Our “Film School” is kicking off a bit earlier than planned, with the news that Netflix is purging almost 2,000 titles. We picked two movies for review and discussion (“Sling Blade” and “Hunger”), and we’re headed to the box office as the summer movie season kicks off.
We’ll post our review of the films here on our blog, and we hope you’ll join us by watching, and sharing your thoughts and takeaways. Things to look for with your writer’s eye: character development, detail and setting, dialogue, pacing and plot development.
The May 2013 Schedule
“The Great Gatsby”
In theaters May 10, 2013
“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super-rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
Review Date: May 10, 2013
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”
In Theaters May 15, 2013
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Review Date: May 17, 2013
In Theaters May 3, 2013
Inspired by actual events, The Iceman follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream as a devoted husband and father; in reality Kuklinski was a ruthless killer-for-hire. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.
Review Date: May 18, 2013
Ed. Note: Just found out that “The Iceman” is only playing in NYC and LA, because, apparently, those two cities represent all of America (or, at least, the Academy). According to Wild About Movies, it should be out on DVD soon. We’re adding this to our Must-See List, and we’ll review it as soon as we can.
Leaving Netflix on June 1, 2013
Simpleminded Karl has just been released from a psychiatric hospital, where he’d been confined since age 12 for murdering his mother and her lover. He lands a job at a garage fixing motors and befriends a young boy–but can Karl outrun his past?
Sling Blade won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Review Date: May 22, 2013
Leaving Netflix on June 1, 2013
Black British director Steve McQueen made his feature film debut with with this gripping drama (and Independent Spirit Award Best Foreign Film contender) that depicts the events surrounding a hunger strike staged by a group of IRA prisoners during their 1981 incarceration in Britain’s Prison Maze. Led by IRA volunteer-poet Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), the strikers waged their six-week-long protest in an attempt to be acknowledged as political prisoners and to improve the prison’s conditions.
McQueen’s next project is Twelve Years A Slave, which will be released on December 27, 2013. It’s based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography, and from what we’re reading, you should add it to your Oscar Bait list.
Review Date: May 29, 2013
In theaters May 31, 2013
A pair of father and son space travelers crash lands on a desolate planet Earth 1,000 years in the future, and fight to find a way back home in this sci-fi action thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan. It’s been nearly a millennium since mankind was forced to flee their home planet for the safety of Nova Prime, and in the time Earth has grown increasingly hostile to human life. General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has just finished an extended tour of duty when he reunites with his 13-year-old son Kitai (Jaden Smith), and begins making the transition from military leader to father. When an asteroid storm damages their ship, however, a badly injured General Raige and his son are forced to crash land on Earth. Now, the only way for young Kitai to ensure a swift rescue and save his father’s life is to find the rescue beacon that was lost when their ship came plummeting through the atmosphere. In order to survive and succeed, Kitai will have to become the type of soldier who would make his father proud.
Review Date: June 1, 2013