In Your Queue: Gimme the Loot, Fat Kid Rules the World


Holy Motors – Leos Carax 

Nothing makes a bit of sense in Carax’s surrealist-absurdist masterpiece, but if it did, it would almost be a crime against cinema, so brilliant is its outcome. Set almost as a fluid series of short films that all feature the same morphing lead, played by Denis Levant, his French film works better the less you know going into it, but rest assured: You’ll either love it for its left-field inventiveness, or hate it for its strange, reckless meandering. For those of you who have seen Tokyo!, keep an eye out for the return of Mr. Merde, as well as a little number by Kylie Miogue. Available to stream on Netflix.

Gimme the Loot – Adam Leon

This recommendation unfortunately comes sight unseen, which I do feel very uncomfortable about, but as of this writing the film hadn’t filtered through to the various streaming platforms that it’s supposed to be available on (Amazon, YouTube, Playstation, Xbox). It’s an exciting film prospect nonetheless, or maybe it just seems that way to me because it’s a story so close to my wayward youth when I would have liked nothing better than to be the biggest writer in New York, as the films stars, Malcolm and Sofia (Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington), aim to accomplish by tagging the Mets’ homerun apple at Citifield. In a time when subway cars have all become graffiti resistant and derelict buildings all inhabited by young white people in fedoras, it’s a daring and novel — and kind of charming — way to go about it. The apple is both a mythic legend and a joke in New York, and perfectly encapsulates the Mets’ lovable losers syndrome, which appears to parallel Malcolm and Sofia extremely well, even though they’re from enemy territory — the Bronx. I hope the film succeeds, but it seems worth a few bucks to stream even if it doesn’t.

Fat Kid Rules the World – Matthew Lillard

It’s strange to be recommending something — anything — that Matthew Lillard is involved in, but he’s got a strange winner of a film here in his adaptation of a YA novel about a fat kid who tries to step in front of a bus to end his daily dose of torment but is saved just as the bus is screeching to a halt by a ragamuffin street kid, who shakes the fat kid down for a few bucks immediately after. It’s Lillard’s first film as director and it shows a little bit in the structure and execution of the film, especially in the first act, but it’s not hard to get past when you look straight at the Angus-like story that ends up avoiding most of the pitfalls of the awkward coming-of-age story. Jacob Wysocki and Matt O’Leary work well enough in tandem as the nervous, overweight Troy and the druggie friend you hope your kid doesn’t make, Marcus, and the story fits so well in its Seattle backdrop, that it lands firmly outside of the realm of first time film. It’s not an Earth shattering film by any means, and stories about weight are hard to look at sometimes, but it’s a fitting and endearing movie for the times, that’s for sure. The film is available to stream on Netflix.

Quick Hits on: The Descendants – Alexander Payne (2011)

-I feel like I’m officially an old man now. The lasting impression I will take from The Descendants is that kids are terrible. They’re such assholes. I know why everyone hated my generation now too. We were assholes. When Alex and Matt were in the hospital room  and she confronts her comatose mom, which was clearly the wrong time and place, Matt half-heartedly tries to spank her. He was justified. He should have bent her over his knee and spanked her with a kitchen spoon, and he should have washed Scottie’s mouth out with Lava. Seriously, get off my fucking lawn, you brats.

-My old man rage may be stopping me from seeing the greatness in this that everyone else seems to be seeing. I thought the film broke down to one fantastic segment (when they are hunting down Brian Speer (see above) and finally find him. Matt, confronted with a few possibilities of what to do, chooses to see if he can make inroads with Speers wife, Julie. They flirt, but he doesn’t seem to have the stomach for it. He seems to be relieved when Scottie comes out of the water to get him. He boils his revenge down to one self-satisfied moment, when Julie goes to kiss him goodbye on the cheek after Matt and Alex have finally confronted Brian. He evades the cheek kiss and plants one fully on her lips. She is startled, but doesn’t pull away. Her suspicions about Brian (and Matt’s visit) may have gotten the best of her, or it may just be frozen terror at his audaciousness. But it still seems like a private revenge. Would Julie tell Brian about this? Would she feel too guilty to? Even after he confesses about his affair? She doesn’t seem the type to use it as a sledgehammer, and it was still an innocent kiss. I find it interesting to see the small ways people take revenge on one another, especially in film, where the unbelievable, broad stroke revenge is usually favored, which is much less interesting.