Movies to See Right Now

Jeremy Renner and Gil Birmingham in WIND RIVER

With the contemporary Western thriller Wind River, screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has delivered another masterpiece, this time in his first effort as director. It’s got mystery, explosive action, wild scenery and some great acting, especially by Jeremy Renner and Gil Birmingham.

Other movies that are among the best of the year are the historical thriller Dunkirk and the delightful romantic comedy The Big Sick.

The best of the rest:

  • Baby Driver is just an action movie, but the walking, running and driving are brilliantly timed to the beat of music.
  • I enjoyed Charlize Theron’s rock ’em, sock ’em, espionage thriller Atomic Blonde.
  • The Trip to Spain, another gourmet romp from Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan is funny for the first 90 minutes or so – just leave when the characters part company in Malaga.

My DVD/Stream of the Week is an Oscar-winner that you haven’t seen: the Feel Good documentary Undefeated. You can find it on DVD and streaming from Netflix Instant, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.

On August 30, Turner Classic Movies presents the second and the funniest of Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther movies, 1964’s A Shot in the Dark, in which Peter Sellers really comes into his own as Inspector Clouseau. A Shot in the Dark also introduces Herbert Lom, the king ofte slow burn, as Clouseau’s perpetually infuriated boss.

On September 1, TCM airs the 1933 submarine movie Hell Below. It’s a pretty contrived Robert Montgomery vehicle, but there are some elements worth fast-forwarding to. The comic relief is provided by Jimmy Durante, who plays the cook Ptomaine; Baby Boomers tend to remember Durante for his shtick on variety shows of the 1950s and 1960s – here’s the unadulterated Durante. Durante even boxes with a kangeroo! Hell Below also features Walter Huston, who was a major star at the time and who I think would be very successful today.

Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in A SHOT IN THE DARK
Herbert Lom in A SHOT IN THE DARK

This Week's Movies to See Right Now

Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhardt in Rabbit Hole

This week’s must see film is Rabbit Hole, an exquisite exploration of the grieving process with great performances by Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhardt, Diane Wiest, Sandra Oh and Miles Tenner.  Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a rip roaring thriller and a showcase for Natalie Portman and Barbara Hershey. Fair Game, the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson story with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, is also excellent.  For some delectable food porn, see Kings of Pastry.

Morning Glory is a passable comedy, as is Love and Other Drugs.

There are some Must See films still kicking around in theaters this week: Inside Job, The Social Network and Hereafter. All three are already on my list of Best Movies of 2010 – So Far.

The Town is hanging around theaters and, without strongly recommending it, I can say that it is a satisfying Hollywood thriller. If you’ve seen the first two Lisbeth Salander movies from Sweden, then you should complete the trilogy with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

For trailers and other choices, see Movies to See Right Now.

I have not yet seen The Fighter, The Tempest or The Company Man, opening this weekend. You can see the trailers at Movies I’m Looking Forward To.

My DVD of the Week is Inception, perhaps the year’s best blockbuster. My top two American films of the year are now available on DVD – the indie Winter’s Bone and Pixar’s Toy Story 3. For my recent DVD choices (including trailers), see DVDs of the Week.

Movies on TV include Stagecoach, A Shot in the Dark and The Searchers on TCM.