May was a pretty light month for me in terms of film discovery. It was an even lighter month for the discovery of post-’70 films. A couple of those I did watch will be receiving full posts in Classics of the Corn or other series here on TMP, so this installment of “Modern movies in [month]” will be pretty short. On to the miniature reviews!
Spine Tingler! (2007) – A must watch for any fan of William Castle. It’s a great documentary giving a look at his beginnings in the entertainment industry, his grand personality and the trajectory of his filmmaking career. Fantastic interviews are provided by John Waters, William Castle’s daughter and others who knew or worked with the man. Check it out on DVD. The score: 5/5!
Fast & Furious 6 (2013) – If there’s an action film starring Dwayne Johnson you can bet my dad will drag me to it, probably during its opening weekend. If it’s a Dwayne Johnson action flick that is part of a series about crime and fast cars, you can bet we’ll be there opening night… and we were, at the 10 pm showing of Fast & Furious 6 on May 23. Action flicks aren’t usually my thing unless they have a fantastic plot to back up all of that action, and Fast & Furious falters in this respect. It’s clear here that the focus is on the science-defying cars and fist-fights between rival crime teams. That being said, this series has always been the one exception to my “MUST HAVE PLOT” rule, and I’d be lying if I said I had an awful time watching this. I’ve got a bit of a nostalgic connection to the series since the first one came out when I was only a month or so away from turning ten, and I’ve seen every installment in the theater with my dad. The auditorium was packed and the audience was very enthusiastic, which only added to my enjoyment. Hard to score this one, but if you like action films or the Fast series, you’ll likely enjoy it.
Miss Representation (2011) – This documentary focuses on images of women in popular culture and how those images affect society’s overall perspective on women. It’s a really fascinating watch that makes a lot of valid criticism of the ways that women are portrayed in popular culture and the lack of female representation in leadership positions, as well as the consequences in both how we treat each other and how men treat us. I would have liked to see more development of the comparison that they briefly make between portrayals of women in classic and modern films (a topic which I may have to make a full post on here on TMP!), but overall I really enjoyed watching it. Well worth the $3 Amazon rental. The score: 4/5
Hitler’s Children (2011) – Another fascinating documentary. This one explores the descendants of high-ranking Nazis and how they are personally affected by the darkness of their relatives’ actions. The viewer gets a great sense of the varied reactions to having this type of family history, from denial that their relatives were even involved in the Holocaust to complete disowning of those relatives. This is a topic I’ve never seen discussed in film, nor have I seen it in many books about the Holocaust, making this doc an even more worthwhile watch. The score: 4.5/5