Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5
As followers of this blog know, I like documentaries, and I especially like quirky, funny ones. Three of my favorites in the past few years have been:
The Final Member is in the same vein—a documentary about an off-the-wall topic that, due to circumstances, personalities, subject matter, whatever, becomes interesting, funny and compelling. For 40 years, “Siggi” Hjartarson has run the Icelandic Phallological Museum (after his wife made him remove his growing collection from their house).
The collection has all mammal species on display except for the final phallus to make the exhibit complete—that of a human. The first part of the movie goes through the history of the museum and the rest focuses on Siggi’s effort to get the final exhibit for his museum. He ends up with two competing donors. Pall Aronson is a 90+ year old WWII hero in Iceland and, according to legend, is the greatest lover in Iceland history. He has agreed to donate his penis at his death. Tom Mitchell is a 60-year-old Californian who is willing to donate Elmo, his self-named penis, before his death.
Obviously a lot of people will be turned off by the subject matter. But the movie is pretty funny and interesting, but the director does not make fun of the people involved and it’s interesting to get to hear their story. While this is not as good as the three movies above, I still enjoyed it.
Bill C’s Review – 2 out of 5
In the Skin is a science fiction movie with Scarlett Johansson as an alien that picks up men and lures them to their death.
The film is directed by Jonathan Glazer who made Sexy Beast several years ago, but is also famous for the music videos he has directed. While the movie is visually interesting and the soundtrack is good, the movie is pretty boring and Glazxer never really explains why things are happening. Sometimes that is ok, but not in this case.
Johansson is good in a role that requires her to be emotionless (if they remade this with a male alien, I’d recommend Keanu Reeves). In addition, Johansson has several nude scenes which, for many, will be the best thing going for this movie.
Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5
Joe is a character driven study set in the deep south.
Joe (Nicolas Cage), leads a tree clearing crew. For the most part Joe is a lovable guy who helps everyone but he has anger issues which have gotten him into trouble/jail in the past. He hires and then befriends Gary (Tye Sheridan from The Tree of Life and Mud), a 15 year old with an alcoholic and violent father.
I liked the feel of this movie. The setting in the deep south and the scenes in the woods with the tree clearing crew were great. The interaction between Joe and his crew and the performance of his 2nd in command was excellent. The performances by Cage and Sheridan were also very good. Normally, you’d expect Cage to overact, especially when his anger issues are on display. But he kept things under control. Sheridan was excellent in Mud and he is also excellent here.
There’s a fair amount of tension throughout as Joe has plenty of enemies as well as friends and it’s not clear what path Gary will take. This was worth seeing.
Bill C’s Review – 2.5 out of 5
I’m definitely in the minority as I just considered this an ok super hero movie. Maybe if I was more of a Captain America fan I would have liked this more.
I enjoyed the first half better but the film lost me as more of the character motivations and plot were revealed. I simultaneously thought some of the plot was too over the top while other parts were too predictable. Other movies have done a better job of commenting on current events like shrinking freedoms in a dangerous world and disclosures of government secrets.
While the action was ok I also didn’t think that was outstanding. Maybe the great reviews and my anticipation of the first summer blockbuster (summer keeps coming earlier and earlier! ) set my expectations too high.