Yes, There’s a Moment After the “Lion” End Credits

Lion!

“Hey, mister! I’ll trade you this fresh fruit for an Oscar!”

My wife and I first heard of Lion when we attended last fall’s Heartland Film Festival preview night here in Indianapolis. I’m sorry we missed its festival screening, but now that it’s been nominated for Best Picture, once again the film and I crossed paths as part of my annual Oscar quest.

Read more of this post

Advertisements

So There’s an Extra During the “Kubo and the Two Strings” End Credits

Kubo and the Two Strings!

Animation so accomplished, even the characters can’t help staring at each other in awe.

One of my long-standing rules here on Midlife Crisis Crossover is that every movie I watch in theaters gets its own entry. The results aren’t a formal review so much as they’re a brick-by-brick deconstruction to cherry-pick which parts I’m interesting in recording my thoughts about for my own future archival purposes, stitched together with just enough exposition and summation for any MCC readers interested in following along even if they haven’t seen the movie in question.

Said subsection of readers isn’t what it used to be. I realize the format is odd and amateurish in some respects, and it’s not lost on me that the movie entries receive far fewer Likes from other WordPress users than our travel photo galleries do. But part of the grand MCC experiment is facilitating my itch to write and express myself, hoping anyone else out there finds kernels of usefulness in my indulgences, and not wallowing in self-loathing second-guessing whenever they don’t. It’s been one of the tougher aspects of the blogging process to grapple, and I think I’m thiiiiis close to nailing it.

I saw Kubo and the Two Strings over a month ago but kept procrastinating its entry because I worried the results would be a 1000-word stream-of-consciousness brainstorming session of every complimentary adjective Roget ever catalogued. And if there’s one opinion above all that I’ve acquired after 4½ years of writing about theatrical releases, it’s that I’ve grown to hate adjectives as a word class. Rather than risk abolishing the long-standing rule mentioned in paragraph one, I can either stick to my commitment or find something else to write about between travel entries.

Soooo who wants to see me typing lots about the week in politics?

…okay, then: Kubo!

Read more of this post

Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Captain America: Civil War” End Credits

Civil War!

Chadwick Boseman leads an all-star cast in Black Panther: Civil War, quite to my delight.

The worldwide phenomenon about two unique individuals from very different worlds — one with his armor and his billions, the other with his enviable muscles and his onetime fervor for The American Way — will rank high among other films in the $300-million U.S. box office club at year’s end. Once again the major studios prove they’re still capable of putting out product that can contemplate serious topics even while reveling in visual dynamics and not shying away from moments of emotional intensity.

No, not the one with the Marthas’ boys in it.

Read more of this post

Yes, There Are Scenes During AND After the “Ant-Man” End Credits

Ant-Man!

“Why can’t I just stay in my black suit? Daredevil looked great in HIS black suit!”

Once upon a time in 2003 there was a cute throwback comedy called Down with Love in which Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger were paired together in a light, fluffy homage to the Rock Hudson/Doris Day sparring matches of cinematic yore. It had a man’s man taken down several pegs, a feminist who rejected romantic love yet came around to her own version of it by the end, a bouncy soundtrack, a zippy pace, winning supporting turns from Sarah Paulson and David Hyde Pierce, a musical number during the end credits, and an absurdly convoluted revenge speech delivered in a three-minute uninterrupted take. Anne and I were among the very few viewers who loved it in theaters and bought it on DVD. I made a point of remembering the director’s name, Peyton Reed, in hopes that someday we’d see more from this up-‘n’-comer.

Reed’s resumé includes other well-known works such as the original Bring It On and The Weird Al Show, but I’ve seen none of them. Regardless, Reed is back at long last with his latest comedy Ant-Man, which was shot on a much higher budget and made more in its first two days of release than Down with Love made in its entire three-month run worldwide. So maybe now Hollywood will take him seriously.

Read more of this post

Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Terminator Genisys” End Credits

Terminator Genisys!

You can pretend they’re Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn if you take off your glasses, squint really hard, turn off your computer, and go watch the first Terminator instead.

If you’ve seen the first two Terminator films, you’ve already seen at least 60% of Terminator Genisys. Entire scenes and concepts are lifted and lightly tweaked, a few surprises are reused and are no longer surprises by definition, lots of famous quotes are spoken by the wrong characters, but much of that beloved old material is back, ridiculously recognizable and retold in the wrong order.

If you’ve seen those two films and all the Genisys trailers, you’ve already had the movie’s biggest, cleverest twist spoiled for you and you’ve now basically seen 80% of the film. If you like bullets and car accidents, I suppose you can stay tuned and settle for those.

If you’ve never seen a Terminator film, you’ll be thoroughly lost. But hey, who doesn’t love gunfire, right?

If you saw the third or fourth Terminator films or The Sarah Connor Chronicles, sadly, no one cares.

Read more of this post

Yes, There’s a Thing During “The Grand Budapest Hotel” End Credits

Grand Budapest Hotel!

Fans of the Ralph Fiennes catalog may be disappointed The Grand Budapest Hotel doesn’t invite obvious Voldemort jokes. I’m reminded more of The Avengers. No, not Marvel’s.

Representing for first-half-of-the-20th-century world history in this year’s Academy Awards race is The Grand Budapest Hotel, the most Wes Andersoniest Wes Anderson film ever to Wes Anderson a Wes Anderson. Granted, I’ve only seen four of his other films, and this one’s probably a patchwork homage to nineteen different foreign films I’ve never heard of, but if nothing else it sums up all his past trailers and adds nice costuming flourishes and some charming fake backdrops.

Fun meta-trivia: this entry began as the fifth installment in my ongoing “MCC Home Video Scorecard” series, which is where I’ve lately been clustering my impressions of movies seen not in theaters. This time, I lost control and Budapest crowded out the other three movies I’d planned to include here, so now it has an entry all to itself. I saw this as part of my annual Oscarquest, and so far it’s been the cheapest of this year’s contenders to watch. It took some persistence to catch this affordably, as it’s no longer on Redbox and we don’t subscribe to the correct premium-cable channel, but three visits to the Family Video down the street finally paid off in the form of a $1.00 DVD rental. If you’d rather avoid the thrill of the case or if you hate money, you can also spend $13-$16 through the usual instant-streaming outlets, or Amazon has hard copies on sale for ten bucks (DVD and Blu-ray) as of this writing. Depends on whether or not less substance is worth more money to you, I guess.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: