Slim pickings this week, both in what’s new in theaters and what’s new on Netflix. That’s OK, a deep dive into movie history is totally worth your time.
In theaters: Only Lovers Left Alive
by Susan Howson
YOU GUYS. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve seen a movie that made me feel anything at all. And Only Lovers Left Alive made me feel EVERYTHING AT ALL. Jim Jarmusch, a director who I almost always love, knocked it out of an already ridiculously difficult park with this film, which I guess you could call a “vampire film.” In reality it’s another one of his movies where the characters he portrays float above reality in a beautiful suspension that sheds light on all the Plebeians lying underneath. It’s a stunning film that doesn’t leave a whole lot to plot structure, but instead creates a world that’s the world we should all be aspiring to live in. I’ve thought about it every day since I’ve seen it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. ★★★★★★
- Why you should see this movie: It will transport you from your miserable life into a higher realm that only deals with love, relationships, and also primitive survival. I KNOW!!!!!
- Why you shouldn’t: You enjoy a lot of fast-moving plot structures, and structures that include zero ambiguity or connectivity. There are many logistical flaws that kind of slightly bothered me, but when viewed in a context of the whole seemed ultimately unimportant.
- Bechdel Test: Sadly, it doesn’t truly pass. Vampire Eve’s “sister,” Ava, has some basic conversations with Tilda Swinton’s Eve, but they don’t truly count as any sort of meaningful dialogue. To be fair, the plot, if you can call it that, revolves around Adam and Eve’s relationship with each other and their lot in life (life! ha!), so other characters are simply a little cardboard. But don’t let that get you down–their relationship is enough to make the film an important one in your heart for years to come. I’m not even kidding!
- Transformers Age of Extinction
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
1939 is a long time ago–75 years ago in fact. So it’s especially awesome / sad / expected that this movie’s themes of graft, corruption, and governmental boringness still ring true after seven and a half decades. I think this movie is supposed to inspire, but it just bums me out. ★★★★★★
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Marilyn Monroe as a diamond-obsessed and breathy human, Jane Russell as a someone who’s busy hosting musical numbers with the US Olympic team, both of them showgirls. Seriously, what’s not to like? I wish I lived inside of this movie. ★★★★★
The Muppet Take Manhattan (1984)
Note: The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Muppet Movie are available to stream on Netflix. Both make for an excellent movie night–whether your (theoretical) kids are around or not. ★★★★★
World War Z (2013)
Like I said, slim pickings. But something about this Brad Pitt zombie flick, which is (loosely) based on the wonderful book by Max Brooks, did more than just hold my attention. I think that’s because I’d honestly feel safe surviving a post-apocalyptic world under Brad Pitt’s care. ★★★★★