From Mary Burgan. Email her at mary[AT]borderstan.com.
Not for her the repulsive roar of a new comic book transition to the screen at Gallery Place. She would rather call up a great movie like Despicable Me on stream or on Netflix Â and enjoy its clever sentimentality one more time.
The Dark Night Rises. I tested The Dark Knight Rises at aÂ Cineplex for this review, and I actually fell asleep. I woke up mainly for Catwoman, played with classy verve by Anne Hathaway. Hathaway seems the best thing in the movie, aside from the elaborate machines. The opening set-up is clever, but it goes on too long, as does almost everything else–like Michel Caineâ€™s sobbing admissionÂ that he has failed the somber Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). I say â€śGoodâ€ť for Michael Caine, but shame from prostituting his talent in this drivel.
Ruby Sparks. I saw two other films that will keep me going back to movie housesÂ (and trying to avoid the ridiculously expensive popcorn there.) The first was Ruby Sparks, a romantic comedy, introducing Zoe Kazan asÂ the new Americaâ€™s Sweetheart. Sheâ€™s unpredictable but loveable, with a cute little nose that always looks vulnerable, on the verge of a cold. That vulnerability plays into this slight fantasy about how you canâ€™t just create a perfect girlfriend on your own.
Beasts of the Southern Wild.Â Another film to keep us going out to the movies is Beasts of the Southern Wild. Its opening imagery is so rich and its people are so phantasmagoric, that you may feel Â lost at first.Â But there is the clear, hard voice of the heroine, Hushpuppy, to explain everything in her own way and by her own cosmology.Â She makes life after a storm in the â€śbathtub,â€ť Â her marginal town that lies outside the Louisiana levee, seem almost normal.
I donâ€™t enjoy confusion in a movie. But in Beasts of the Southern Wild, confusion is the very language of Hushpuppyâ€™s experience of childhood and Nature and the love of a parent. Experience inÂ Beasts of the Southern Wild can be poetic, savagely real about how we are all â€śmeat,â€ť comic, and refusing toÂ be sad. â€śNo cryingâ€ť is the demand of Hushpuppyâ€™s father even in death.
So there are still good movies out there. Iâ€™ll continue to tell you about one or two of them every other week. Meanwhile you may decide to test your wakefulness by seeing The Dark Knight Rises.Â Some people thought it was a pretty good flick.
But donâ€™t miss Ruby Sparks or Hushpuppy.
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