Moviepalooza 2014

Check out the Times’ slideshow on 22 upcoming movies featured at the New York Film Festival, including the heavily promoted Birdman, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.  Gearing up for a lot of good movies as we head into awards season.

New Documentary: The Act of Killing

Looks interesting to say the least, and not for the faint of heart.  The trailer implies to me the possibility of a big mess, but veteran filmmakers Errol Morris (seminal documentary The Thin Blue Line) and Werner Herzog are executive producers, so let’s hope for the best.  It’s also won a bunch of festival awards.  Opens tomorrow, 19 July.

Film Brief: Flight

Flight (now showing) is a well-done if not earth-shattering account of an alcoholic airline pilot, featuring an excellent performance by Denzel Washington.  Solid, entertaining, and engaging; 7/10.  For even better takes on the subject of alcoholism and addiction, see My Name is Joe (1998, Peter Mullan) , Leaving Las Vegas (1995, with Nicolas Cage in a well-deserved, Oscar-winning best actor performance), Spun (2002, Jason Schwartzman), or the “massively entertaining”, groundbreaking, Trainspotting (1996) (see prior post).

This weekend I also saw, as part of the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival here in San Diego, a feature called The Black Dahlia Haunting (2012).  You are highly unlikely to come across this tiny indie, but if you ever do have the opportunity to see it, don’t bother.  It was wretched — boring and horrible in the sense not intended by the festival organizer.  It could not even recognize a camp or cheese factor which was well within its reach, in an attempt at salvation. 1/10