Yesterday, it was the big releases.  Today, let’s take a look at the “smaller” movies of interest (well, movies that have piqued MY interest anyway) upcoming in July…

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THE WAY, WAY BACK

Release Date: July 5, 2013

What it’s about: A coming of age story about a 14 year old boy who befriends the good-humored manager of a Water Whizz Park.

What it’s got working for it: Written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (Dean Pelton on Community!), two very funny guys.

What it’s got working against it: Steve Carell’s feature forays typically don’t rock the box office.

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COFFEE TOWN

Release Date: July 9, 2013

What it’s about: A guy enlists two of his buddies in a staged robbery, all in an attempt to save his favorite coffee shop from being turned into a bar.

What it’s got working for it: Brought to you from the guys behind CollegeHumor.  They’re usually pretty funny.

What it’s got working against it: Usually.

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CRYSTAL FAIRY

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: A comical road trip involving a kooky girl called Crystal Fairy and a quest for a hallucinogenic cactus.

What it’s got working for it: It certainly looks unique in its telling.

What it’s got working against it: Having watched the trailer, I feel as though I’ve already seen the movie.

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FRUITVALE STATION

Release Date: July 19, 2013

What it’s about: Based on the true story of a 23 year old man shot by a Bay Area Transit officer on New Year’s Eve.

What it’s got working for it: The Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film and the 2013 Sundance Festival.  Also, actor Michael B. Jordan is terrific.

What it’s got working against it: Will it offer a realistic account of the individuals portrayed or a Hollywood-ized version?

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THE HUNT

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: An innocent man becomes the target of a town’s wrath when he is wrongly accused of a heinous crime.

What it’s got working for it: This role earned actor Mads Mikkelsen the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

What it’s got working against it: Sounds like a downer.

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THE KILLING SEASON

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: Two war veterans wage a one on one battle in the Appalachian mountains.

What it’s got working for it: De Niro and Travolta are heavy hitters.

What it’s got working against it: Heavy hitters but far from infallible.  Remember Little Fockers?  From Paris with Love?  How about Godsend?

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PAWNSHOP CHRONICLES

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: Three humorous, action-packed inter-connected tales share a common thread: a Southern small-town pawn shop.

What it’s got working for it: A structure and tone reminiscent of Pulp Fiction.

What it’s got working against it: Could be a pale imitation of the Tarantino classic.

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: What happens when you click “I AGREE”.

What it’s got working for it: I’m sure many of us are curious to know what, exactly, we are giving up every time we sign off on those user agreements.

What it’s got working against it: And, I’m sure, many of us dread knowing what, exactly, we have given up every time we signed off on those user agreements.

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VHS 2

Release Date: July 12, 2013

What it’s about: A collection of mysterious VHS tapes are the door in to this found footage horror anthology.

What it’s got working for it: Love the anthology format, especially in the horror genre.

What it’s got working against it: There are A LOT of found footage horror movies out there, most of them not particularly good.  It’s a tough sub-genre desperately in need of some originality.

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ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Release Date: July 19, 2013

What it’s about: A former kickboxes and gangster seeks revenge on the corrupt police officer who killed his brother.

What it’s got working for it: Director Nicolas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling, the duo behind Drive.

What it’s got working against it: Booed at Cannes.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday girl Lise (for the love of Beckett).

25 thoughts on “June 26, 2013: Upcoming under-the-radar movies to look forward to! Or not!

  1. I first thought the CRYSTAL FAIRY poster said “Abby Hoffman” ..which would just put an even more interesting twist on that movie.

    Saw RED TAILS a while back and Michael B. Jordan was really good in it!

  2. I’ve noticed a theme here. Comedies are almost always about young men acting stupid. Dramas are almost always about young men getting into trouble. Women seem to only be there for titillation factor or to be someone’s mom. You know, women are capable of doing more than either being sex or nurture. What is your opinion, Joe?

    1. Of course. One of my favorite comedies is Bridesmaids, a female-driven movie. I believe Pacific Rim features a kick-ass female lead (played by Rinko Kikuchi).

  3. Happy B-D to FLTOB!!
    and these movies,,uh,mmmm, don’t think so, but thanks for looking them up for us,. I am going to go see The Heat soon, with McCarthy and Bullock, hoping its hilarious as it sounds… and please tell Akemi I liked her foray into the doggie outfits from the other days post.,stylish,,.keep up the great work, the doggies love it too.

  4. Okay, I give up. What do you mean by “found footage”? What is that?

    Happy Birthday For The Love of Beckett! 😀 Hope it’s a great one!

    @ JeffW – Do we want your pecan pie recipe? Is the sky blue? 😉 Please and thank you.

  5. Thanks for the birthday dedication, Joe! 😀

    Thanks for the b-day wishes, Deni, Airelle, and Ponytail. It was a good day.

    Last night the AC went out, but we got some much needed rain. I sat out on the front porch, listened to the music of the rain on the aluminum awning, and cooled off. The porch is surrounded by shrubs and climbing vines, so it made a cozy little spot to read with my e-reader in the dark (it’s backlit).

    Finished that book today, K.E. Mills’ 2nd novel in the Rogue Agent series. If you’re pining for more Harry Potter-like wizard fantasy, this is top tier. Lots of humor, zingy dialogue, irony, drama, and realistically, the hero does not win every battle. Good stuff!

    Also today, the AC got fixed (whew!), and we dined on grilled salmon. It was a quiet day, but boy, did I need the rest! I also get to sleep in tomorrow. Feather pillow, here I come. 🙂 ZZZ-zzz-zz-zz………..

  6. Okay, okay, here it is…

    Pecan Pie Recipe:

    Start with a 9″ pie pan and crust:
    1/2 tsp of salt
    1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup of shortening (or lard)
    3 or 4 Tbsp of water

    Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening and mix. Continue mixing while shaking in water. When well mixed, roll into a ball and then roll-out the dough into a 12″ disc using a well-floured cutting board and a rolling pin. Grease a 9″ pan with shortening and transfer the disc to the pan. Cut the edges off using a butter knife.

    Pie Filling:
    1 cup dark Karo Syrup
    3 eggs
    2/3 cup brown sugar (white sugar is okay, but not as much flavor)
    1/3 cup of melted butter
    1/4 Tsp of salt
    1 tsp of vanilla extract
    1 Tbsp of molasses
    1-1/2 cup of pecan halves(use papershells if you can get them)

    Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

    Mix the eggs, syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, salt, vanilla, and molasses in a bowl with a stand or hand mixer until well blended. Add in pecan halves and mix with a spoon until all pecan halves are covered in batter and well distributed. Pour mixture into pie pan.

    Cover exposed pie crust with aluminum foil and put on middle oven rack. Bake for 30-minutes and then remove foil; continue baking for 20-30 minutes.

    Testing for completion: Insert a knife into the center, remove and look at the blade. If syrup is visible and runny, continue baking another 10 minutes. If filling comes away with the knife but is not runny, you’re done! If the knife comes away clean, it’s overcooked (at least by my family’s definition).

    Some of the differences with this recipe compared with others I’ve seen include the use of molasses, dark Karo syrup, and brown sugar. I think the reason for this comes from the use of cane sugars in Georgia in the early 1900’s. That side of my family worked (or provided the material) for the corn flour and sugar mills (one of the mills my great uncle ran is now a state park (the George L. Smith state park near Twin City Georgia). So the pecan pies from this time reflected the sugar cane and papershell pecans that are/were commonly available. Later, my grandmother adjusted the recipe to keep it true to form (adding molasses and brown sugar).

    If you can get them, do try to get some papershells. They are a sweet pecan (commonly available in Georgia), and they make for a great pie. Ways to tell a papershell from a common pecan: papershells have a dull shell (not glossy) and tend to be longer in length than common pecans. Also, papershells can usually be broken in your bare hands (breaking two together), that’s what they get their name from.

    I get my papershells from family in Georgia, but you can find them on the internet:

    http://www.nuts.com/nuts/pecans/paper-shell.html

    Let me know if you try it or have any questions…good luck!

  7. Happy Birthday, Lise (FTLOB)!

    Not so sure about those movies. They either look depressing or just not my preference in film entertainment.

    However, tonight I introduced my daughter to the movie Duel – a Richard Matheson and Steven Spielberg classic from 1971. Fortunately, we won’t be driving on any lonely highways in the near future…

    Thanks for sharing the recipe Jeff. I love pecan pie!

  8. @JeffW, I’m surprised at you. We DO have nuts in Canada, you know. Most of them are quite polite and friendly. Some, not so much. And, some are writers and show runners.

  9. Hi Joe, sorry…I was tired last night so I probably wasn’t clear…had intended the post about LJ to be just for you. Thanks.

  10. JeffW: Thanks for the recipe Jeff! I had no idea there were different kinds of pecans. Now that that you mention it, it makes sense. My dad planted a few pecans when we moved back to Tennessee. No idea what kind they are. We always have tons of pecans. I’ll have to examine/compare them next trip back home to see if they are the papershell.

    arcticgoddess: Thanks for the smile this morning.

    Das: Just watched two Inspector Lewis–so good!

    Some of thse movies look interesting but nothing to make me run to the theater.

  11. Pretty busy today at work so I don’t think I’ll have much time to watch any of the previews(I’ll even be working through lunch!). But I can safely say that if something was booed at Cannes, it might actually be something I’ll look into. All they ever seem to laud are the gay cowboy movies and subtitled foreign films in black and white(again, South Park nailed it on the head years ago).

    On a SGU related note, I finally got my screen used Icarus Base patch and access card yesterday! I was given the set for helping to properly identify a few wardrobe and costume pieces from the SG franchise for the current official seller of SG stuff on eBay. They had a few things listed wrong, with the wrong pictures and actor attributions, and I helped point them in the right direction. I think I estimated they made a few extra thousand off having the listings corrected. They sent me the patch/id card set for free. I’ll take it! I was happy to help for free, but it was a very generous offer and I couldn’t pass it up.

    Now to put it with my Eli costume from Epilogue and other SGU stuff! Wow, I just realized I now have more screen used stuff from SGU than SG1 and SGA combined!

    -Mike A.

  12. Thanks Sparrow_hawk, JeffW, PBMom, Alexis, Sylvia, and Janet for the birthday wishes!

    JeffW, that looks like a great pecan pie recipe. I like the story/info behind the recipe, too. It’s interesting to hear how the recipes/dishes* evolved. (* for food where our relatives say, “But I don’t use a recipe. It’s a little of this, and a little of that.”)

  13. @ JeffW: Thanks for the recipe! I’ve made one chocolate-pecan pie (for Thanksgiving last year), and that one was really easy and yummy, so I’ve been telling myself I need to make another right quick! I haven’t tried making a regular pecan pie, so I’m looking forward to trying your grandma’s. I especially need to try the pie crust, because I’ve still (at age 40) never made a pie crust from scratch. Pathetic! Especially for someone who likes pie so much. (The choco-pecan pie I made had a sort of shortbread crust.)

    @ Joe: What are the dates you need a dog sitter? I think I remember you saying something about needing someone for weekdays. If you’ve got someone for weekends, I could fill in the weekday schedule. I’m taking a morning class at UBC, and it would be way more convenient to drive there from your neighborhood than it is from Deep Cove. I’ve owned dogs for 16 years (first dog 11 years; current dog 5.5 years) and also have 2 kittens, so I’m used to watching multiple furry creatures. Also familiar with Granville Island Animal Hosp (and the 24-hr emergency place kitty corner to it), as that was Sadie’s vet until I moved to the North Shore. Let me know if you still need help.

    For the love of Beckett: Happy belated birthday! Hope you had lots of yummy cake!

    1. Hey Kath,

      Thanks for the offer. I actually just found someone.

      I may check on your schedule in the near future though…

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