At The Theater 2011 #10: Midnight in Paris Aug27

At The Theater 2011 #10: Midnight in Paris...

Thankfully we were still in Bar Harbor when Midnight in Paris opened up at Reel Pizza. Woo-hoo! Another excuse to eat pizza and watch a movie in a theater. We didn’t line up early enough for Midnight in Paris. There was a sizable crowd outside the theater when we showed up, which unfortunately meant our group of five would have to split up. Fortunately, it meant that we could make use of the couches in the first two rows of the theater. No one couch there is big enough for five people, but when you divide up across two couches suddenly I’m splayed out like I’m at home in my living room. Reel Pizza has a new pie on their menu, with fresh basil and goat cheese. It is awesome. If we made any mistake in this trip to Reel Pizza, it wasn’t showing up too late to get seats together, it was ordering a small instead of a large on the basil and goat cheese pie. It went quickly. I haven’t seen every Woody Allen movie. Actually, I could probably count on one hand the number of Woody Allen movies I’ve seen. That said, I loved Midnight in Paris. It was stellar. It’s funny, it’s romantic. Owen Wilson is great. But the real stars of the movie are the actors playing the historical figures that he meets. Corey Stall as Hemingway was definitely my favorite, with Adrien Brody’s Dali coming in a close second. “Rhinoceros!” “Dali!” The one odd thing about Midnight in Paris is that Owen Wilson’s character Gil is obsessed with Paris in the 20’s, but with the exception of Marion Cotillard’s fictional character Adriana, every other person he meets in a real life American or Spaniard. Marion Cotillard is beyond charming. If...

At The Theater 2011 #9: Submarine Aug24

At The Theater 2011 #9: Submarine...

There’s a lot to be said for a great movie theater. When I’m in Los Angeles, I feel the need to see a movie at the Arclight. And when I travel to Bar Harbor, ME, I need to see a movie at Reel Pizza. I have never made a trip to Bar Harbor without seeing at least one movie at Reel Pizza. I was looking forward to seeing Horrible Bosses or Midnight in Paris at Reel Pizza when we arrived in Bar Harbor. Unfortunately, I read the schedule wrong and those two movies weren’t showing up until later in the week, so we had our choice of Tree of Life and Submarine. I didn’t know anything about Submarine before heading into the theater. I’d only seen the poster, which is pretty much just the face and torso of a Welsh teenager. But I did hear things about Tree of Life, mainly that it was long, boring and hard to understand. So Submarine it is! Submarine is great. I definitely recommend watching it. If you like the humor that comes from awkward situations, like the kind found in Louis C.K.’s show Louis, I think you will enjoy Submarine a lot. Submarine captures the awkwardness of being a teenager, especially an unpopular one, very well. Ah, young love. Young, awkward love. If you have quick eyes, you might be able to catch Ben Stiller’s cameo in the movie. It’s faster than Rebecca Romajin’s cameo in X-Men: First Class. I thought this was Ben Stiller. But it’s not. My favorite pizza at Reel Pizza is the Hawaii 5-0. We had a larger group with us in Maine this time around, so we ventured out of our usual and added a large Godfather to our order. The Godfather...

On The Couch 2011 #22: The Expendables Aug22

On The Couch 2011 #22: The Expendables...

When I first saw the poster for The Expendables, I thought, “Who is going to see that?” And then the movie came out and it was box office gold. I was shocked it did so well. The trailer made it look like the schlockiest, overdone action movie in years. I didn’t understand how there was this much demand for 1980s action nostalgia. But that was back before I dove into the glory that is the Rambo universe. I may divide my life into Before Seeing Rambo (BSR) and After Seeing Rambo (ASR) going forward. After watching Rambo III, I immediately wanted to watch Rambo followed by The Expendables. After seeing Rambo (First Blood Pt. 4, not Part 2), I thought I could wait a little before seeing The Expendables. Is this all the proof you need that Rambo III is better than Rambo? For a movie called The Expendables, they’re all surprisingly resilient. I was surprised to see none of the team members die, not even in an inspiring “I die so you can live” scenario. Even team betrayer and all around psycho Gunner Jensen, played by The Punisher’s Dolph Lundgren survives a vicious stabbing AND is allowed back on the team! How do you make room for fresh faces in the sequel if everyone makes it out this time around? Speaking of Dolph Lundren, if there is anything that has degraded more amazingly since the 1980’s than Domino’s Mickey Rourke’s looks, it’s Dolph Lundgren’s acting ability. How this is possible when you consider how bad an actor Dolph was even at the top of his game is beyond me. But it’s true. Sylvester Stallone with Christina Aguilera on the set of her video for Beautiful. If any of The Expendables was expendable, it...

On the Couch 2011 #21: City Island Aug01

On the Couch 2011 #21: City Island...

City Island is one of those movies that if you grew up in New York City, you need to see, especially if you grew up in an Italian section of one of the outer boroughs. The majority of the movie takes place on City Island, small former fishing village off the coast of the Bronx, but it’s not a Bronx movie. It could just have easily taken place in Brooklyn or Long Island City, Queens. This is one of those movies that I expect my relatives to enjoy, especially those in my parents’ generation, because the characters could easily be people they know. The plot of City Island didn’t play out like I expected it to. When a cop makes the decision to take a con home to live with his family, it sounds like the makings of a Cape Fear-esque thriller. But City Island turns this plot device on its head. The young con, who is also unaware he is the son of the cop taking him home, serves as a character playing out the audience’s POV. He is the stranger in this very strange family, finding out their deceptions to each other, like husband and wife Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies both lying to each other about quitting smoking. No one in the family is telling the truth to each other, with the exception of con Tony, played expertly by Steven Strait Even reading must be done in secret on City Island. Shhhh. There is plenty of humor to be found in City Island. Whether it’s Andy Garcia’s prison guard (er, I mean…Corrections Officer) turned actor Vince Rizzo attending his first audition or his teenage son finding out that the object of his internet affection lives directly across the street, you will...