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At the Movies: Summer Movie Spectacular!

August 12, 2012

Going to a matinee is one of my all-time favorite things to do, and given that it has been nearly 100 degrees every day for the last week in Los Angeles, it has been a great way to cool down as well!  Here are a a few films I’ve seen and loved, and a few I’m looking forward to seeing and loving. 🙂 Catch them if you can!

Ai Wei Wei Never Sorry (now playing) 

In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, Chinese contemporary artist Ai Wei Wei is not just one of the most significant artists of our time, but one of the most significant people.   Wei Wei embraces technological advances in communication such as Twitter and blogging to share truths with the world.  This documentary examines some of his personal life (his equally radical poet father, his young son from a woman other than his wife) but its main goal is following Wei Wei on his quest to right political wrongs in a country that just wants to shut him up.  It is touching, fascinating, at times shocking, and totally inspiring.


Ruby Sparks (now playing)

At first I had an aversion to this movie, chalking it up to another means to worship the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (see: Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Zooey Deschanel in…pretty much everything) but actually this rom-com-with-a-twist written by Zoe Kazan (who also plays the aforementioned MPDG opposite real life boyfriend Paul Dano) pokes fun at the whole idea of such an unlikely kind of woman as much as it gives into her charms.  At times you might see exactly where things are going, but overall the script is clever and the cast, which also includes Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas, is totally committed.

2 Days in New York (opens August 12)

Did you see Before Sunrise?  Okay, number one: go see it.  How about 2 Days in Paris?  If not, add that to the list, too.  Julie Delpy, who starred in Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset (for which she also has a writing credit), has made her career playing the free-spirited French girl.  When she wrote the hilarious script for 2 Days in Paris, in which she co-starred with Adam Goldberg, she got to give her own voice and another dimension to such a character and now, as an approaching 40-year old mother she explores yet another side in 2 Days in New York (not so much a sequel as a counterpart) which she also penned and stars with Chris Rock.  To say she is the French, female Woody Allen is too easy; Delpy creates a character with too many complications to be labeled.

The Master (opens September 21)

Paul Thomas Anderson.  Joaquin Phoenix.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  I mean…need I go on?! Who isn’t looking forward to this film which may or may not be an artistic expose on Scientology?  Oh, right.  I know the answer.

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