by David Horwitz
Here at Midwest Swing, we care about the future the our children. Why? Because they are our future. The three of us are former journalism students, part of a dying breed that dares to ask questions when other people are too busy caring what mindless celebrities “tweet” about. To show our dedication to future journalists everywhere, we have taken in a for-real intern, named David Horwitz, who is currently attending the University of Illinois (way to blow that choice MIZ-ZOU!) and contemplating a career in journalism. We’re going to raise this young pup here at the Swing, kind of like Mowgli and the wolves, except we won’t devour him at the end — because that’s how The Jungle Book really ends. I bet you didn’t know that did you? Mowgli becomes puppy chow for the rest of his family, duh. He’s a tender human, they are fine-tuned killing machines, what did you think was going to happen? Anyway, here’s David:
So you want to hit the theaters?
There are plenty of new movies coming out in upcoming weeks that look very intriguing, from Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body to the remake of Fame. However, just because the trailers make the movie look unbelievable doesn’t mean they will be. I mean heck, we all went to see Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen, but that movie was a piece of shit. So what I am trying to get at is a lot of these movies are built up to look amazing … when actually they suck. We shouldn’t give the studios the satisfaction of our hard earned money, for a terrible movie. I am not saying that the movies I recommend are going to be amazing, but they are worth your time.
My Recommendation: From everything that I have seen and read, the movie that I think you should spend your money on this fall is The Informant! With Matt Damon. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (who is one of the most underrated directors of the era) the movie is a dark comedy about Mark Whitacre (Damon). Whitacre works at Archer Daniels Midland where he is rising in the company quickly, however the FBI comes to him asking him to do some undercover work. What they soon find out is that Whitacre has bipolar disorder. Based on a true story, Mark Whitacre helped the FBI crack one of the largest price fixing cases in U.S. history.
Why It’s Worth Your Money: Soderbergh and Damon are my two main reasons for this recommendation. Soderbergh is a master when it comes to “darker” movies like this. He has shown this previously in movies like Traffic, Erin Brokovich, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. One reason he is so good is due to his great use of music in his films. It is as though the score becomes a character in the film. Then there is Matt Damon. Damon is easily one of the most consistent actors in Hollywood today. And when it comes to character acting he is one of the best.
I have a feeling his character here will be a mixture Will Hunting from Good Will Hunting and Linus from the Ocean’s series; a character that will have a mixture of wit, smarts and humor. Because of these two men and a great supporting cast, I have every reason to believe that The Informant! will be one of the best movies of the year.
So you’re into less popular stuff because it’s less popular?
There are a lot of great movies recently that have been overlooked by the public either because they weren’t marketed like some other movies, or because they were small indie films that didn’t hit many theaters. One that comes straight to mind is my favorite movie of the year 500 Days of Summer. [Editor’s note (Andy): 500 Days of Summer is on my list for best movie of the summer. Yeah, what’s up now?] Well there are even more indie movies like this coming out this fall and you should keep your eye out for a couple.
My Recommendation: There are a couple of notable smaller/indie movies coming out soon like Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and Antichrist, but my recommendation is Trucker.
From director James Mottern, we get your not so typical mother, son story. Michelle Monaghan plays Diane, a female truck driver who is living an unhealthy lifestyle. When her ex-husband, played by Benjamin Bratt, is diagnosed with cancer she is given control of their 11-year-old son played by Jimmy Bennett.
Although this may sound like a story we’ve heard before, the performances by Bennett and Monaghan especially make this movie worth seeing. Monaghan, who we have seen in such movies as Gone Baby Gone and The Bourne Supremacy, is given room to shine and she takes full advantage of it. Not to mention she is one of the hottest actresses we have working today and I hear we get to see some of her “assets” in the movie [Editor’s note: Nice]. What I love that Mottern does in this movie is that even though he has a story we’ve seen before on film, he’s not scared to allow his actors to take control of the story. This allows us as viewers to watch and really relate to the performances, which in the end makes for a great movie going experience.
Think about Slumdog Millionaire last year — it was similar to storiylines we’ve seen before, but the performances were so heart wrenching and thought provoking that we were able to connect and that’s what made the movie so good. When it comes to movies today, we can’t always expect brand new ideas every week, but what we can expect are outstanding performances from actors and actresses who are able to put their heart into a performance.
So your friend just got sentenced to hard time in the can?
My Recommendation: The Shawshank Redemption. Considered one of the best movies of all time, Shawshank is one of the greatest friendship stories ever told on film. [Editor’s note: And it’s interracial. That’s when something tastes great and it’s great for you — double whammy]
So you might be wondering how this movie will make you feel better? I mean it’s filled with depression, suicide, and rape. You might ask, “Shouldn’t I watch this movie if someone I hate is sent to prison, David?” In a way, I guess picturing someone you hate getting raped by a group of guys who call themselves the “Sisters” would be pretty satisfying. However, this movie is just to inspiring and full of heart. Seeing Andy and Red’s relationship grow in a place as gruesome as Shawshank is so beautiful that you welcome the tears when they start flowing. That’s right I’m man enough to admit that I cried the first time I watched The Shawshank Redemption.
If you pop it in after your good friend is sent to the cooler, you can feel better knowing he may find someone who will be there for him just like you always have been. Of course now a day our prisons are full of maniacs and groups of gang members … so maybe it’s not the perfect time period piece to watch. But nonetheless I have no doubts it will help you cope with your friends prison sentence.
[Editor’s note: The title says “Sex!” There is no sex. Why? Because the title also says “Lies!” Deal with it.]