There are more good movies in the theater currently than you think.
We are on the edge of September, a month that is notoriously a dead zone between the summer blockbusters and the fall award contenders. Here’s the thing, though – there are still a lot of great films in our theater.
DRINKING BUDDIES opens today at Mason Park. Joe Swanberg has written and directed a very funny, very truthful look at the difference between friends and lovers. Set in the world of craft beer, Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are co-workers and friends. Between goofing off at the craft brewery where they work and goofing off at the local bar after work, the two friends are inseparable in their pursuit of fun and beer. Here’s the thing, though – they both have significant others. Are these two friends meant to be something closer? What does that mean for their respective lovers? Swanberg dives headfirst into some very real questions many couples find themselves facing and the result is a completely charming, very funny comedy that is briskly plotted and surprisingly deep. Wilde and Johnson are at their career best in this film and the supporting cast – including Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston and Jason Sudeikis – are all great. If you’re looking for a great date night movie or mainstream comedy, this is a great bet.
If you’re looking for something a little weirder, might I suggest I DECLARE WAR. The new release from Drafthouse Films, I DECLARE WAR is a wildly unusual film that looks at the art of war through children’s eyes. Set on a lazy afternoon, the movie follows two groups of children as they play capture the flag. Unfortunately, these kids are not your precocious sitcom kiddie fodder – they are mean, violent, racist and just a little insane. This is a generation of kids born post 9/11, where waterboarding and terrorists are more popular discussion on the playground than Saturday morning cartoons. The film explores the kids’ fascination with violence by traveling between realities – the real and the imaginary. Sticks become real guns, balloons full of paint are grenades, a game of capture the flag becomes life or death. I DECLARE WAR is hilarious but it is also a movie with something very important to say. Even though the film features an all-child cast, it is not necessarily for children. The film is raunchy to the extreme – think SOUTH PARK. That said, if I would have seen the film as a kid I would have loved it – and probably learned a thing or two as well.
Other films that are still in the theater include YOU’RE NEXT, a movie that may have been a bit of a flop last weekend but that’s just because audiences haven’t discovered it yet. This is a horror movie that people are going to be talking about for years to come – a smart, unpredictable horror comedy that uses the home invasion genre and turns it on its head. When a group of masked strangers invade a home, they don’t expect to find that one of the houseguests was raised in a survivalist compound and is more than capable of taking care of herself. Like HOME ALONE turned up to 11, YOU’RE NEXT is going to be a fan-favorite in less than 10 years’ time – don’t miss your chance to catch it in the theaters while you can.
Finally, there’s always THE WORLD’S END – a superb send-off to Edgar Wright’s Blood & Ice Cream trilogy. What began with SHAUN OF THE DEAD and continued with HOT FUZZ comes to an end with THE WORLD’S END. Along with co-writer Simon Pegg and comedic partner Nick Frost, Wright pays tribute to ‘70s science fiction with a movie about a group of once-friends coerced into attempting a near-suicidal beer crawl – 12 bars, 12 pints. While alcohol poisoning should have been the extent of their worries, the friends soon discover that their hometown has been invaded by aliens and getting out alive is going to be a bit of a problem. Now drunk as skunks and running for their lives, the friends become humanity’s last hope. Lucky us. If you like comedy, beer, science fiction oddities or a combination of all of the above, THE WORLD’S END is a must see – especially at the Alamo Drafthouse. We have a full themed menu – including pub fare and plenty of beer to wash it down with.
This Labor Day weekend, come out and watch a movie. We’ll keep the beer cold for you.