Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Criticwire Survey: Catch-Up

Q: We're heading into the dog days of summer, when the pace of new releases slackens enough to allow for some pleasurable catch-up. So: Name one thing — book, movie, gardening project — you'd like to finally get around to, and one piece of 2014 culture you love that everyone else needs to catch up on.

I recently caught up on the one movie I’ve been saying for years I need to catch up on – Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah – so I feel good about that. Out of 2014 films, I think Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust (which never came out in Canada as far as I know – is one of the bigger ones I need to catch up on – unfortunately it looks like the DVD won’t come out until September. Luckily The Dissolve released a list of 88 must see movies from the first 7 months of 2014 – and I’ve only seen about half of those of those, so I need to catch up. In my defense, about half of those I missed didn`t come in Canada – either in theaters or on demand or DVD. I`m grateful for that list –as well as the ongoing list on Indiewire of the most acclaimed films of the year so far – as it allows me to catch up on films I should see before the year end critics polls come out, and I need to catch up on lots more in a short time period.

In terms of TV, my wife and I finally caught up last week on both seasons of House of Cards – which as many have noted got increasingly ridiculous, but I still think is still ridiculously entertaining. She really wants to catch up on both seasons of Orange is the New Black, so that’s on the list for August – and I really want to catch up on True Detective, so that’s there as well.

For TV recommendations, if you missed Fargo, than see that – I loved it more than anything else I saw on TV so far this year. I’m enjoying AMCs Halt and Catch Fire as well – even if it’s not quite as great. I’m still trying to figure out if The Strain is stupid but entertaining or just plain stupid. I’m keeping up with it though.

For films that I think people should catch up on, Ill point out several that didn’t get a lot of box office love but are now available for home viewing – Jonathan Glazers Under the Skin, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, Jeremy Saulniers Blue Ruin, Lars von Triers Nymphomaniac and Jim Mickles Cold in July (review coming soon as it just reach iTunes Canada last week – approximately two months after everyone in the USA could see it). If you want to see something in theaters, make sure if you’re close to a theater playing Richard Linklaters Boyhood, you go. Same with Bong Joon-hos Snowpiercer – which I know you can see at home, but deserves to be seen on the big screen. Also Steve James Roger Ebert doc Life Itself.

And it’s not like there’s nothing to see in August. I’m looking forward to wide (or fairly wide) releases like Guardians of the Galaxy, Get on Up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (sue me, but I’m the exact right age to have been obsessed with them in my childhood), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Giver and (presumably) Magic in the Moonlight. And the independent theater near me will be playing Obvious Child, A Most Wanted Man, The Trip to Italy and Calvary. So there’s still quite a lot to see.

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