Every now and again, my wife will load up the daughter with her in the car and take off to visit her parents or some other such thing, leaving me alone in the house for a few days. I always take this opportunity to go to the movie theater and see things we normally wouldn't see on the big screen. The wife doesn't consult the movie listings before she goes to ensure there is something I really want to watch, so it is always a bit of hit and miss as to what is available to watch. This last summer there were several films I was interested in but it came down between The Farewell and Sword of Trust. I chose the latter mostly because it starred Marc Maron and I'd been listening to his podcast a lot at the time. Nothing against that movie, it's an enjoyable romp about a pawnshop owner who finds a sword that supposedly proves the South won the Civil War, but I really wished I had watched The Farewell.
One of the things I like to do with these go-it-alone movie adventures is to find smaller films that aren't getting huge cineplex releases and see something really fun, interesting, and acclaimed. Generally speaking, I tend to watch the big award winners long after they've received the awards so it's nice being able to see them before the buzz. Sword of Trust was enjoyable but it won't be taking home any awards. But The Farewell, it has Oscar buzz.
The film is about a family who return to China under the guise of a fake wedding in order to say goodbye to the matriarch of the family who is dying (but who doesn't know she's dying). It looks very funny and warm and it's gotten lots of favorable reviews, including from our own Matthew St. Clair. It's from A24 studios which has put out fascinating independent films like First Reformed, Lean on Pete, Midsommar, and Under the Silver Lake. I'm looking forward to catching up with this one.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Charley Varrick: Kino Lorber brings us a new 4K master of this Don Siegel film starring Walter Matthau as a small-time crook who outfoxes the mafia and the law. Read my review.
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Animated film that tells the true story of Luis Buñuel making his 1933 documentary Land Without Bread. Read Michael Frank's review.
Star Trek Discovery: Season Two: Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller created this new Star Trek series for CBS All Access. It takes place about a decade before The Original Series. I'm not a hardcore Trekker, I haven't followed any of the series beyond the original and The Next Generation. But I like Bryan Fuller a lot, so I need to check in with this one.
Flowers in the Attic (Arrow Video): Based upon the V.C. Andrews novel, this adaptation from 1987 stars Louise Fletcher and Kristy Swanson. It’s about four of kids who are taken to live with their grandparents in a huge, old mansion where they are kept in a room just below the attic. They are only visited by their mother who slowly becomes more and more erratic and distant. I’ll have a full review up soon.
The Mountain: Tye Sheridan and Jeff Goldblum star in this drama about a young man who goes to work for a doctor who specializes in lobotomies. Read David Wangberg's review.
Return to Return to Nuke 'Em High a.k.a. Vol. 2: Two lesbians must save Tromaville's Nuke 'Em High from the ongoing effects of the nuclear-sludge filled tacos while also trying to keep their illicit love affair from being unmasked. Or, in other words, another nutty Troma film from Lloyd Kaufman.
The Daytrippers (Criterion Collection): Comedy about a woman who discovers a love letter from her husband to another woman and the road trip her family takes to confront the cheater. Stars Stanley Tucci, Hope Davis, Parker Posey, and Liev Schreiber.
Good Boys: Three sixth grade boys embark on an epic journey where they have all sorts of not very good boy adventures.
47 Meters Down: Five backpackers go diving to explore an underwater city and discover sharks. It looks like super dumb fun.