From Disaster to the Art House

Every now and again I get a wild hair and decide that I will watch a couple different movies in the same day. Last Sunday happened to be one of those days. I had noticed for quite some time that my taste in movies had changed but this last weekend really reinforced this fact. Therefore, I am going to be giving you not one – but two reviews in one.

San Andreas

san andreas action scene

I was asked to go see this movie by my dad last week and from time to time I will do so. This is exactly what you think it would be. It is two hours of cheeseball lines and bad action dramatic writing. It is exactly what you think of when you give the good folks at SyFy  (the people who brought you something called Ice Twisters and yes it is exactly what you think) a $100 million budget and Dwayne Johnson to star.

It had its moment and Paul Giamatti was definitely heads and shoulder above the rest of the actors in the film, but at the end of the day it was an earthquake movie that turned into a tsunami movie with perhaps one of the cheesiest final lines in the history of film. However, if you are bored on an afternoon and enjoy movies like this, you will probably like this one.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

me and earl and the dying girl

After leaving the disaster movie that defined  a genre I headed over to the theatre that Regal Cinemas has lovingly dubbed the Art House to see a movie I had been looking forward to for a while. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was one of the better movies I have seen this summer.

It is the story of how peoples’  lives can be so deeply changed by cancer and yet overcome. It is not a movie with a happy ending and it provides a unique character study on the oddballs of America of which I belong. It featured terrific acting from Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke as well as the perfect character to tie the whole film together in Earl played by RJ Cyler. The casting went even better with Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon and Jon Bernthal (which if you don’t know these names, just google them) playing the adults of the story.

The plot was quirky and just different enough to really make you identify with the movie. It is a must see to me and definitely worth seeing in the theatre.

From Disaster to the Art House

However, let’s get back to my original assertion. Last Sunday was the purest example of how my own personal interests have changed. Five years ago I could not have come up with something I would have enjoyed more than The Rock running around California saving people in helicopters or something I would have enjoyed less than a two hour movie about quirky kids dealing with cancer. Today is just the polar opposite.

I think the differences are both in my own growing up and personal experiences, but I also feel that some of the action genre has changed. New and unique stories that I have not seen a hundred times do not pop up in the action genre as much as it does in drama anymore. If you have seen one disaster movie, you know what is going to happen. Everything will be either fantastic or a relationship will be in turmoil, then BOOM! unexpected disaster happens, and finally some action hero will save everyone and people will live happily ever after. I can think of very few movies in this genre of film that does not follow this exact timeline of events.

However, dramas seem to have no defined avenue of development. I have watched some where everything begins in turmoil, some where everyone is happy, some where we don’t even meet the main character until we are well into the movie. The plots are typically more engaging and have more depth to both the story and characters. But, the biggest difference is that not every time do we have a happy ending. Sometimes pain and heartbreak and death are unavoidable and no matter the amount of racing around on boats to avoid gigantic waves, bad things will happen.

Drama has become cathartic and intriguing to me and at the end of the day this is far more important to me than seeing episode fifty-three of the Rock with a handgun. This is not to say I am abandoning the action genre. I am still a mark for every comic book movie you throw my way and every now and again stories seem unique (I am very excited about Agent 47), but the main difference is that I am being for pickier about which ones I spend my dollars on.

I truly believe that people should give their money for things they truly enjoy and so if you like the disaster movie San Andreas is right up your alley, but if you are about the story and really finding something unique, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is right up your alley.

About the author

Andy G for short, is a digital media designer for a local college, previously for some radio stations. If you’re wondering what a digital media designer is, he helps make the internet look pretty. When not at work, he is either at the gym or involved in generally nerdy activities.

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