Admin

There’s a certain kind of movie that we don’t see very often anymore. The small-scale film with an unflashy but talented cast, telling a simple story. Maybe a comedy with some dramatic elements, maybe a drama with a good sense of humor. Nary a superhero to be seen nor an explosion to be heard.

Those films, once a staple of the cineplex, are now largely the domain of streaming services. Their ongoing and unslakable thirst for content means that they have, almost by accident, become the last bastion of this sort of movie.

“Jerry & Marge Go Large” is a perfect illustration of this shift. You’ve got a couple of older stars in Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening – capable, consummate pros who are very good at what they do – in the lead. Based on true events involving a man who figured out a loophole to game the lottery, it’s a movie that offers a story that revolves around people who are neither young nor wearing spandex. A movie for grown-ups, as my friend Rich Kimball likes to say.

But movies for grown-ups don’t sell. Not anymore.

Twenty years ago, this movie opens in theaters and does perfectly serviceable box office. Now, it’s an exclusive offering from a lower-tier streaming service like Paramount+. No judgment – I’m glad that there are folks out there willing to devote resources to this kind of movie – but it’s undeniably different.

The film itself is pleasant enough, albeit a little slight. It’s a story of ordinary folks stumbling into something extraordinary, yet never changing who they are. A tale of older people looking for meaning in a world that has in many ways left behind, and finding it – but not where they thought it would be. You won’t be surprised by much, but that’s part of the joy. In many ways, this is a favorite blanket of a movie: warm and a little worn, frayed but comforting nevertheless.

Published in Style

Full disclosure: I dig talking animal movies. Always have. Do I recognize that these movies are often not good? Reader, I do. And I don’t care. Give me animals relating their thoughts and I will almost certainly watch.

“The One and Only Ivan,” the new film currently streaming on Disney+, is actually one of the better examples of the genre I’ve seen recently. The field has largely been crowded with dogs feeling feelings (a subgenre I particularly dig), so it was nice to watch a different animal having feelings – namely the titular Ivan, a silverback gorilla.

Based on the 2013 children’s novel of the same name, this story is a charming and occasionally dark story of a small-time animal circus based in a mall. It’s a story about the value of friendship, the importance of self-expression and what it means to be free. It’s also a bunch of CGI animals talking to each other (though not to the humans) and engaging in friendly banter while coming to terms with what it is that they really want – and what they might be willing to do to get it.

Published in Movies
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 14:43

‘Isle of Dogs’ is doggone good

Full disclosure: I’m in the bag for Wes Anderson. From “Bottle Rocket” right on through the years, I’ve been onboard with his quirky unorthodoxy. To my mind, he’s made solid contact with every film he’s ever made, even if he hasn’t necessarily hit a home run every time out.

That being said, “Isle of Dogs” is in fact a home run.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:55

Go go ‘Power Rangers’

Kiddie action reboot flawed, but sort of fun

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 13:31

Why watch? - ‘Why Him?’

Comedy comes off as recycled, redundant

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:56

Argo' stranger than fiction

Director/star Affleck brings true story to life

One of the things that Hollywood often forgets is that some of the greatest stories are true stories. A movie doesn't have to be populated by fictional supermen and grand events that never were in order to be engaging, exciting and interesting.

Published in Movies

Advertisements

The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine