It’s the hap . . . happiest season of all! Oh, but I don’t mean that one. I mean, it’s Oscar movie season. Time for all of the movie companies to pull out their best and their brightest to try to catch the eye of around 6,000 Academy voters. It’s also when the big family franchise movies like your Harry Potters or your Star Wars movies come out.
But we’re not talking about any of those this month. Instead, let’s talk about some smaller things that came out this year. Maybe you don’t want to fight through holiday shopping traffic at the mall to go catch a movie. Maybe you are saving up for a gift for that someone special. Maybe you are just cheap like me. Here are two movies you can enjoy with your friends and family that won’t break the bank.
The Big Sick (2017) [R]
This is a tough one. I suppose you would classify The Big Sick not as a Romantic Comedy or a Romantic Drama but rather a Romantic Dramatic Comedy. But I don’t think any of that really matters. I just think you should give it a shot.
Whether you think it is funny or dull or romantic or not, The Big Sick is authentic and full of heart. The film is based on the true story of star, producer and writer, Kumail Nanjiani and fellow writer and producer Emily Gordon. The performances are great. The direction is good. And the writing is top notch.
Kumail is a stand up comedian who meets Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) after one of his shows. They fall in love but hit some snags based around their cultural differences. They break up. Emily then falls ill and Kumail is forced to deal with issues concerning his family, her family, his career and his true feelings.
There, if that description makes you think “Eh, sounds dumb,” then yeah, you probably aren’t going to like The Big Sick. But for those of you who do watch it, I think you’ll be surprised by how poignant, heart-warming and yes, even funny, this film is.
8 paws out of 10
Logan Lucky (2017) [PG-13]
As you may know, I am a sucker for a heist movie. Steven Soderbergh has certainly made his share of them and, despite having “retired,” he brings us another with Logan Lucky.
The plot is fairly simple. Channing Tatum is a down-on-his-luck single dad who bands with his brother to rob a vault underneath the Charlotte Motor Speedway. They need the assistance of explosives expert, Joe Bang, played with scenery-chewing enthusiasm by Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, he is already in prison.
In some ways, Logan Lucky is the opposite of Soderbergh’s famous series of heist films, the Oceans 11 series. Where Oceans is set in glittering casinos around the world, Logan Lucky is set in every day, rural Appalachia. Lucky is far less slick and polished than Oceans but feels like it was a lot more fun to make.
Is Logan Lucky flawed? Oh, definitely. It goes on a little too long in places and we won’t even talk about the plausibility of the larceny. It is the kind of movie you will watch with your buddies, laugh a bit and then probably forget about a couple of weeks later. But it’s the holiday season. Do you really want to watch something heavy that will take your thoughts away from hot cocoa and time off of work? Heck no. Grab some snacks, a warm blanket and curl up with Logan Lucky. It’ll be fun.
7 paws out of 10