Every generation has movies that define their childhoods. Typically, these are ones you ‘just had to be there’ to truly experience an unwavering, visceral nostalgia for. I was born in the 80’s, so if I had to make a master list of my own, just off the top of my head it’d probably include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. But there are many 80’s and early 90’s staples that I managed to miss completely—no, I didn’t grow up under a rock, but movies like The Princess Bride, Clueless, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone (okay, most everything by John Hughes) and Back to the Future are all ones I somehow managed to miss entirely.
But now, thanks to a friend who literally set up a private screening in a college lecture auditorium for me because he was so upset I hadn’t seen it, I have finally watched Back To The Future for the first time at the age of 27. And boy do I have questions.
Life Itself (2014)
Directed by Steve James
It seems that if you’re a film critic, your opinion of Life Itself boils down to whatever your opinion is of Roger Ebert. Those who disliked him, and have accused him of dumbing down film criticism by chewing up the art form in order to make it digestible for mass audiences, have disliked the film. And those who loved him for his wit, knowledge, and simple yet elegant prose, have championed it.
Stuck is one of the best horror movies of the last decade, and one of the only ones to ever make me cringe. It’s not for the faint of heart—and I mean that on a things-happening-to-the-human-body level as well as a human-beings-being-awful-to-each-other level.
It’s based on the (unfortunately) true story of a woman named Chante Jawan Mallard who, while driving home under the influence, hit a homeless man with her car. She then continued home with the man stuck, still alive, in the front windshield of her car, and intentionally left him to die in her garage. She is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a Texas prison.
It’s a horrific story, and fittingly, the film does not play the scenario for laughs. Unfortunately, the trailer does just that:
Marshall McLuhan. That’s right, that guy in the movie theater line scene in Annie Hall. McLuhan was a philosopher, and his contributions are right up there with those of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. His particular focus was on mediums, and how they influence our thinking. A person raised before the printing press is different, on a functional level, from a person raised with a television in their home in the 60s, or a person raised with Wikipedia constantly at their fingertips. Our very modes of thought are changed by the forms of information around us.
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Written & Directed by James DeMonaco
I want to preface this review by saying that when I went to see The Purge: Anarchy, the girl in front of me on the line for the concession stand had a picture of Drake in her wallet. This has no bearing on the rest of my review or the film; it’s just something I had to tell the world.
On to the movie.