Wes Anderson’s love letter to love letters. How you feel about Moonrise Kingdom will depend entirely on your tolerance for Wes Anderson’s particular mode of tweeness. Period details and upper-class ennui abound in this tale of two 12-year-olds falling in love against the background of a hurricane on beautiful New Penzance Island. The performances from Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, and Bill Murray are the most interesting part of the movie, but go woefully underexplored in favor of tween couple Suzy and Sam. Anderson continues to fetishize objects in a way that feels uncomfortably close to commercials or a catalog advertising goods to help customers attain a perfectly curated mid-century fantasy luxury lifestyle. It’s beautiful, but very shallow.
New and Notable
Starship Troopers: Invasion
A computer-animated installation in the Starship Troopers saga of alien bugs and human fascism.
That’s My Boy
Andy Samberg seems embarrassed to be trapped in this lazy bullshit Adam Sandler comedy, but hopefully it helps The Lonely Island fund Hot Rod 2.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Zoo animals in rainbow Afro wigs (according to the posters).
Traci Lords! John Waters! AnnaLynne McCord from 90210! Also Marlee Matlin, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Ray Wise. McCord plays a psychopathic teenage girl with dreams of becoming a surgeon. Sounds like a run-of-the-mill Z-list horror film, but the trailer is original and genuinely weird. McCord is unrecognizably mousy as a troubled goth nerd and well-cast against Lords as her controlling mother. I am totally intrigued and will be checking this out.
Paul Williams Still Alive
As the title implies, this is the story of Paul Williams, the ’70s soft-rock legend responsible for writing cozy AM radio classics like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and Muppet movie theme song “Rainbow Connection.” Paul’s brother is Mentor Williams, who wrote another deathless ’70s rock classic, Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.” Williams is very much alive. He is the current president of ASCAP.
The Obama Effect
Assumed this would be a conservative anti-Obama documentary, but it’s actually a heartfelt dramedy starring and directed by Charles S. Dutton as a man inspired by the president to turn his life around. With supporting performances from Katt Williams and Meagan Good and music from Cee Lo Green.
“In Theaters” VOD Picks
Ry Russo-Young’s update of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorama stars Olivia Thirlby as a young boho artist who ruins the idyllic life of a Silver Lake family. Russo-Young co-wrote the film with Lena Dunham, which also features John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt as the seemingly perfect couple on whom Thirlby’s character wreaks erotic havoc.
Early VOD Premieres of the Week
Five retired friends, one of whom is Jane Fonda, decide to live communally in a shared house, leading to emotional and sexual complications in this French comedy from director Stéphane Robelin. Jane Fonda is a boss bitch.
Jay & Silent Bob Get Old Pt. 2
Clean version of the actual title, “Jay & Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the U.K.” These dudes are gonna have “Snoochie Booches” engraved on their dual headstones. Ben Affleck’s best performance was in Chasing Amy. What thoughts do you think went through Kevin Smith’s mind watching Argo?