Our film critic, Larry Thomas, interviews documentarian Davy Rothbart about Medora, his newest film about this small-town Indiana’s basketball team and how it mirrors the struggle of the town itself. Medora will be screened at the Contemporary Arts Center on Monday, December 9.
With Christmas gift time just around the corner, give some thought to presenting that special film buff in your life with a DVD or Blu-Ray box set to match his or her tastes and interests. It’s possible to find box sets of just about anything that’s been committed to film. There are sets of animated works for kids; sets of TV shows from the early 1950s through just last season; and sets of films by genre, actor, or director. If you’re into the cinematic equivalent of self-flagellation, there’s even a box set of all of the Police Academy movies.
Many of the current comic book films are hit or miss with me. I loved The Avengers, even to the point of having it on my ten best list for the year of its release. Unfortunately, the current offering from Marvel Studios, Thor: The Dark World is nowhere near that good. I have not seen the first Thor film, so comparisons aren’t appropriate, but having seen the newest Thor adventure, I’m not particularly eager to catch up with the first one.
It’s seems logical that the big success of the two Hangover films should inspire a similar tale that might be referred to as “the Hangover on Medicare.” That sums up the concept of Last Vegas, in which four lifelong friends meet in Las Vegas for the wedding of one of them and to have the bachelor party of a lifetime. After having seen the rather lackluster trailer a couple of times, I was not necessarily eager to see Last Vegas, but surprise…I really liked it. The cast was terrific, the dialogue funny, and the situations revealed a nice mix of surprises, reconciliations, and warm fuzzies.
If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness a train wreck, chances are it was an accident. Hopefully, no one would cause a train to wreck on purpose, causing a big expensive mess. However, if you’re witness to a train wreck of a movie, that has to be the work of lots of people with lots of money at their disposal to execute a misguided vision of what it is they’ve set out to make. Such a cinematic train wreck is The Counselor.