January 24th, 2014 — This week at the movies!

Theater ThursdaysHello once again, my fellow geeks.

This week brings us to the fourth weekend of the new year and the second full column of the same.  A couple of weeks ago I gave you my top 10 films of 2013 and a few reasons why I chose each of them. Last week while I would have normally been writing the column I was in a fever haze of bronchitis and in the grip of an upper respiratory infection that I wouldn’t wish upon my worse enemy.

As I lay in that haze though, I was still thinking about the column. I was thinking about what I would have liked to have written if I could have focused my eyes and moved my fingers. After a trip to the doctor and a couple of steroid shots, some breathing treatments and a lot of antibiotics and shots from an inhaler, I am feeling almost back to my old self. I have still been thinking about the column though.

I don’t want this column to become boring or to risk becoming rote. I don’t want it to just be the same old thing week after week. With that thought in mind, I am going to be trying a few new things over the next few weeks and we’ll see what works and what doesn’t. I am never really sure how many of you, if any, are out there reading me, but as always, if you see something you like or really dis-like, please feel free to let me know.

I am old enough to used to read the paper on a daily basis. My personal favorite was always UDAToday. It was my favorite because it had a pretty decent arts and life section, which meant it had movie news and reviews. Every Tuesday (I think it was Tuesday…maybe Wed?) Larry King had a column there. It was kind of a “week in the life” kind of thing where he would talk about movies he had seen, plays he had seen, maybe a book or an album he had read or heard. It was real stream of consciousness stuff.

I am thinking of trying something like that. Most of it will be about film of course, since that is the primary reason I’m here, but there may be occasions where I am excited about something else and I will bring that to your attention as well.

For instance: any of you who happen to be friends with me on Facebook know, I have recently found a new favorite band. Their name is HAIM and they are three sisters from the valley in Los Angeles who have been playing together since they were little kids. They actually play instruments. Guitars, bass, keyboards. They have a drummer with them live, but otherwise, it’s just them. They are in their mid-twenties now and have just released their debut album and it is a killer. It is filled with the kind of hook filled rock-pop that I was starting to think they just didn’t make anymore. They sound like a long-lost band from the 1980’s. It’s as if Fleetwood Mac and Rick Springfield had a baby and The Eagles and Van Morrison were Uncles. The lead singer evokes Christine McVie and it is absolutely glorious to listen to.

Go to YouTube and look them up, give them a listen and then tell me I’m wrong. Go ahead….I’ll wait.

Of course I will still be talking mostly about movies. That is my true love. I grew up playing music and watching movies. They are both in my soul and part of my DNA.

Sadly, with being sick and working non-stop when I was well enough to stand, I haven’t seen very much lately and they depresses me. There are some great films out there right now. A film I saw and really loved? The Secret life of Walter Mitty. I’ll tell you upfront, the trailers did nothing for me. They made the film look like a strange kind of fantasy and to be honest, it looked overbearing, cute and trite. I am happy to report that it is not. It is actually a very sweet and very well made film about stepping out of our comfort zone and taking chances and the joy and the life we might find waiting when we do.  I didn’t see it in time to add it to my top 10 list, but I am almost sure it would have made it in. If you get a chance to catch it at a matinée or a dollar theater, do so. The vistas and the beautiful expanses really need to be seen on a big screen.

The last film I saw was Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It is exactly the film the trailers are advertising. That’s not really a bad thing, but don’t go in looking for some next-level event film. It is a nice, tight, paint by the numbers thriller with some nice character work being done by Kevin Costner and Chris Pine. If you are drawn to geo-political thrillers, like I am, then you will find this an agreeable time-passer.

Next on my list to see is Inside Llewyn Davis, the new Coen Brothers film that is now playing at the Ballantyne Village 5. It didn’t make the cut for the Best Picture Nomination released last week, but people I know and trust who have seen it say that was a mistake by the Academy. I will let you know.

The only film opening this week is I, Frankenstein, from the makers of the Underworld series of films. Based on the trailers and ads, they are using the same blue textured film they used for those films and given the PG-13 rating this one is getting, I can guess what kind of film it will be. It will be serviceable and workmanlike, it will have some dodgy CGI and some very over the top acting by some serious British actors collecting a paycheck and it will come and go in a matter of weeks to be followed in a few months by an unrated edition dvd that will feature scenes too this or that to be seen in theaters.

Will I see it? Probably. But I’m in no rush to.

Well, that just about does it for this week but these are just a few ideas I am having for the column. What do you think?

There will still be stand alone reviews of course and when the films coming out warrant it, I will do a more film by film breakdown of whats coming, but my goal is to make this column something fun to read. I love film and I love writing about it, so I will continue to do both and I hope you will join me here each week for a few minutes to see the fruits of my labor that week.

I’ll see you here next week and as always, until then, Keep the Projector Threaded.