Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My movie bucket list

I once subscribed to Entertainment Weekly because I was drawn to the idea of a weekly magazine that reviewed the latest movies, television shows, books, music, etc. In time, however, I tired of the magazine's flippant, shallow coverage and let my subscription slide. Yet I still buy the magazine's movie preview editions when I spy them.

I especially like the fall movie issue, which comes out in late August at a time when I am always hungry for movies made for grownups. Theaters in the summer now ending did offer The Hundred Foot Journey and Magic in the Moonlight, films adults can actually enjoy, but even so fall brings us closer to Oscar season, and that means a better chance of finding a good movie playing on a big screen.

My practice is to use the preview edition to make a list of movies to watch for in theaters or, if I miss them there, to catch on DVD. A year ago my fall list led me to gems like Parkland and Enough Said, movies that I don't remember ever showing up at theaters near me but which I later found on DVD and enjoyed watching at home.

EW writers haven't actually watched most of the fall movies, or apparently even seen the trailers now playing in theaters, so the cover promise of "all the scoop on 88 new films!" seems a bit inflated. Yet sometimes just knowing who will be in the cast and what the general plot will be are enough to get a movie on my list. My list for this fall, for example, includes The Judge because it stars Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. and St. Vincent because it stars Bill Murray. Some coming movies make my list because of the books on which they were based. These include Unbroken and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Others films on my list are My Old Lady, Tracks and Interstellar.

Trailers, supposedly designed to make people want to see the movie, often have just the opposite effect on me. I recall adding Mitty to be my movies-to-see list after reading Entertainment Weekly, then crossing it off after catching the trailer. That may happen again this fall.

In any case, the magazine, for all its faults, has once again given me a checklist to start the movie season with.

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