My Dinner with Andre (1981)
Really all you need to know is that it co-stars this guy from The Princess Bride:
The entire movie takes place at a dinner with two old friends: the Sicilian up there and another dude, Andre Gregory. Each one is playing a version of their real selves. Gregory is like your most talkative, craziest, and most well-travled friend all rolled up into one guy and then stuffed inside your one uncle who really knows how to carry a story. Watching a two-hour dinner conversation seems like it would be boring, but it is endlessly watchable. Plus, it is directed by Louis Malle, an important director who teamed up with Jacques Cousteau on a separate film. This is a classic.
21 Jump Street
Yea, I said it. Watch it fools. This is one of the biggest cinematic surprises I’ve seen in a while. The film smartly parodies itself along with every other action movie ever made. It borders on slapstick or, perhaps, becoming the latest installment in the Naked Gun series, but stays just on the proper side of that line and succeeds widely. It also surprisingly earns its “R” rating with vulgar (but hilarious) language.
Le Samurai (France, 1967)
Midway through the film Jef, the main character, explains what he must do: “At the payoff they tried to kill me. Now I have to find them before they find me.” I won’t tell you what happens before or after, but the movie is in French, features the 1967 French version of Halle Berry, is about a contract killer, and is part of the Criterion Collection. What else do you need to know? It features real tension and action without all the unnecessary car chases. True suspense thriller.
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Yea, I was kinda surprised it wasn’t better too. It takes some very smart people to make a movie this bad, but the Duplass brothers were up to the task. It’s so self-aware it’s almost postmodern. Ostensibly, the film is about a family, each of whom is looking for meaning in a life that’s proved to be less than they dreamed. In reality, it’s about trying to make a cutesy Little Miss Sunshine-style independentish coming-of-age film with good music. It features a strange deus ex machina imported from Crash. If your mother-in-law gets you the DVD for Christmas give it a spin one night when you don’t have much going on.
Meh. It was alright. Liked the non-conventional ending without emotional payoff. Matthew McConaughey is pretty epic and the rest of the cast does a good job. Story loses steam during the second half and most of the film is pretty predicable. In fact, you probably already know most of what is going to happen just trying to imagine the film in your mind. Except imagine it not as funny. No, even less funny. Has some muscled dudes if you’re into that kind of thing, but I’ve seen hotter. Anything with Matt Damon, for example. “Matt Damon! Matt Damon!” Might also be worth a rental, but slide it way down your list.