Cheadle, Linklater and…Atencio?

I realize my title is like that old Sesame Street game “Which of these directors doesn’t belong?” Read on…

A frenetic schedule forces me to do a threesome here, if only to preserve reading time for The New Yorker and Theresa Rebeck staring at me as I type.

Miles Ahead, directed by Don Cheadle took a very long time to settle into a story, reminiscent of The Big Short. Hopefully this isn’t a trend, but I do wonder if it’s a symptom our society’s over stimulation. Perhaps movie makers are like us common folk, almost needing to hover for a bit before focus can even begin.

At any rate, I enjoyed the film and post writing, need to look up a fact check of the flick. The New Yorker review intimated woe over fabricating incidents when there are so many actual events to depict.

Even though I’m a sucker for Ewan MacGregor and he’s adorable as a fumbling rock and roll reporter, I’d say Miles Ahead is an easy wait for Redbox or Netflix.

Second on the list and deserving of an equal amount of tepid level exuberance is “Everybody Wants Some” by Richard Linklater. A great line I overheard on Doug Benson’s podcast “Doug Loves Movies” is “I don’t want to see any movie that doesn’t take 12 years to make.” Meaning, it’s tough to come out with anything awesome after your release a tour de force like Boyhood.

An irony of this viewing is that I went with my son (his movie choice; also offered was Elvis and Nixon) for my early Mother’s Day ‘celebration’ since he was home momentarily from NYC. Ironic because the movies sole purpose (plot-wise) was the hunt for tail on a Texas college campus in the early 80’s.

The movie was a pleasant stroll down memory lane for me, but the film lacked many stand out actors or actresses. Two who were a smidgen impressive were Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell. Powell is due to my bias for the smart philosopher in any crowd, and Russell (omg!) in looking him up just now realized he’s Kurt Russell’s son. Russell plays the stoner with a surprise (I won’t ruin it for you) and does a great job as the grass fed Carl Sagan fan.

Last and last but not least is Keanu. Hey, if it’s a Friday night and I’ve absorbed a full day of middle school children’s emotions, capital E, a good laugh out loud silly comedy is better than a gin and tonic. And Keanu, written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens (directed by Peter Atencio) was just what the filmtender (as opposed to bartender) served. Often VERY funny with certain stupidity and corn woven in, basically a longer Key and Peele skit.

Clouds of Sils Marie, ‘CirrEus’ clouds that is

I liked Clouds of Sils Marie and was glad that yet another trailer was deceiving. It’s not a shallow Black Swan- cut throat theater actress pic, but more like a dramatic theater like performance; a mountain made slowly with layers of sedimentary rock. In fact, when a dark screen title Part Two popped up, I thought ok, Part Three must be where the showdown happens.

What little I’ve read of reviews (I try to avoid due to spoilers) critics definitely all concur, as do I, that Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart have tremendous individual stage presence and their chemistry together felt real as well. Doug Benson had joked on Doug Loves Movies that the only small highlight was a skinny dipping scene where Juliette strips to reveal an old school throw rug, while KS remains in underwear…which may be true, yet in the time of Avengers saltines, us deeper folk like a hearty piece of bread.

While there is something sad (as a woman clinging to youth myself; re. longer Samsonesque hair) about JB’s husky legs and asexual haircut, I do respect, even envy, her confidence. KS, on the other hand (mirroring the theme of the film) displays her femininity and youth on subtly natural terms, which I also respect. And doesn’t she have the market cornered on brooding female characters that perky Emma Stone could never pull off?

So, on a rainy afternoon, or even a sunny one if you have to watch your sun intake like me, see Clouds of Sils Marie. It’s a complex and thought provoking film.