As some of you have probably figured out, this column comes and goes depending on how much space we have left over after we load the week’s reviews into our MovieStyle section. This is one of the weeks where we probably could have done without this column, except that I want to touch on a couple of things.
First of all, I want to write about the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival soon. I’ve very excited about the films in this year’s festival, especially The Act of Killing; Good Ol’ Freda, an absolutely charming doc about Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, and the world premiere of Jose Canseco: The Truth Hurts, about the divisive former slugger who blew the whistle on steroid use in baseball, which will close this year’s festival. Canseco is scheduled to be here; maybe we’ll talk a little about performance-enhancing drugs.
But I’ll save my thoughts on this year’s festival for next month.
On another matter, I’m not exactly sure how to deal with films that open in theaters on or about the same date that they become available on cable and satellite systems on an “on demand” basis. What I’d like to do is wait for the films to open theatrically and review them like any other movie that shows up in Arkansas. But sometimes that’s weeks after they’ve become available on TV (or through iTunes, etc.). So maybe we’ll start writing about them regularly on the blood, dirt & angels blog (blooddirtangels.com).
In any case, I think we need to start writing about them. I was hoping that Jayne Mansfield’s Car, the first feature directed by Billy Bob Thornton since the underrated Daddy & Them in 2001, would open in local theaters so I’d get a chance to write about it. Now it doesn’t look like it will, but anyone who is interested can probably figure out how to see it. I won’t say it’s a good movie exactly - the critics have been pretty mean - but it does have a lot of interesting ideas and some fine performances, including Thornton as a damaged war hero turned layabout.
The story is set in Alabama in 1969 and it’s about the coming together of two families, one Southern and headed by the irascible Robert Duvall, the other British and headed by John Hurt. It’s a complicated family story that might be characterized as Southern Gothic but scene by scene it’s well played and directed, although taken as a whole it doesn’t quite cohere. What I’d love to see - though it would be financially difficult - is a novelistic cable miniseries featuring these characters. It’s not difficult to see what Thornton and his co-writer Tom Epperson were going for, it’s just that there’s not enough space in this rather long movie to contain all the characters. But it’s worth seeking out if you’re at all interested in what Thornton’s up to.
There are a number of other movies now available on demand that might (or might not) show up in area theaters. I’ve watched Crystal Fairy (the full title is Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus and 2012) and Adore with an eye to reviewing them for this section, but it appears that neither of them is likely to open. So maybe I should review them on the blog? In any case, we’re aware of this conundrum.
Finally, a couple of corrections to Sunday’s preview of coming movies. The correct opening date for Disney’s Frozen is Nov. 27. And also opening on that date is Homefront, which features Arkansas-based actor Stuart Greer in a supporting role.
MovieStyle, Pages 31 on 09/27/2013
Print Headline: Taking some time for housekeeping