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.
This is our 250th post! Woo! That’s a hell of a lot of posts, and even if you’re a fan of the site, you probably haven’t read all of them. So, here’s a list of some posts that have slipped through the cracks and don’t have as many views as some others, but are great and certainly worth checking out:
Proposed Double Feature: ‘The 400 Blows’ & ‘The Creature Who Walks Among Us’ | by John D’Amico
Under The Skin (2013)
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Screenplay by Jonathan Glazer & Walter Campbell
Based on a novel by Michel Faber
While waiting in line for the bathroom, I couldn’t help but overhear two women talking about the movie we had all just come from.
“Totally pointless. What was that even about?”
I guess on the surface I can see how this film could seem pointless. I mean, I get it—long silences, abstract cinematography, and alien invaders just don’t really do it for some people. However, I couldn’t help but think that maybe the reason they didn’t understand the movie was because they weren’t looking in the right place; this isn’t actually a movie about an “alien seductress [that] preys upon the population of Scotland” as its IMDB tagline says, it’s a movie about women and their place in modern society.
They Came Together (2014)
Directed by David Wain
Written by David Wain & Michael Showalter
You don’t need a review from me of They Came Together—it’s great, it’s hilarious, go watch it. I saw it two nights ago and I plan to see it again pretty soon. It’s just too damn good.
Surprisingly, it has a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t mean that I was expecting it to have a higher rating—quite the opposite, since some of the cleverest and most subversive comedies of the last twenty years have very low ratings: Freddy Got Fingered, MacGruber, Hell Baby, The Brothers Solomon, The Goods, The Wrong Guy, Reno 911: Miami, Nacho Libre, even Step Brothers. The list goes on—those were just ones off the top of my head. Oh, and toss two of David Wain’s previous films on that list too, while you’re at it: Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten.
The culprit seems to be that most critics don’t try and understand comedies like they do dramas. It doesn’t occur to them that maybe the reason they’re not laughing isn’t because the jokes aren’t funny, but because they don’t get them. These hypocrites don’t see their own sense of humor as a brain muscle in need of toning, whereas they’ll spend their whole lives consciously strengthening their understanding of ‘mise en scéne’ or ‘auteurship’ or ‘symoblism’ or ‘dialectics’ or ‘semiotics’ or whatever.
A Teacher (2013)
Written & Directed by Hannah Fidell
There is a movie called A Teacher. I want you to read that sentence again, so in case you’re like me and your automatic reaction to instructions is to ignore them, I will type it again, forcing you to:
There is a movie called A Teacher.
Here’s why I like that sentence—the most you can say about the movie A Teacher is that the person the filmmaker shot the most footage of was playing a teacher in this movie about a teacher that is called A Teacher. Nothing could ever be more literal. I have no idea what writer-director Hannah Fidell was going for with her title, but she has achieved the strongest connection in history between a piece of art and its title—A Teacher is most definitely 75 minutes of a teacher.