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May 12 2014

This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.

wimbledon

Windy’s Pick of the Week: Wimbledon

This is the movie every “rom com” wishes it could be. Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany raise the profile of the lowly rom-com, but it’s the script that carries a delightful story about redemption and re-imagining just what we thought we wanted from our life. The romance is real and lovely – but best of all, the conflict (which is so often contrived in rom-coms) is believable and true to who these characters are.

Also – it’s an underdog sports flick.  And so it’s a double win.

joe_vs_volcano

Melissa’s Pick of the Week: Joe Versus the Volcano

The first time I saw this film, it opened Ebertfest, Roger Ebert’s annual film festival in Champaign, IL. When I saw it on the schedule, I said, “…really?” because all I knew of it were all the jokes made about it when it was released in 1990. And when I said on Twitter that it was the first film of the festival, everyone who’d never seen it went, “…really?” And then the four people who had seen it said, “OMG WOW YES YES YES.”

A few hours later, I realized what the folks in the know were talking about. Joe Versus the Volcano isn’t a dumb late-1980s Tom Hanks comedy, which is what most Tom Hanks comedies were in the late 1980s. Joe Versus the Volcano is a weirdly surreal, candy-colored, bizarrely artsy, Capra-flavored comedy featuring Funny Tom Hanks and Early Meg Ryan at the height of their powers. Tom Hanks plays a guy who learns that he is dying, so he accepts an invitation to throw himself into a volcano as a sacrifice to save a primitive tribe, and somehow Meg Ryan gets sucked along for the ride. It’s sweet and weird and it contains people like Abe Vigoda and Robert Stack and Amanda Plummer and Ossie Davis.

I saw the newly restored print of the film, and it was nothing short of dazzling; I am told it’s the same transfer that was used to create the Blu-Ray. Definitely worth seeking out.

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