Friday, October 15, 2004

Aligning of the Planets

When I spent a year in Tallahassee attending Florida State University, the biggest perk I enjoyed was the Miracle 5. This was a theater in town devoted to foreign films and the like, something that you often find in college towns. I ended up going there quite often, and regretted leaving it behind when I returned to Jax. Aside from the Pablo 9 theater at the Beaches, the theaters in town here are strictly mainstream.

So imagine my surprise when I looked to see what was opening today and found not one, not two but five (FIVE!!!) quirky, alternative films getting screen time in town and at an AMC googoplex, no less:

Bright Young Things - This is a study of the London youth culture during the 1930's. It's directed by actor Stephen "Jeeves" Fry. It's an offbeat British film, but not in the vein of "The Full Monty", which is what usually makes it into our theaters.

Donnie Darko: Director's Cut - I didn't see the original when it was in theaters, but I'm quite aware of the cult following it has gained since then. I know enough to say that it's got some serious fantasy and dark humor elements to it.

The Final Cut - Robin Williams goes dark again in this small, sci-fi thriller about a man who edits the memories of the dead in order to present a memorial film to the friends and relatives of the deceased.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence - This is the sequel to a much respected Anime title. Although I've mentioned before how mainstream Anime is going, this is still a surprise since most Anime that makes it to theaters these days are family-friendly Disney properties ("Spirited Away") or kid fluff ("Pokemon"). If this sequel is like the original, it doesn't fall into either category.

The Last Shot - A Hollywood satire done with many recognizable faces such as Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin. I suppose the plot could rightly be compared to "Get Shorty", but from what I've heard it's still not your average, predictable comedy.
This is simply unheard of around here, and I am quite delighted. Jacksonville is trying to go back to it's film roots and create a community of fans. I attended the Jacksonville Film Festival for the first time last summer and caught "Napoleon Dynamite" at the marvelous Florida Theater downtown. The movie was a laugh riot and I swore to myself to see more than just one film the next time the festival is held. To be sure, l be posting reviews when it does.

The irony of all this is that I'm probably going to see a small film at an entirely other theater tonight: "Shaun of the Dead" at the Cinemark. The reason being that it's the film I'm most interested in seeing (and most willing to lay down $8.00 for). If I have a chance, then I'll try and see one of the five above later on in the week. At the very least, I want to boost their box office to compete with "Shall We Dance", which is based on a beautiful Japanese film they had no damn business remaking, especially with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.

Expect a review of "Shaun" sometime next week. Until then, have a fun weekend, folks.


Anonymous said...

Stephen Fry played Jeeves, not Bertie Wooster. Brush up on your British TV, man!

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

Doh! I'm gonna catch hell for that, I know. I mean, I own the friggin DVD box set of the series and am a Black Adder fanatic! Ah well, slip of the tongue. I should have just stuck with an Oscar Wilde reference.

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

There. It's corrected now.