Friday, March 18, 2011

Movie Doc's Wednesday and Thursday

It's time for me to play catch up now and post about the films that have kept me busy these past couple of days. On Wednesday evening, I went to the Paramount to watch THE BEAVER with director Jodie Foster in attendance. The film stars Mel Gibson as a father and business executive struggling with major depression. He finds an unusual form of escapism and communication by using a beaver puppet. I really did not know what to think of the movie when I first heard the premise and saw the trailer. All I can say is that the film is truly remarkable and something that film fans should experience. If you think you know what to expect from this film you may just be wrong. With all the bad press and personal problems Gibson's had recently, I am not sure how audiences will treat the film. Whatever problems the man has, there is still no denying his talent as an actor. Following this, I headed to the Alamo South Lamar for HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. This grindhouse tribute/throwback was first conceived for a fake trailer contest held by Robert Rodriguez a few years back. He was seeking an additional faux movie trailer to play during his GRINDHOUSE collaboration with Quentin Tarantino. I LOVED the trailer when I first saw it. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the full length film treatment. The attempts at humor fail through most of the film. The structure and pacing of the plot is so uneven that I felt bored and unamused during the screening. The film lacked the sharp wit and cool writing and style which made the feature length MACHETE a perfect extension of its fake trailer. Thursday fortunately, I remained at the Alamo South Lamar for two screenings. I say fortunately because downtown has become so crazy congested with people and traffic ever since the Music portion of the festival began. I was grateful to get a break from this. The first film I watched was a Chilean romantic comedy called F*CK MY LIFE. While normally not a fan of romantic comedies, the film with its mix of relavant satire, screwball comedy, and likable characters kept me invested and entertained even if the plot was somewhat formulaic. Director Nicholas Lopez manages to take an often tiresome plot and refreshes it with well developed characters and rich humor. The final film of the evening was a movie called WUSS. Director Clay Lifford takes us into the sad and frightening world of Mitch Parker (Nate Rubin), a high school English teacher who gets attacked by his drug dealing student Re-Up (Ryan Andeson) and his cronies. Mitch has to decide how to handle this scary new development as Re-Up continues to torment him and also has to come to terms with his timid personality and arrested development. Speaking of which, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's Tony Hale has a hilarious role in the film as Mr. Crowder the band teacher. Lifford mixes dark comedy and real drama, which actually gets seriously disturbing at times. Nevertheless, the comedy does work tremendously well and had me laughing constantly. The acting by Parker, Anderson, and Alicia Anthony, who plays Maddie Worth, is excellent.

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