The Week in Film: Hometown Contamination edition


In Theaters

It’s tempting to play local favorite this week, but My Toxic Backyard, Asheville filmmaker Katie Damien’s documentary about the CTS Superfund site on the south side of town, is legitimately the best new offering this week (at least among known entities).  The film premieres May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theatre (followed by a Q&A) and has a daily 7 p.m. screening through May 15.

The next best option is Walking the Camino, a Documentary Filmmaking 101 take on the revered Spanish pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  Beyond that, things get dicier with the potential-squandering thriller Blue Ruin and another documentary, Particle Fever, in which intriguing topics such as the Higgs boson and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider are presented in such an esoteric manner that you pretty much have to be a physicist to understand it on even a basic level.

Of the unseen films, I’m most looking forward to John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo, starring the director and the one and only Woody Allen.  Thanks to my Seth Rogen affinity, not too too far behind is the R-rated comedy Neighbors, where the king of the schlubs starts a rivalry with his new fraternity neighbors, led by Zac Efron.  And bringing up the rear is the animated Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, featuring the voice of Glee‘s Lea Michele as the ruby-slippered one and a cast of guys who used to be funny (Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, and Martin Short).  It looks pretty foul, though the last two times I underestimated an animated film, Planes and The Nut Job swooped in and told my expectations to take a hike, so you never know.

Fleeing the Scene

Heading to that second-run theater in the sky are a bunch of movies that I gave a B-: The Quiet Ones, Transcendence, Le Week-End, and Rio 2.  Hanging around in perdition for a while are the horribly overrated indies Under the Skin and Joe, both of which are sure to land on their share of Top 10 lists come December.  As for where Brick Mansions will spend eternity, I didn’t see it, but I’ll flip a coin and see what happens.


Still Mine, starring the charming James Cromwell, and the for-fans-only Veronica Mars movie are the only new releases of note.  Older films getting fresh discs include a 40th anniversary edition of Blazing Saddles and 30th anniversary pressings of Revenge of the Nerds and Bachelor Party.  1984 represent!!!

On Netflix Instant

Another month, another swarm of new additions (and one of the better collections I’ve seen):

  • 1976: Hunt vs. Lauda
  • Adventures in Babysitting
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Backdraft
  • Bang the Drum Slowly
  • Beethoven (the one about the dog)
  • The Big Chill
  • The Big Hit
  • Boys Don’t Cry
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  • Broadway Idiot
  • The Buddy Holly Story
  • The City of Lost Children
  • Diana
  • Encounters at the End of the World
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • Gladiator
  • From Russia with Love
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hook (!!!!)
  • The Human Stain
  • Jewel of the Nile
  • The Juror
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
  • Kiss the Girls
  • La Bamba
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance
  • The Legend of the Drunken Master
  • Live and Let Die
  • The Living Daylights
  • Metallica: Through the Never
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Muscle Shoals
  • Never Say Never Again
  • Oslo, August 31st
  • Paper Moon
  • The Prince of Tides
  • Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
  • Romancing the Stone
  • School Daze
  • Single White Female
  • Sneakers
  • St. Elmo’s Fire
  • Starman
  • Top Secret!
  • Tortilla Soup
  • The Trials of Muhammad Ali
  • View to a Kill
  • Winged Migration
  • You Only Live Twice

And, to get you hyped for the new Godzilla next week:

  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Rodan
  • Godzilla vs. Mothra
  • Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster
  • Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla