LiC’s pick of the week: Senna

Senna. This festival favorite documentary tells the story of Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna who won the world championship three times in a decade-long career that ended when he died in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. You have to figure a documentary that gets this much praise has a lot more on its mind than a racecar driver and that appears to be the case here. (NY, LA)

The Help. AKA Oprah Winfrey Presents: Buy a Ticket and Absolve Yourself of Guilt Over Racism. I’m sure its heart is in the right place and I swear I’ve tried not to be cynical about it. I like the cast (Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain) and I’m sure it’s a pleasant crowd pleaser, but I can’t get the whiff of Driving Miss Daisy out of my nose and I say that as someone who liked DMD. The thing is, that was 20 years ago. Aren’t we ready for movies about the African American experience that aren’t told through the perspective of saintly white people? Actually, those movies do exist, but no one sees them. Rent Night Catches Us. It’s not a perfect movie plus it’s a different story and later era, but it’s got great performances from Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie and they get to tell their own story purely from the perspective of their own Philadelphia community. (Wide Wed. 8/10)

30 Minutes or Less. The writer/director of the head-scratchingly unfunny Zombieland reteams with Jesse Eisenberg for this comedy about a pizza delivery guy who is kidnapped, strapped with bombs and forced to rob a bank. Aziz Ansari who has the habit of being the funniest part of anything he’s in co-stars, but so does Danny McBride who obviously has a lot of powerful friends in Hollywood who think he’s hilarious even though he has never actually shown it on screen. (Wide)

Final Destination 5. A bunch more attractive kids reach their final destinations in grisly and creative ways. If you saw the other 4, you probably already have your ticket for this one. If you haven’t, well there still isn’t anything left for us to talk about, is there? (Wide)

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. Why did this have to be the show that rocketed Jane Lynch to fame? (Wide)

Littlerock. I’m gonna have to cut to the official blurb for this one: “A sleepy Los Angeles exurb and its shiftless young residents are seen through the eyes of two Japanese tourists in this intimate evocation of a small town in Southern California where everyone’s talking but no one really understands.” (NY)

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow. A documentary about renowned artist Anselm Kiefer. (NY Wed. 8/10)

Scheherezade Tell Me a Story. Once again to the blurb: “Cairo, today. Hebba, a television show host, presents a successful political talk show on a privately owned network. Karim, her husband, is deputy editor in chief of a government-owned newspaper. He is led to believe by the party leaders, that his wife’s constant meddling with opposition politics could put his promotion in danger. Using his boyish charm and sexual prowess, he convinces Hebba to stay away from politics, and devote her program to social issues for which the government cannot be held responsible. She starts a series of talk shows around issues involving women. She listens to the stories of resilient, strong women, who, like Scheherazade in A Thousand and One Nights, tell their stories to stay alive.”

 

4 Responses to “Weekend Forecast: Dog days of summer”

  1. I’m afraid you and I are the only two people in the world who don’t find either Zombieland or Danny McBride all that funny. OK, I take that back. I’m sure my mom would not be entertained by either as well, so we’re in good company.

  2. I believe Senna to be the right pick as best film this weekend. However…

    I liked Zombieland… A lot! :P I found it entertaining, funny and if we cut the cameo part, well structured. So I’m planning to see this one as well.

    What did you guys hate so much about this film?

  3. THE HELP which I saw last night with my wife and two daughters is far more FRIED GREEN TOMATOES than it is DRIVING MISS DAISY as it turns out.

    But yeah, the trepidition need not be applied, it is every bit as good as the vast majority of the critics are claiming.

    I’ll go with a solid ****. The story and time period are irresistible, the humor infectious and the performances almost uniformly engaging. A rare multiplexer with artistic resonance.

  4. Piro, I guess I just didn’t find it all that funny. The cameo (which as you note doesn’t really fit) was the only part I really enjoyed.

    As I’m fond of saying however, comedy is the most subjective of all movie forms. One man’s comedy is another man’s thudding bore and if a movie makes you laugh, then all else is forgiven.

    Sam I had The Help on my list of things to do today (along wiht maybe the Apes movie) but just couldn’t quite muster up the enthusiasm for it. I’m sure it’s fine, but it doesn’t look like my cup of tea.

    Joel, well between the two of us at least we’re in good company.

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