Movies You Missed

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movies You Missed: Four Lions

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Barry expresses his jihadist fervor. - MAGNET
  • Magnet
  • Barry expresses his jihadist fervor.
This week in movies you missed: In the past weeks, we've seen many impassioned responses to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. The French film company Wild Bunch took an unusual approach. As Variety reported on January 13, users of the company's digital platform can now stream the British comedy Four Lions (2010) for free. 

Why? According to Wild Bunch's website, "What This Is Spinal Tap did for heavy metal and did [sic] Dr Strangelove for the Cold War, Four Lions does for the modern face of terrorism."

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Movies You Missed: The Guest

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 3:56 PM

click image Would you invite him in? - PICTUREHOUSE
  • Picturehouse
  • Would you invite him in?
This week in movies you missed: Do you long for the days of watching nifty little thrillers on VHS? The latest from horror director Adam Wingard (You're Next) harks back to those rental finds of the '80s in a big way.

What You Missed
Who wouldn't trust a face like David's? The young Iraq veteran (Dan Stevens) has a sweet smile, a forthright gaze and the kind of guileless blue eyes that turn cynics into believers.

That's what happens when David drops in on the small-town Petersons, who are still grieving their son Caleb, killed in action. Part of Caleb's unit, David says he's here to deliver their loved one's last message.

Mom Laura (Sheila Kelley) begs David to stay the night. Dad (Leland Orser) is suspicious — till the guest proves to be the perfect sounding board for his workplace woes.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Movies You Missed: Beyond the Hills

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 4:51 PM

Young nun Voichita (left) gets a visit from an old friend. - IFC FILMS
  • IFC Films
  • Young nun Voichita (left) gets a visit from an old friend.
This week in movies you missed: Remember 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, less formally known as "That Movie About the Horrors of Trying to Obtain an Abortion in Communist Romania"? The tense drama from director Cristian Mungiu played at the Palace 9 in 2008 and earned a rave from Seven Days critic Rick Kisonak.

Mungiu's next film, Beyond the Hills, was heavily lauded at Cannes in 2012. It didn't appear in Vermont multiplexes, but locals had a chance to see it at a Burlington Film Society and Vermont International Film Foundation screening last June.

I recently caught up with Beyond the Hills on Netflix. Normally I don't notice (or give) Netflix star ratings, because I hate star ratings with a passion. (Yes, even the ones I have to give for this paper. Star ratings are dumb.)

But I couldn't help seeing that users of the streaming service had awarded the art film a whole 1.5 stars. My question: Would I like it any better?

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Movies You Missed: 'Black Mirror'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 4:02 PM

click image It's best not to attempt to explain this still from  "The National Anthem." - CHANNEL FOUR
  • Channel Four
  • It's best not to attempt to explain this still from "The National Anthem."
This week in movies TV you missed: Shit gets unreal in the UK's update of "The Twilight Zone" for the internet era. No fan of dark, trippy satire should miss it.

What You Missed
Britain's beloved Princess Susannah has been kidnapped. In a viral YouTube video, her abductor promises to kill her unless the prime minister performs an unspeakable act — on live television.

A woman wakes with no memory to see a mysterious symbol blinking on her TV screen. Everyone she asks for help ignores her pleas and holds up a cellphone to film her. 

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Movies You Missed: White Reindeer

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

click image Hollyman plays a Christmas-obsessed realtor who gets a nasty December surprise. - IFC FILMS
  • IFC Films
  • Hollyman plays a Christmas-obsessed realtor who gets a nasty December surprise.
This week in movies you missed: What's the saddest Christmas movie ever made? I've not talking a mournful-yet-ultimately-heartwarming classic like It's a Wonderful Life. I'm talking sad.

There's director Lynne Ramsay's cult favorite Morvern Callar, which opens with a young woman lying on the floor beside her dead boyfriend — who has committed suicide — while Christmas lights pulse around her.

Writer-director Zach Clark's White Reindeer starts from a strikingly similar premise. He even develops it in Christmas-centric fashion — unlike Morvern, which moves past the holiday in its first hour. Variety declared that the movie "will be treasured annually by those who have acquired its curdled-eggnog taste." That's a big claim, so I checked White Reindeer out.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Movies You Missed: Happy Christmas

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

click image Dunham and Kendrick demonstrate their babysitting talents. - MAGNOLIA
  • Magnolia
  • Dunham and Kendrick demonstrate their babysitting talents.
This week in movies you missed: How happy can a mumblecore Christmas be? Let's find out!

Happy Christmas is the 2014 offering from prolific low-budget director Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Hannah Takes the Stairs), whom you may also have seen on screen in You're Next, The Sacrament, V/H/S and a host of other films. Spotting him is the indie-film version of Where's Waldo?

What You Missed
Jeff (Swanberg) and Kelly (Melanie Lynskey of Heavenly Creatures) are an arty couple living in Chicago with their 2-year-old son. Into their lives comes Jeff's younger sister, Jenny (Anna Kendrick), who's looking for new direction after a breakup. She crashes in their basement, parties with her friend Carson (Lena Dunham) and starts a tentative relationship with the couple's pot-dealing babysitter (Mark Webber).

Soft-spoken Kelly isn't crazy about Jenny's general lack of having her shit together. But as they talk, Jenny's nervous energy galvanizes her, and she finds herself wondering why she's put her work as a novelist on hold to be a full-time mom. Jenny eggs Kelly on to write a "sexy mom" book (à la Fifty Shades of Grey) that could catapult her to the best-seller lists, and an unlikely friendship results.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Movies You Missed: Charlie Countryman

Posted By on Fri, Nov 28, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Two former child stars meet, and their love is poetry. Or is it … a music video? - MILLENNIUM ENTERTAINMENT
  • Millennium Entertainment
  • Two former child stars meet, and their love is poetry. Or is it … a music video?
This Week in Movies You Missed: Shia LaBeouf stars in an indie film he did not direct. The original title was The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman and, honestly, I think that tells you everything you need to know.

But in case you haven't made a snap judgment and are willing to give this film a chance, here's more:

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Movies You Missed: Frank

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM

click image Jon and Frank make friends. - MAGNOLIA
  • Magnolia
  • Jon and Frank make friends.
This week in movies you missed: Michael Fassbender puts on a big papier-mâché head to play an art rocker with issues, and the result is my favorite comedy of 2014 (so far).

What You Missed
Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is a young singer-songwriter with more aspiration than inspiration. Basically, all his song ideas are crap.

Then Jon meets the Soronprfbs. The band's keyboardist has just tried to drown himself, and they need a replacement for tonight's show. When Jon shows up for the last-minute (and catastrophic) gig, he's weirded out by the band's American frontman, Frank (Fassbender), who wears a giant fake head. Not just for shows, all the time. ("I have a certificate!" he yells at anyone who asks him to take it off.)

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Movies You Missed: The Double

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM

click image Besides two Jesse Eisenbergs, this world has soup vending machines. Cool! - MAGNOLIA
  • Magnolia
  • Besides two Jesse Eisenbergs, this world has soup vending machines. Cool!
This week in movies you missed: Are two Jesse Eisenbergs better than one?

What You Missed
Simon James (Eisenberg) is a loser. Total strangers order him to vacate his seat on the subway. His fellow employees at a drab government agency barely recognize him. Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), the depressed, ethereal girl he loves, doesn't know he's alive. He uses a telescope to observe her through her window and carefully retrieves the torn-up artwork she throws in the trash.

Then James Simon (also Eisenberg) enters the picture. The new employee could be Simon's physical twin, but he's outgoing, gregarious, likable, manipulative. In no time at all, James has Simon doing favors for him and Hannah in his bed. He knows how to make her happy — and unhappy, it transpires.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Movies You Missed: The Dirties

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

click image Matt prepares to fulfill what he believes is his destiny. - PHASE 4 FILMS
  • Phase 4 Films
  • Matt prepares to fulfill what he believes is his destiny.
This week in movies you missed: Yes, there's a found-footage film about a school shooting. But it's not the sensationalist attention-grab you might expect.

What You Missed
Matt (Matt Johnson, who also directed, produced, cowrote and co-edited) and Owen (Owen Williams) are two Canadian high school students making a movie. It's called The Dirties, and it's a revenge fantasy about destroying the bullies who dog them at school.

Matt, who has a basement full of movie posters, has stuffed his debut auteur effort with swaths of dialogue from Pulp Fiction and obscurer references to films like Irreversible. Owen is happy just to go along for the ride and "shoot" prop guns.

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