Chris Pine, my new crush.
Is it possible that I haven't bloggled in almost 17 months? I've been able to keep my restless fingers from trying to embarrass me online for such a long spell?
I'm impressed with myself.
There's no point in picking a "rational" start in the egregiously long list of films I've seen of late, so I'll just blather about the first that come to mind.
I adored "Frances Ha,"a Noah Baumbach movie starring Greta Gerwig as a tragically clueless, if endearing, late-20s New Yorker who can't really get her life in order. She is an aspiring / struggling dancer whose best friend is actually rounding the corner to becoming a true "grown-up," whereas dear Frances is still bouncing from apartment to apartment, boy to boy, job to job, etc.
I fear that my true adoration of the movie might stem from me finding her character sadly recognizable. Not in myself. Of course. Ahem.
It is one of my favorite movies of the year thus far.
To keep up the movie-industry optimism, I will move to "Mud," which I saw three times in the theater. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as a scraggly-haired, chipped-teeth drifter hiding out on an island in Mississippi. He's killed a man to protect the love of his life (a very down-and-out-looking Reese Witherspoon), and bounty hunters are out to get him.
Two boys befriend Mud after finding him on the island and going on big and small adventures for Mud to help him win his Lady Love and avoid being knocked off. The two little boys, Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, are ones to watch in the future. And, the last couple Matt McConaughey movies I saw were "Magic Mike" and "Killer Joe." It was nice to not have to see his naked behind magnified on the big screen (Magic Mike) or watch him ruthlessly kill people (Killer Joe) this time.
Also, with characters named Mud, Ellis, Neckbone and Juniper -- I was in love before I knew it.
A huge let down was "Before Midnight," the third installment in Richard Linklater's "Before..." series starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The three films have followed the fictional couple since 1995 ("Before Sunrise") when the two were young and idealistic, traveling independently in Europe. They meet on a train and fall in love, of course, during their one night together. They plan to meet up in a year, but they miss each other and don't meet until nine years later ("Before Sunset") when they re-fall in love.
This time around, it's 9 MORE years later and they have settled into married life, replete with all of the bickering and mundane problems that come along with it.
But, whereas in the first two "Befores..." they were lovable and endearing in their immaturity and foibles, now they are just unlikable people. She's become a controlling mess and he's become a huge pushover, which is so very unattractive.
They need to get divorced and spare future audiences from their depressing vacuity.
Next up: "The Conjuring," "This is the End," "Crystal Fairy," "The Purge," "Star Trek."
And, I owe it to my old Texas nemesis to promote his pretty awesome new movie blog.