i saw the new trailer for the latest wes anderson film this weekend, the grand budapest hotel. release scheduled for next march, 2014. ahh that seems like a long time away!
i love going to sunday afternoon matinees, so i was really happy when i discovered brooklyn heights cinema, a 2-screen movie theatre located just a few blocks from my apartment in dumbo. this tiny theatre plays independent and foreign movies and has a quant old-school vibe.
this was a great venue to see the wonderful ‘safety not guaranteed’, a low-key indie movie about a guy who writes an add seeking a partner to “go back in time” with him, and the team of journalists who seek him out for an upcoming story. i thought the young aubrey plaza did an excellent job as the intern who befriends kenneth, the writer of the article. i was also happy to see jake johnson, who i’ve only seen as struggling hipster roommate in ‘new girl’, play the writer who uses the story as an excuse to track down his childhood flame.
the movie is essentially about finding someone to connect with, and i found myself less worried about whether kenneth could actually travel back in time than in following the somewhat oddball characters and their journeys to a higher degree of self-discovery. there is a real feeling of warmth throughout the movie which you don’t typically find in some of the higher-budget films. overall, highly recommended.
i had never heard of ‘take this waltz’ when i ordered it late a night in a philadelphia hotel room, and i really ended up enjoying it. the movie is beautifully shot; it takes place in the dead of summer, and you can almost feel the heat coming off the screen. michelle williams plays a housewife who falls for one of her neighbors, and her portrayal of the guilt and inner-conflict that stems from this situation is well-acted and believable. williams seems to flock toward these type of roles, and her performance here reminded me of the characters she played in ‘blue valentine’ and ‘my week with marilyn’ (i’d also recommend both of those movies if you haven’t seen them). though williams is the focal-point of this movie, it was also interesting to see seth rogen play a serious role of her chef husband.
this low-key movie is more about atmosphere than a huge amount of action, and some people may find the pacing a bit slow. however, i thought it was really well-done and thought-provoking. recommended.
i’ve wanted to see the artist for a few weeks now (even more so since it won best picture), and i finally had a chance to see it this weekend at the paris theatre, which is located across from the plaza hotel in midtown manhattan / central park south. if you haven’t been to the this theatre before, i would definitely recommend seeing a movie there. we sat on the mezzanine level (who knew movie theaters with mezzanines still existed!) and it was the perfect location to see the nostalgic black and white ‘silent movie’.
overall, i really liked the film. i’m not sure whether i would have awarded it best picture, but it was entertaining and a nice ‘throw back’ to a time long past. i thought the acting was good – its no easy feat to keep audiences entertained with no spoken dialogue – and i give all the actors props for managing this with (what seemed like) relative ease. john goodman, of course, was stellar in his supporting role. i haven’t seen him in much since barton fink (awesome movie) and it was a pleasant surprise to see him on screen. the music, which pretty much plays uninterrupted throughout the entire movie, was also well done. my only complaint was that it did seem to drag a bit toward the end. 4 out of 5 stars.