Monthly Archives: September 2013

Top Gun

“We’re going to have a good time, always.” – Goose.

Poor, poor, Goose.

I guess if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t seen “Top Gun,” stop reading this and go watch it. Now.

“Easy Cougar, bring him back.”

Top-Gun-FeaturedI don’t remember when I first saw “Top Gun,” but if there would be one movie I could pick to see again while sitting on a roof with a view of downtown Minneapolis in the background, it’s this one.

I’m not much of a Tom Cruise fan but the loop of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” in many scenes of this movie cancels out any disdain I have for his casting as Maverick.

I don’t remember this being such a romantic movie, but it swept me off my feet.

And don’t even get me started on the not one, but two, scenes with that song by The Righteous Brothers. You know the one.

“Top Gun” fits the bill as a classic 1980s movie and, in between swooning over the whole thing, I noticed the stunts and flight scenes were really well done.

I would like to go back in time and see what the buzz was before this movie came out in 1986, but in my mind the combination of action, romance and Val Kilmer as bad-boy Iceman make it something people should still be talking about at the water cooler.

imagesLook at it this way, it’s going on a month or so since my magical rooftop viewing and I am still pretty excited about how well “Top Gun” holds up today.

And then I found this ah-mazing information during my extensive research for this post.

Day. Made.

It will be hard to top the original “Top Gun,” but I am lucky to be of the generation that can appreciate the basis of a sequel even if it is a total flop.

All I can say to the powers that be behind a new “Top Gun” is …

“Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, let it slip away.”

He Gave Her His Phone

The whale wants you to see "He Gave Her His Phone."
The whale wants you to see “He Gave Her His Phone.”

I’m recovering from watching not one, but two, of the “Step Up” movies this weekend (and enjoying some adult beverages while doing so) but I do need to sit upright for just a little bit and dish about a film entitled “He Gave Her His Phone.”

It’s a locally-made film from the Oxford Comma Film Cooperative that had an advance screening at the St. Anthony Main theater last week.

The crew said they plan to enter their work in local festivals and I hope it makes it so more people can see it on the big screen.

The basics: it’s a “nerdy romantic comedy” centered on the character of Eric trying to get over his ex-girlfriend by finding new love.

Then boy meets girl and boy gives girl his phone. The girl, Aimee, is charged with learning more about Eric by 11 p.m. the next day though calling people on his phone.

It’s a very well written film with humor and heart and solid acting. It’s nice to see a locally-made project that is a new take on the romantic comedy genre.

Will Eric and Aimee become gullies for life? You’ll just have to see it to find out. I heard about last week’s screening through Facebook, so keep tabs on their page, yo.

With the potential for a film festival release of “He Gave Her His Phone,” I decided to do some research on what options there are in Minnesota for movie fans to see homegrown shows.

There is the Twin Cities Film Festival coming up Oct. 17-26 and the bigger (with not all local movies) Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival in April.

My goal is to see at least one film at each festival which will be difficult, not because of time, but because of the hundreds of options of films to choose from.

The films are not announced for the Twin Cities Film Festival yet, but the news will be out by the end of the month.

Also in October, the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival will premiere short films, documentaries and feature films all made here. The festival, Oct. 3-6, also has some international films scheduled for Midwest premieres. All shows are at the St. Anthony Main theater.

The Film Society of Minneapolis and St. Paul presents the festival, and many others, and the website has deets about other film events throughout the state.

There are even festivals specifically geared toward films about food and the cultures of Latin, Asian and Polish people.

I am most excited about my discovery of the Free Range Film Festival held in Wrenshall, Minn., every July.

This July was the 10th anniversary of the festival, which is held by a couple who select the movies from submissions and screen them in their barn.

I hope it returns again because I am definitely already planning a road trip there.

The nice thing about festivals, especially local ones, is the cast and crew often stick around after their film premieres to tell their story and answer questions.

Seeing something you create come to life must be so rewarding and I am glad to know there are these festivals, and likely more, that celebrate local filmmakers’ work.

I hope I can complete my quest to attend these festivals for one movie, and hopefully more. I’ll definitely see “He Gave Her His Phone” again (the trailer is here) and I am intrigued about their next project “Her Tragedy.”

Please let me know about other festivals in the area and local films. One day my dream is to go to Sundance. A customer at the theater I work at was telling me about it and said tickets are $85 for one movie.

I guess I’ll be dreaming about that for a while.

Happy Sunday buddies.


Drinking Buddies and In A World

Fletch F. Fletch

Indie films are my happy place. I’ve seen three lately and “The World’s End” is on the docket for later today.

All I need now is to adopt a pug (she will be named Lucille Bluth) to be buddies with Fletch and I.

While I work on that,  here are some films to squeeze in during the end of summah and before Oscar bait trickles into theaters.

Drinking Buddies

drinkingbuddiesThe tagline “A comedy about knowing when to say when,” isn’t what prompted me to crack open an IPA and hit a button on my remote to watch “Drinking Buddies.”

The promotion of the film doesn’t really do it justice. The trailer (please don’t watch it) makes it seem like just another romantic comedy about mixing work and love.

I’d say it’s definitely more about friendship and “Drinking Buddies” does not fit in the mold of a romantic comedy.

Jake Johnson (“The New Girl”) and Olivia Wilde are the said friends, Luke and Kate, in the film. They work together at a craft brewery in Chicago and both are in relationships. Luke is dating Jill (Anna Kendrick) and Kate is paired up with Chris (Ron Livingston).

Because of Luke and Kate’s close friendship the two couples begin to spend time together. The story strays from the predictability that Luke and Kate will be a couple and instead explores the meaning of friendship.

I’ve heard that some of the scenes in the final cut of the film are the result of improvisation on set. It certainly explains how what seems like flirting between Luke and Kate at work is much more real than that.

If you have seen the trailer for this film already, don’t take it at face value and give it a chance.

Drinking Buddies opens at the Lagoon in Minneapolis on Sept. 13, or you can order it on cable and iTunes.


In A World

in a wolrd“Next up lemon drop shots on me!”

Do you need some new catch phrases to spice up your life?

Well, among other things, the film “In a World” is a good source if you can speak in a sexy baby voice while ordering a smoothie.

Lake Bell (“Children’s Hospital”) is the writer and director of the film, which stars a host of comedians including Demetri Martin, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman and Tig Notaro.

Bell is Carol, a vocal coach trying to get into the voice over industry, which her father Sam (Fred Melamed) also happens to work in.

They end up vying for the same job, a movie trailer for “The Amazon Games” along with Ken Marino.

The film draws inspiration from the story of late voice actor Don LaFontaine.

I learned a lot about LaFontaine, and that both Bell and Melamed have voice over credits in their careers, while researching this film and listening to interviews. Bell and Melamed were on NPR’s Fresh Air in August.

The film is unique and funny and an inspiring story created by Bell.

Coming soon … “The Spectacular Now.”

I meant to do a triple threat and include my thoughts about that film here too, but I’m out of time.

I will say I think the trailer gives away too much of the film, so don’t watch it either!

But please watch the one for “In a World.”

“I don’t know where you get a smoothie around here at all. I’m so sorry.”