Hi! How are ya? We’re knee deep in August, or Auggie Doggie if you’re cool. And yknow what? Cineplexes everywhere seem to be filled with the rote, end-of-summer trash (save for Logan Lucky or Detroit) that studios try to slip by, hopefully unnoticed by the masses. What’s a special someone to turn to now for that desperately-needed dose of escapism? If you have that there Netflix—and honestly, who doesn’t at least have their old college roommate’s password still logged into their laptop these days—us CutPrintFilmians have you covered so you don’t have to worry about that pesky Burden of Choice. Here’s five prime cut choices for you to sink your lil’ movie mouths into.
Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later
This one should hopefully be a no-brainer. The (now) long-running series finally gets the promised ten year reunion postulated at the end of the original 2001 film, and boy, the series is like consent: it gets better with age! David Wain and Michael Showalter have hit peak writing with this mile-a-minute series as the duo expertly blends surreal absurdist comedy, fantastically ridiculous series callbacks, and they even manage to introduce two new cast members and hand-wave away a casting change with one simple, hilarious line. As of writing, I’ve watched the first three episodes, and hot dang I wanna finish this article so I can get back to Camp Firewood.
The Wrecking Crew
I was lucky enough to catch this documentary last year at Milwaukee’s film festival. The Wrecking Crew is the name given to a group of house musicians who have made probably every song you’ve ever heard of from the 1960s. This amazing group worked with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees, and many, many more. It’s an engrossing documentary featuring interviews with dozens of musicians and producers, including Wilson himself.
This documentary really goes to show just how much one small group can accomplish over the years with plenty of practice and opportunity. It also showcases just how these background folks who do much of the heavy lifting can be left by the wayside. This documentary, if nothing else, will give you lots of fun factoids to bring up at your next stuffy work engagement or, god forbid, family reunion.
Do I even need to say anything else? Nah not really…but I will because I’m not, like, that lazy, man.
1999 was a goddamn fantastic year for movies. I was seven, sure, so I was more concerned about Pokemon than anything else, but even as a child I saw how ridiculously huge The Matrix was. I saw the slow-motion bullet-dodging and immediately knew I wanted to one day be lucky enough to, uh, watch the movie.
I since have, and have even gotten into arguments on dates about it…which is why I don’t go on many dates. This groundbreaking piece of cinema has everything a growing boy needs: some of the best fight choreography ever put on celluloid, philosophical overtones that don’t feel like a high college kid expounding his shaky worldview on you as the party winds down, and Keanu Reeve’s blank, easily replaceable face allows you to enter the Matrix. This is arguably the Wachowski’s greatest work unless you’re a big Cloud Atlas kinda guy.
Also the sequels are on here if you hate yourself.
I think it could be argued that David Fincher has yet to make a bad movie. Don’t even start about Alien cubed though, man. That totally, seriously wasn’t his fault.
Upon it’s original release, Zodiac flopped, only making back half of it’s budget domestically, and it wasn’t nominated for a single Academy Award. A decade later, there have been plenty of pieces popping up about how Zodiac is actually Fincher’s best work. This could be due in part to people finally realizing the killer was Ted Cruz and all these bloggers rewatched the movie trying to find him. But hey, if you haven’t watched Zodiac ever, just know going in it’s a non-stop tension fest. Everything in San Francisco suddenly becomes sinister. People get frustrated, and you will feel that frustration. People get hurt, and you will feel hurt. It’s a brutal and honest piece of film.
But it doesn’t have Ben Affleck’s dick though, so, sorry about that.
Train to Busan
Zombies are so played out. The genre seems to be slogging along these days, and the shows seem to be eating each other, cannibalizing themselves for boring plot lines and, whoa, wow there’s blood oh wow. There hasn’t really been a stand-out piece of zombie media for a minute here.
And then Train to Busan popped up.
More of a thriller/drama than horror, Busan focuses on the human aspects of zombie outbreak just popping up randomly. Do you look out for yourself, or help others? We get some fun class warfare and family themes, as well, woven well into the film. Characters actually seem to grow and change and learn something. I haven’t been invested in zombie protagonists in such a long time. This flick really felt like a breath of fresh air, even if the air does have a hint of Snowpiercer or Oldboy thrown in there. Don’t be alarmed if you cry towards the end.