Daliances With Darkness And Air Conditioning

There is a movie coming out this weekend in which Jim Carrey inherits several penguins. At first he hates the penguins, but then the penguins teach him a little something about friendship. It all culminates in a Jim Carrey/penguin synchronized dance to the song Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice because that song has the word Ice in it twice and penguins normally live in cold conditions and the executives behind the film are clearly geniuses.

Yes, it’s summer. The time of year where everything is a sequel or a prequel or a re-imagining or a filmed murder of your favorite childhood book. That being said, we are half way through the year and some great movies have been released you guys. Here are a bunch that, while not all MTV Movie Award Winners, are still pretty incredible.

Fast Five – Yes, I realize that I just complained about everything being a sequel and the first film I am listing is a sequel. And not only is it a sequel, it is the fifth in a series that has had a lot of trouble coming up with different combinations of the words “fast” and “furious” over the years. Say what you will about these movies (please, in the comments), but they have become an American tradition. They went a bit astray in the middle, but this movie brings it like no other dumb action popcorn movie has in a long time. It also has an extended scene in which The Rock and Vin Diesel fight each other. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is like watching a griffin make love to a unicorn.

The Tree of Life – I still haven’t quite figured out what I thought of this movie. It is absolutely beautiful, there is no denying that. And something is happening. Something is TOTALLY happening. It’s like, a metaphor, or one of those things. There are tons of images of sunshine pouring through leaves. And everyone whispers, all the time. And there were dinosaurs. It was like Jurassic Park had a baby with Remains of the Day, and the baby was pissed off and looked like Sean Penn and also it has to do with the Book of Job. So it was great, is what I’m saying. It’s a great movie. And if someone asks you if you saw it, you should say something like “uhhh, I didn’t so much see it as I experienced it?” and make sure your inflection comes up at the end of your sentence so it sounds like you’re asking a question even though you are not.

Drive Angry – In this movie, Nicholas Cage’s character is named Milton, because John Milton wrote Paradise Lost and this is a movie about a guy who escapes from Hell in a muscle car (you see the connection). There is also something in this film called The God Killer –  a gun with special bullets that not only kill you in a devastating way, but then prevent you from going to heaven or hell or purgatory. You go nowhere. Clearly this was also taken from Paradise Lost. In fact, I want to go read Paradise Lost again, because I’d love to re-visit my favorite part of that epic poem where Milton, fully clothed, is having sex with a naked woman while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels and the two are attacked by a bunch of goons who Milton guns down while continuing to have sex, drink whiskey and laugh maniacally. IT’S CLASSIC LITERATURE 101 YOU GUYS. Also, I want to make a documentary about Nicholas Cage and call it La Cage aux Folles. I think it is catchy.

Beginners – This was actually a great movie from start to finish. Really, just fantastic. Lots of neckerchieves in this movie! Apparently when older men come out of the closet they go immediately to neckerchief stores because older gay men have very cold necks. If you think you are going to come out of the closet at the age of 80, you should buy some neckerchieves now and save yourself the hassle because when you are 80 it’s hard to get around and there are about a billion neckerchief stores in the world and they are not located close to each other like some sort of neckerchief emporium or outlet mall. Think ahead. And go see this movie, it is really great.

That’s everything good that I’ve seen. Any suggestions?

8 responses to “Daliances With Darkness And Air Conditioning”

  1. swells says:

    Harrumph. I wanted to go to the movies this week and in my (admittedly provincial) town, it felt like every movie showing was for the 12-and-under set. In fact, I expressed this irritation out loud (alone, in my house) when I was looking at the listings. My outburst went something like “Is everyone in this entire town in elementary school?” Then I heard myself ranting and hished. So my choices were that and movies like Fast Five and Drive Angry, which no. The only films I would be interested in seeing that were playing in my town (Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris), I have already seen. The nearest theatre playing Tree of LIfe was about 27 miles away. I felt despair. I read books instead, books that have taunted me all semester with my lack of time to read them. A Visit from the Goon Squad and Juliet, Naked really pleased me after all that crazy-lady pissiness. But I really just wanted to go to the movies.

    As for Beginners, I have to say that the trailer looked so precious and cliched that I was not tempted, neckerchieves or not. Perhaps this failure of neckerchieves to win my eleven dollars has to do with the fact that I live with someone who was once so well known for his neckerchieving that most of San Francisco referred to him as Ascott. Maybe I will reconsider based on your review.

  2. swells says:

    I don’t mean to be such a crank! And by the way, I loved your reviews of Paradise Lost and Finnegan’s Wake.

  3. LP says:

    “I am not exaggerating when I say that it is like watching a griffin make love to a unicorn.” Very nice.

    We just saw Super 8 and loved it. A great popcorn movie, with all the usual cliches but still gripping, unpredictable, a little bizarre in spots, fun. And the kid who plays the lead role apparently had just come to LA from Moscow, Idaho, hoping to score a spot in a commercial. Then he gets the lead in the biggest movie of the summer! Two thumbs up.

  4. J-Man says:

    Andrew, your movie reviews are so entertaining and funny that I couldn’t possibly see those movies now – I would just be disappointed. But having just seen Super 8 with LP & RB, I agree that Super 8 was Super Fun and Super Suspensful. So perhaps I will indulge in more summer blockbusters. Either that or more Mary Hartman. Hmmmm, hard decision.

  5. FPS says:

    Not so much a metaphor as a…vorshtein, I think.

    Dead on about what you’re supposed to say if asked if you saw it.

  6. Andrew says:

    I agree on Super 8! Very fun. It made me want to rewatch E.T. and Close Encounters for the old Spielberg feeling. Swells, definitely a good option if you are in need of summer fun.

  7. lane says:

    super 8… hmmm. amazingly well made … soda pop? or any other kind of junk food. so well made it’s beyond fault finding.

    but the whole “Catholic” nature of the ending? the rosary and the dead relative? and … it was amazingly well made.

    the best part was seeing it in The Ziegfield! 54th street in mid-town… THAT is a movie palace!

  8. PB says:

    Midnight in Paris! OK really just a retooling of Woody’s early 80’s period. Who cares. Loved it. And I would love to know Andrew what you thought of “Days of Heaven” and whether “Tree” has any echoes. Linda Manz has haunted me. I have not seen the new one yet but want to.