Posted by Ken Burke On June - 11 - 2015 0 Comment

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The two current films (although one is much more so than the other, based on time in release) that I’d like to actively recommend to you (and which are explored in detail in my spoiler-filled review) are completely off in another direction from the high-powered box-office hits that are already opened, soon to be joined by another mega-heavyweight, Jurassic World; I’ll admit, though, that if what you prefer to see is cars racing down mountain cliffs, skyscrapers falling down, or Melissa McCarthy doing broad physical comedy then these two favorites of mine probably won’t interest you much.  However, if sincerely-crafted stories about human drama that don’t verge into excess melodrama and death from terrible diseases (well, there are some deaths in these films, but they’re handled off-screen in very tasteful ways) are something you can appreciate then you’ve got a fine opportunity to do so with these options.  From the standpoint of “it’s been out for several weeks already, hasn’t made a lot of money, and will probably be gone soon,” I guess I should push I’ll See You in My Dreams only because if you’re interested you may not have many chances left unless you can calmly wait for the inevitable video release; if you’d like to see it in a theater, though, you’d better hurry up and find this reasonably-told story of a woman in her 70s (Blythe Danner) who’s finally (after living for 20 years as a widow, mostly with her dog, her card-playing friends, and her trusty white wine) ready to see what else life may have to offer, especially when a most intriguing older guy (Sam Elliott) starts throwing non-subtle hints in her direction.  She also croons a fine torch song in a karaoke bar, but if your musical tastes run more toward classic rock then I think you’d appreciate one of the very best of 2015 so far, the somewhat-fictionalized biography of Beach Boy Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy where he’s played in his mid-1960s Pet Sounds years by Paul Dano, then in his difficult mid-1980s extreme-therapy-laden years by John Cusack; this is not a “good vibrations” nostalgia trip at all but instead a marvelously-constructed, deeply-felt exploration of the inspirations and traumas of arguably the premiere genius of American pop music.

Comments on any of this may be left here, at the film review blog site, in the LinkedIn Movie Addicts or World Cinema Critics discussions, or sent directly to me at kenburke409@gmail.com.

 

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