For your viewing pleasure, the short film the Angulo brothers were making at the end of The Wolfpack. Nothing tremendous here; it’s obviously derivative of David Lynch (whose films are never mentioned in the documentary), but it’s honest and simple and sweet. These boys have some talent, which makes their shuttered existence all the more intriguing.
There’s no denying the bombshell nature of The Wolfpack, but my problem is documentary or not, there’s got to be a good plot, that progression and arc of story I keep hammering away at. But there’s a fascination level with this picture. It’s the type of movie — like Beasts of the Southern Wild — that while not a truly great film on an absolute scale, still transports us to a whole new world we’ve never seen before, and thereby stands as a movie not to be forgotten any time soon.
So I give a solid recommendation despite having to answer “where are we going with this?” with “not very far.” And these guys do have good taste in movies. 7/10
Comparison Notes (recommended): Room
Another Star Wars, another Death Star. Yawn. Which is too bad, because I was really looking forward to this movie. And the first two-thirds or so held up well, with some terrific sequences wrapped around something of a compelling story. But then another Death Star — and a completely unbelievable one given the context of the other episodes, and an extended, wearying action sequence to go about attacking it.
The magic, mystery and wonder the of the original series is long gone, but the first part of the film was strong enough to yield a mild thumbs-up. Not that it matters, as Star Wars has already earned more money than every other movie ever made combined. 6/10
Just a quick note: CNN is nailing it with 1-hour documentary series. First there was High Profits (still waiting for Season 2… things were left hanging there, CNN), and now This is Life with Lisa Ling. Haven’t seen much of this show, but there was an awesome episode last night, “The Seduction Game.” I get the feeling all the episodes are this good — Lisa Ling makes it so.
Credit to my sister for bringing this low budget indie to my attention. Two Step features a good, tense storyline driven by one mean hombre. But a movie needs depth. 6/10
Availability: Netflix, iTunes
In the opening moments of Brooklyn, I was thinking this is a real sleeper. Not in the sense of a sleeper hit, but in the sense of YAWN. After a bit, though, the movie falls into something of a groove, if a rather sappy one. But it slips out of this higher gear soon enough.
Put another way, Brooklyn is a great movie for people who don’t like much to happen in a movie. And as snide as that may sound, I am quite serious. It’s received universal praise, so obviously a lot of people have been struck by it. Me, not so much. There is a certain rather slight charm, and a little growing tension toward the end, so I didn’t hate it or anything. But if you’re looking for power or eloquence, look elsewhere. 4/10
Comparison Notes (both much better choices): Ever After, Local Hero