Thursday, June 2, 2011

Feature Presentation--Laughs and Crime

Animal Kingdom

Another recommendation from the Totally Rad Show. It finally came up at the library so I gave it go.

Film is about a young boy, 18 I think, who is absorbed into his extended family, who happens to pull robberies. The lead uncle is hiding from the cops as the story begins, with another uncle looking for a way out of this life of crime. The boy is in way over his head, trying balance being one of the family and not getting sucked into their legal problems, while maintaining a relationship with his girlfriend.

I think the term is slow burn. The movie builds towards a stunning finish, with great performances all around, especially the lead and Guy Pearce, as the detective. The movie felt very real and enjoyable all the way to the end. Not sure if it would hold up to multiple viewings, maybe two or three times to follow all the twists, but would definitely recommend seeing it.

Party Down Season 2

What happens when you have the fire of a dream, that fire is put out, just smoking with embers still burning but not extinguished? That's what this show explores with some sincerity and a lot of humor. Each character is pursuing some aspect of entertainment while holding down a crappy job with the catering service. The dynamics and performances of the characters really make this show and it's too bad that it did not get renewed. At the same time, the second season leaves with a cliffhanger that may have been hard to explore so perhaps it's fitting that it ended like that.

The shows move quickly and you can easily watch the entire season in a day, with frequent laughs and hilarity. The company picnic was a particular favorite. Plus Thomas Lennon from the State and Reno 911 makes an appearance in an episode.

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Saw this preview during another movie and waited for the library to get it. The film is based on a book that explores the exploits of Jacques Mesrine, a French robber who flees to Montreal, the scope and audacity of his crimes and his subsequent escapes from prison. Vincent Cassel is absolutely spectacular, performing with an energy and charisma that is captivating. Halfway through the movie I wanted to write a movie just for him. Surely he has to be a Bond villain in the future.

Turns out this movie is only part one of the story. When the credits rolled, I was stunned. The second half is on hold and I hope to get it soon. I'm also interested to read the book, which should tell an interesting story.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5

I don't know how these guys do it but they continue to create stories that are ridiculous, sarcastic and hilarious. The gang continues to get into trouble with mixed intentions and terrible results. The road trip episode was a highlight. The wrestling episode was totally uncomfortable to sit through but a great send up of The Wrestler and hilarious homage to WWE all at the same time. Danny DeVito rekindled some of his Penguin energry from Batman REturns for most of the season, peaking with his Trashman character. Finally there is drinking wine out of pop cans. Bravo!!

I love this show, and plan to start picking up the seasons at Best Buy or on the internet. Yes there is no substance to the show, and I'm ok with that. The writing, performances and laughs are worth every second.

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