For movie watchers, few things can be more frustrating than films that begin with a sequence of immense promise, only to show over the remainder that the emperor truly wears no clothes. Two new examples come from the horror realm.
Until now, Ethan Hawke was having a wonderful year. Before Midnight, the third leg of his trilogy with director Richard Linklater and actress Julie Delpy, brought waves of critical acclaim and talk of another Oscar nomination for their collaborative screenplay, while The Purge turned a meager investment into a highly profitable box-office take.
Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Midwest City, home to Hollywood’s brightest stars!
Well, every Sunday night through Aug. 12, that is. Thanks to the Midwest City Parks and Recreation Department, the community now has Sunset Cinema, a free, outdoor movie series to call its own, beginning 20 minutes after the sun slowly dips below the horizon, like a lover waving goodbye.
While the series began last night with The Muppets, plenty of other titles await your blankets and lawn chairs at Charles J. Johnson Central Park Town Center, 7209 S.E. 29th.
• June 10, Puss in Boots • June 17, Top Gun • June 24, How to Train Your Dragon • July 1, Despicable Me • July 8, Megamind • July 15, Madagascar • July 22, Cars • July 29, Secretariat • Aug. 5, Gnomeo & Juliet • Aug. 12, Grease
Fun fact: Two of those selections star America’s most famous Scientologists. For more information, call 739-1293 or visit midwestcityok.org/sunset-cinemas. —Rod Lott