starring a young, innocent Anne Hathaway as the title princess and the still radiant Julie Andrews as her makeover mentor, this “G”-rated flick is sure to please the 11-14 set and their Moms too!
- One for the Boys– 2013’s animated feature, “Lego Batman: The Movie- DC Heroes Unite”, is here for all the mini-testosterone monsters in your charge. In case you’re wondering about the content (they aren’t), hey, it’s got Batman, Superman, the Joker, Lex Luther and Legos! What more could a Red-Blooded Boy ask for? And it’s 90 minutes of peace and quiet for you too!
- And finally…One for the Adults– Another fluffy romp that’s guaranteed to provide the smiles, 2010’s, “Date Night”, is here for when you put the rugrats down for the evening and finally get to relax and pour the wine. With everyone’s fave funnygirl Tina Fey and everyman Steve Carrell as middle-aged, middle-class marrieds who want to add some “spice” to their mundane routine, the suburban settlers decide to take their chances in the sophisticated wilds of Manhattan and throw caution to the wind. Needless to say they get hilariously lost along the way as they hold each other’s hands and try to find their way back to dreary domestic bliss. Co-starring Mark Wahlberg as a shirtless, Manhattan Knight-in-shining-armor who is just a little too comfy around Tina’s sexy soccer mom. It’s nice to laugh at the unhip from the security of the couch sometimes.
That’s all for this week so turn on, tune in and drop out…and save us a seat!