Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Minor Movie Update, Some Catching Up

Well it's beeen a while since I last updated, and there's a number of movies I've seen, but not enough time to write about them all.

I'm not going to mention the major movies. You can catch up on those with my podcast, (Glasner on Film in iTunes) and there's quite an archive there. Instead I'd wanted to rundown some of the smaller films. (And i'm not going to hotlink everything to imdb, because if I do that we'll be here all night. Yes I'm a lazy lazy man.)

YEAR ONE - Oy. How is it Harold Ramis. He of Groundhog Day fame. He of Ghostbusters genealogy. He of the almighty SCTV coughed out this cold fish of a comedy? It's Michael Cera and Jack Black as, as well I think their names were something like Ogg and Ugh. But really it's Jack Black and Michael Cera wearing pelts. Year One is a long succession of bad biblical skits with misplaced modern jokes. It's essentially an extended SNL skit, but not the good ones. The ones they put on at 12:50 before the show ends. Yeech.

FOOD INC - A documentary about the dangers of factory farming and a bit of a wake up call about what's in the local supermarket. Done in the now familiar Michael Moore style it's a heavy-handed and slickly packaged product. The general gist of the message wont surprise anyone whose read books like The Omnivore's Dilemma. But still there are some shocking moments there, such how little a chicken farmer raising hundreds of thousands of chickens actually earns a year. Also kudos for showing how some organic producers are teaming up with the big guys like Walmart. It's rather one-sided but does that surprise you? A good place to start if the topic interests you, but I imagine you'll head to the library/bookstore to fully satisfy yourself afterward.

O'HORTEN - A train conductor retires. But what does a conductor do when the train leaves the stations without him? From Norway a comedy of manners as gentle as it is observant. The perfect tonic to the mid-summer silly season at the cinema.

SUMMER HOURS - No one make films about families eating meals together like the French. You could go see this for the voyeurism aspect alone. But then you'd miss the finely calibrated performance by Juliette Binoche, the mother in a family slowly spinning apart, wondering what's worth holding onto.

Also, as mentioned earlier, I heartily recommend Away We Go & Easy Virtue.

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