Tuesday morning of last week, I woke up feeling fine. I turned off the alarm, got out of bed, got dressed and went to work. It was a perfectly average morning. Came home for lunch, drove out to a job site to finish cleaning it up. Worked about an hour and left the boys to finish. On my way back to the office, I started feeling a little off - slightly nauseated, kind of achy, and really tired. I decided to stop off at home for a minute to use the restroom, have a big glass of water, and rest a minute. My best guess was that I had breathed in too much sawdust and my allergies were giving me a hard time. By the time I made it home, I was exhausted and burning up. I quickly stripped off most of my clothes and laid down. Still figuring I’d snap out of it and be back to work before quitting time, I set an alarm for an hour and tried to nap.
By five, I had moved to the couch but still felt like something left laying on the side of the road. I didn’t move off of it until about eight when I went to bed. Still, I hoped that I’d be better after a good night’s sleep and off to work. It was Saturday morning before I actually felt like doing anything but laying on the couch and moaning. Somewhere in there, I gained a diagnosis of strep throat and started pouring antibiotics into my mouth.
There’s only one thing I like to do when I feel that lousy - lay on the couch and watch movies. But not any movie will do. Foreign films are immediately wiped off the table as I’m in no shape to read subtitles. In fact anything complicated, arty, or filled with emotional nuance is found suspect and forbidden in the vicinity of my television. No, what sick days call for are big, action adventure films. My favorites are Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fugitive and anything with the words "Star" and "Wars" in the title.
This week’s pick would fit perfectly into that group.
I’ve been enjoying Marvel’s multi-year, multi-picture superhero spectacle as much as any casual comic book fan can. None of those movies are particularly amazing and they certainly aren’t emotionally nuanced and thus they make perfect movies to watch when your laid up coughing up a lung or two. I watched Age of Ultron when it first came out and it slides so easily in amongst all the others. It's tons of fun, easily digestible, and the perfect save for when you can’t do more than adjust the pillows on the couch, sip some hot broth, and pray your head lets you take a nap soon. And if you do manage to slip into unconsciousness for a few minutes, you’ll awake knowing full well whatever you missed wasn’t important enough to make you need to hit the rewind button.
Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Two quick notes about this week’s pick: Avengers: Age of Ultron technically doesn’t come out until October 2 which is Friday, three days after the usual Tuesday new release date. No idea why they are doing this, but thought I’d give a heads up so you won’t be disappointed on Tuesday looking for it. As is par for the course for this type of major release, Age of Ultron is coming out in a variety of editions including an exclusive one from Target and a Steelbook from Best Buy. Unfortunately, Marvel is not divulging a lot of information on what extras will come with each release so you’ll have to do some digging once it finally hits the shelves.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Jane the Virgin: Season 1: Charming comedy/drama from the CW that follows a pregnant virgin through an amazingly complicated plot line at a break-neck speed. Read my full review.
Cop Car: A couple of kids take a seemingly abandoned cop car for a joy ride and find themselves in the middle of corrupt cop Kevin Bacon’s terrifying world. The trailer looks intense.
Spy: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, and Allison Janney star in this spy movie spoof from director Paul Feig. I'll probably take a pass but for those who like this sort of thing I hear it's fun.
A Room With a View (Criterion Collection): Merchant Ivory’s classic film based on the E.M. Forster novel and starring Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sand, and Daniel Day Lewis. I’ve always meant to watch this and now, thanks to Criterion, I can in the best of ways.
The Honeymoon Killers (Criterion Collection): Francois Truffaut’s favorite American film. It's about a couple of con artists who seduce lonely old women via a lonely hearts club and then take all their money.
Sherrybaby: A young woman with a history of drug abuse gets out of prison and tries to reconnect with her five-year old daughter. That plot is pretty tired but it stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and I’m always willing to give her a shot.
Return to Sender: Speaking of bad plot lines, this one is about a smalltown nurse who goes on a blind date with a man who is not the person he says he is. But again it's the stars that make me want to see it and this one has Rosamund Pike and Nick Nolte.
Top Five: Chris Rock wrote, directed, and stars in this comedy in which he plays basically himself - a comedian trying to make it as a serious actor. If you like Chris Rock, I hear it's funny.
iZombie: Season 1: Not sure we need another zombie show, but this one at least seems to have a sense of humor. It's from the folks who produced Veronica Mars and stars Rose McIver as a medical resident who becomes a zombie (albeit one with a personality intact) who works in a morgue where she can feast on plenty of brains. Trouble is those brains give her flashes into the deceased memories including clues to who killed them. Zombie detective, I love it.
Poltergeist: The classic Tobe Hooper ghost flick gets a modern reboot.
Entourage: The Movie: The question is will you see more naked boobs or celebrities in this feature-length version of the HBO series.
Masterworks of American Avant-Garde: 1920-1970: Thirty films have been restored in this four-disk showcase of the weird, the strange, the avant-garde.