Archive | May, 2023

To Tell the Truth?

24 May

They say there aren’t movies made for adults anymore. They also say that when such movies are made, they’re not being released in movie theaters anymore. 

Well, “they” should check out You Hurt My Feelings, which arrives in theaters at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, opposite such competition as Fast X and Disney’s wholly unnecessary live-action remake of The Little MermaidYou Hurt My Feelings is a movie that fits the bill for that segment of the movie-watching public that likes films oriented to more “grown-up” audiences.

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Intimate, Entertaining “Still” Lets Michael J. Fox Share His Story in His Own Words

9 May

There’s a scene in Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, where the actor best known for his performances as Alex P. Keaton and Marty McFly in Family Ties and the Back to the Future trilogy acknowledges the heavy weight of responsibility that comes with being such a beloved public figure. “I don’t want to fuck it up,” he says.

When a celebrity allows a filmmaker to tell their life story in a documentary, as so many have done in recent years, that’s probably a big worry. We’ve all watched plenty of Behind the Music episodes, and we’ve seen plenty of sympathetic clip-fests about actors, sports figures, politicians, and other famous folks. Often, they’re driven by vanity or an attempt to rehabilitate a damaged reputation. Sometimes it’s purely a nostalgia trip. Either way, at this point, we know the tropes that many of these films follow all too well. Every now and then, one rises above the rest (Gleason and Amy are two of the better examples), but it’s easy to be cynical since so many of these films adhere to a conventional format.

I’d imagine Fox hesitated before he allowed a movie to be made about his own life. After all, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease when he was just 29 years old, at the peak of his career. Since then, he hasn’t sought out pity. Rather, he’s conducted himself with grit and grace, applying his well known name and his abundant optimism to fundraising campaigns and other efforts that will help others like him who have Parkinson’s. 

A less skilled filmmaker would probably seize on the obvious storyline, portraying Fox’s fast rise to fame via a greatest-hits collection of film and TV clips, and then cover his slow decline from the disease, with a coda to contribute funds to support the foundation that bears his name. As Fox himself says in the film, “That’s boring.”

Clearly, he’s not the only person who thought so, and thank God for that. 

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Leaves Our Heroes and the MCU in a Better Place

1 May

Spider-Man: Far from Home wasn’t just the last film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s so-called “Phase Three,” it was the last MCU film that could reasonably be considered great.

Alright, fine. Could be considered very good.

Since then, the MCU’s big-screen output has been fair, at best, but mostly underwhelming, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever among the highlights and Eternals among the lowlights of Phase Four. Things have been better on the small screen, but no other series has been as good as WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were.

After the not-very-good Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, not to mention a less than inspiring The Marvels teaser trailer, it’s been more than fair to say that Marvel’s best days are behind us. MCU movies just aren’t as exciting as they used to be.

So, what a relief it is to report that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stops the downward slide. While not a top-tier movie like, say, Captain America: Winter Soldier or Civil War, not to mention the original Black Panther, the conclusion of this offbeat trilogy is generally one of the better post-Endgame releases and an emotionally satisfying film for longtime fans.

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