Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler June 8-14: Hobo with a Shotgun at Midnight in Paris

In theaters

Welcome to the new-and-improved (well, in a work-in-progress sense) “Weekly Reeler” and a week of some considerable note in terms of the art and indie scene—with no less than three worthy non-mainstream entries. Hobo with a Shotgun opens at The Carolina, while Incendies opens at the Fine Arts, and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris opens at both! What more can you ask? Well, asked for or not, there’s also Super 8 and something called Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.

What can be said about Hobo with a Shotgun? Well, actually, you’ll see that I managed to say a good bit about it in this week’s paper, but the big thing is probably that this was the big hit at ActionFest—and deservedly so. At least deservedly so in terms of splattery exploitation goodness. The title kind of says it all. If you’re in doubt, take a look at the trailer. I freely admit to having seen the movie twice—something that will undoubtedly cause certain people to shake their heads in dismay.

I’ve also seen Denis Villeneuve’s remarkable Incendies, which is reviewed in the Xpress as well. That this movie didn’t win the Best Foreign Language Oscar is about as hard to imagine as the Academy overlooking Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

 

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Hobo and Incendies, or maybe it’s simply because I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, but the biggie for me—at least potentially, since I’ve yet to see it—is Midnight in Paris.

I’m interested in the fact that it has the highest approval rating (92 percent) on Rotten Tomatoes of any Allen picture in years, but that doesn’t sell me in itself. Match Point (2005) got high marks (77 percent), too, and it’s one of the few Allen movies I absolutely don’t like. No, what intrigues me is the premise of the film—Owen Wilson meeting his 1920s literary heroes in late night Paris. This just sounds like the sort of material that only Allen could pull off, and I’ll be at the first show on Friday to find out.

There are probably others who are just as anxious to see Super 8—the movie that teams director J.J. Abrams with producer Steven Spielberg. Since I am not an overwhelming admirer of either gentleman, I am not all that anxious. I’m a little curious to see how the mix works, since collaborating with Spielberg tends to mean making a film as Spielberg would have made it (see Tobe Hooper and Poltergeist). The difference here may be that there’s not all that much difference between Spielberg and Abrams. In short, there’s not all that much at stake. Graft the found-footage schtick and keep-the-monster-offscreen ethic of Cloverfield onto the Spielbergian nerdy kids in suburbia template—et voila. Maybe I’m cynical. Maybe I’m not nostalgic for the 80s. We’ll see.

I have no idea who is interested in seeing Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. I am told the book—or books—it’s based on are best-sellers. This doesn’t surprise me, since that appears to be true of every piece of kid-lit that gets made into a movie. All I’m surprised by is that it isn’t a “Newberry Award winner,” since those awards seem commoner than OBE’s in the UK. Whatever. It looks shrill, frantic and annoying.

Now, this week both The Double Hour and Bill Cunningham depart the Fine Arts. Jane Eyre and The Conspirator finally take a hike at The Carolina. If there’s anyone left who hasn’t seen The Conspirator and wants to, however, the Flat Rock Cinema is picking it up. 13 Assassins, Meek’s Cutoff, and Everything Must Go are all in residence at The Carolina for another week.

Special screenings

Before getting to the usual crop, I should note that the 2011 Found Footage Festival is on Thursday, June 9th (8 p.m.) at the Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave.), where they’re also showing a 25th anniversary screening of the legendary music documentary, Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

This week’s Thursday Horror Picture Show is Son of Dracula (1943) at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. World Cinema has Almodovar’s Talk to Her (2002) at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10, in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. That Championship Season (1982) is the film from the Hendersonville Film Society at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society is screening Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980) on Tuesday, June 14, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress

On DVD

The best of this week come down to True Grit and Another Year—both estimable works that more than repay a second look if you’ve seen them already. If you have’t seen them, what on earth are you waiting for? A number of people seemed to like The Company Men. I was not among them, but if you can get all misty-eyed at the idea of Ben Affleck having to give up his Porsche due to corporate downsizing, I wish you the joy of it. That anyone wanted to see Just Go with It or Sanctum in the first place is amazing. That they should want to see them again is deeply troubling.

Notable TV screenings

TCM’s “Drive-in Thursdays” all night cheese-athons continue this week. Starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 9. Them! (1954), The Cosmic Monsters (1958), Tarantula (1955), The Black Scorpion (1957), The Giant Claw (1957), The Wasp Woman (1959). Some of you may recognize The Giant Claw from the avatar of one of the more frequent commenters in the movie section, proving he’s a man of impeccable taste in Bad Cinema. Truth to tell, it’s not really a bad movie. It’s a very good movie of its kind, but it just happens to have the hands-down dumbest-looking monster in the history of film. Check out the trailer if you don’t believe me.

I have a soft spot for the 1950 Jack Carson comedy The Good Humor Man. Or so I think. This is based entirely on having liked it when I was about 12. It’s actually probably quite dreadful. The trailer certainly suggests it’s less than intellectual. Regardless, it’s on late night Sunday, June 12 (or early morning Mon., June 13, if you don’t work on TV Guide time), at 3:30 a.m. on TCM. Ill-advised as I am sure it is, I plan on watching it. This is not an actual recommendation.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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36 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler June 8-14: Hobo with a Shotgun at Midnight in Paris

  1. Dionysis

    I haven’t seen a Woody Allen movie in years, although I liked most of his earlier films. This one sounds interesting, if only I could get past my dislike of Owen Wilson. The rest of the cast sounds great.

  2. Ken Hanke

    This one sounds interesting, if only I could get past my dislike of Owen Wilson.

    My taste in Owen Wilson is very film specific, which mostly means I like him in Wes Anderson movies, but rarely in anything else. I’m assuming that Wilson in a Woody Allen picture is unrelated to Wilson in, say, Drillbit Taylor.

  3. Me

    Also on TCM they are doing some Clint Eastwood Jazz thing Wednesday, but the only thing im interested in is the Thelonious Monk documentary. I know you dont do HBO but they are playing that Bobby Fischer doc all week.

  4. Few more key dvd releases.

    The biggest besides True Grit is season 3 of Breaking Bad, a show where there’s no good guys and just keeps getting better and better. Also on tv is the exceptional Burn Notice Season 4, White Collar Season 2 and Laura Linney’s The Big C Season 1.

    Rubber makes its debut, and I’m dying to hear people’s reaction to it. Bill Hicks American is a good documentary that delves deeper into the man. Warner Archives are delay to us stores a few weeks, but we now have the much anticipated Savage Messiah and The Boy Friend from Ken Russell.

    Severin Films is quickly becoming the Criterion of cult movies. They did another classic justice this week with The Stunt Man. As usual it is packed with extras including a ton of involvement from Peter O’Toole. Perhaps an Asheville Film Society screening is in order?

  5. Ken Hanke

    Rubber makes its debut, and I’m dying to hear people’s reaction to it.

    Well, almost nobody went to see it in the theater.

    Warner Archives are delay to us stores a few weeks, but we now have the much anticipated Savage Messiah and The Boy Friend from Ken Russell.

    And very nice transfers they are, too.

    Severin Films is quickly becoming the Criterion of cult movies. They did another classic justice this week with The Stunt Man. As usual it is packed with extras including a ton of involvement from Peter O’Toole. Perhaps an Asheville Film Society screening is in order?

    How does this differ — if it does — significantly from the version I already have? As for an AFS screening, it’s certainly a possibility. It’s probably my second favorite O’Toole movie.

  6. And very nice transfers they are, too.

    Warner Brothers is probably the best of the major studios treating their catalog product with respect. My question has always been, if you going to take the time to make great transfers, then why settle with MOD releases? Still, I’m glad they finally released them.

    How does this differ—if it does—significantly from the version I already have? As for an AFS screening, it’s certainly a possibility. It’s probably my second favorite O’Toole movie.

    I have the Anchor Bay disc, and no disrespect to them, but a lot of their releases earlier in the dvd era could be improved. I’ll do a comparison with the blu-ray this week.

  7. DrSerizawa

    My concern for my mental health continues because the only Thursday night TCM horror movie this week I don’t already have is The Cosmic Monsters.

    Just think. If the special effects people had made the bird in The Giant Claw a sleek looking hawk or something like that the movie would be largely unremarkable. But since they made it a silly looking googly-eyed turkey buzzard it will live forever. The model plane that magically changes from a four engine cargo plane to a twin engine B-25 helps too.

    I don’t necessarily completely dislike Spielberg’s movies, except ET. I can’t stand ET. But he puts too juvenile a flavor into his movies. And that’s off-putting to me. JJ Abrams on the other hand is just straight juvenile. I was surprised at how much I disliked the new Star Trek movie the second time I saw it. It is really really stupid. Still, I’m willing to give Super 8 a chance. Are you going to inflict it on Justin?

    Oh, and thank you for the recommendation on 13 Assassins. I saw at at the Salt Lake Film Society theater last Sunday and loved it.

  8. Ken Hanke

    Warner Brothers is probably the best of the major studios treating their catalog product with respect. My question has always been, if you going to take the time to make great transfers, then why settle with MOD releases?

    These were given a little extra care ‘cuz the guy in charge is a fan. You know, apart from the debatable notion that the pressed discs are better or hold up longer, I’m getting more and more cool with the made-to-order stuff. I don’t miss the fancy menus that take forever to load and that you have to sit through every time you start the disc till that magical “Play” icon comes up. I certainly don’t miss returning to that menu and getting stuck in menu hell while the same stuff plays over endlessly until you do something about the disc. I’m sure this stuff struck somebody in development as cooler’n hell — and it might’ve been…once, but not on replaying the disc.

    I have the Anchor Bay disc, and no disrespect to them, but a lot of their releases earlier in the dvd era could be improved. I’ll do a comparison with the blu-ray this week.

    I don’t remember anything bad about the earlier one. What that mostly means is that we showed it late night at a certain theater, so I’ve seen it 15 feet high, and that it was anamorphic and the image didn’t degenerate into scanning lines during vertical movements.

  9. Ken Hanke

    Just think. If the special effects people had made the bird in The Giant Claw a sleek looking hawk or something like that the movie would be largely unremarkable. But since they made it a silly looking googly-eyed turkey buzzard it will live forever.

    Further proof of the producing genius of Sam Katzman! The moment of amazement that someone thought this thing looked good and that that person was an adult just never dims. It’s like my belief that on the set of the last of Katzman’s Bela Lugosi “Monogram Nine” some rational person wandered onto the set, looked around, and said, “What’s going on in here? Stop this at once!”

    I don’t necessarily completely dislike Spielberg’s movies, except ET. I can’t stand ET. But he puts too juvenile a flavor into his movies. And that’s off-putting to me. JJ Abrams on the other hand is just straight juvenile. I was surprised at how much I disliked the new Star Trek movie the second time I saw it.

    I can concede that I do own one Spielberg film — A.I. — and that that makes him one up on Abrams. I’m not wacky enough to have tried Star Trek a second time. Some things are better left to a single look.

    Are you going to inflict it on Justin?

    Well, you see, the option would be watching the “supermegatotally thrilladelic” Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. That probably answers the question — even though I will have to pay dearly ere the summer is out by watching Muppets or Smurfs or something.

  10. These were given a little extra care ‘cuz the guy in charge is a fan. You know, apart from the debatable notion that the pressed discs are better or hold up longer, I’m getting more and more cool with the made-to-order stuff. I don’t miss the fancy menus that take forever to load and that you have to sit through every time you start the disc till that magical “Play” icon comes up. I certainly don’t miss returning to that menu and getting stuck in menu hell while the same stuff plays over endlessly until you do something about the disc. I’m sure this stuff struck somebody in development as cooler’n hell—and it might’ve been…once, but not on replaying the disc.

    I think there’s only been one gripe about a transfer so far, and that was quickly rectified. Warner Archives has been doing a top-notch job. Still, if going through the trouble, why not make these more commercially available? Since we vendors cannot return these, you can only pretty much only get them from their website. I DO have an extra copy of SAVAGE MESSIAH at TV Eye for sale however (hint hint Jeremy). I’m testing to see if it will sell.

  11. I DO have an extra copy of SAVAGE MESSIAH at TV Eye for sale however (hint hint Jeremy).
    Look out for me on Monday. I may drop by.

  12. Look out for me on Monday. I may drop by.

    108 N. Lexington downtown. It’s already discounted and everything else in the store is for sale. I should have asked for you to bring with you Barry McKenzie. Beer afterwards?

  13. Ken Hanke

    Still, if going through the trouble, why not make these more commercially available? Since we vendors cannot return these, you can only pretty much only get them from their website.

    I hope you don’t think I can answer that? The workings of movie studios are mysterious to say the least. Hell, I don’t even understand the region coding nonsense.

    I should have asked for you to bring with you Barry McKenzie.

    I was thinking Yahoo Serious or a nice wallaby.

  14. Ken Hanke

    Well, I’m a non-alcoholic, but I wouldn’t say no to an apple juice.

    The first part of that I can understand. The apple juice is another matter.

  15. Well, I’m a non-alcoholic, but I wouldn’t say no to an apple juice.

    Young man, you do know that you are visiting BEER CITY right?

  16. Ken Hanke

    Young man, you do know that you are visiting BEER CITY right?

    I don’t think drinking the stuff is an actual requirement. If it is, I’m in trouble, too.

  17. I don’t think drinking the stuff is an actual requirement. If it is, I’m in trouble, too.

    Beer makes some movies much more watchable.

  18. Ken Hanke

    Because you’re distracted by how awful it tastes?

    Possibly, but then I’d say that about apple juice, too. Beer is definitely an acquired taste, and I acquired it, but only for things like stout and porter. Lagers? Oh, my, no.

  19. DrSerizawa

    Forget the beer. I have a real emergency! Not one theater in Salt Lake has booked Hobo with A Shotgun! The nearest theater I can find is in Vegas. It ain’t fair I tell ya!

    Hmmm. 450 miles to Vegas on 75mph I-15 the entire way. I could do it in 6 hours……..

  20. luluthebeast

    I thought MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was Woody Allen’s best movie in years. I won’t go into too much detail right now (spoilers you know), but he really captures the beauty and magic of Paris and even Owen Wilson does a good job. Now I’ve never disliked Owen, but I’ve never really raved about him either. And I think the “older” supporting cast do an outstanding job. The last thing I saw Adrien Brody in was PREDATORS, so to see what he does here is great. Marion Cotillard can do no wrong and Lea Seydoux makes a wonderful young French girl that would be easy to fall in love with and Kathy Bates makes a wonderful G.S.
    The movie was shown in the smallest theater of the complex, but it was filled to the brim with us old farts for the 1:40 show.

  21. Ken Hanke

    Forget the beer. I have a real emergency! Not one theater in Salt Lake has booked Hobo with A Shotgun! The nearest theater I can find is in Vegas. It ain’t fair I tell ya!

    You could take solace in seeing Midnight in Paris if that opened. Granted, it’s not the same thing, and you have to bear in mind that I am predisposed to like Woody Allen movies. So the fact that it rates a bee’s knees, lobster’s dinner shirt, and a bobcat’s claw may not sell it to you. Or are you already on the way to Vegas?

  22. Ken Hanke

    I thought MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was Woody Allen’s best movie in years.

    Even bearing in mind that I gave Whatever Works the full five and think it’s wonderful, this is much more wonderful. I can say no more.

    Owen Wilson does a good job. Now I’ve never disliked Owen, but I’ve never really raved about him either.

    As a major admirer of Wes Anderson, I’m probably a little keener on him.

    The last thing I saw Adrien Brody in was PREDATORS, so to see what he does here is great.

    “Rhinocerous!”

    All in all, I think the winner is Corey Stoll.

  23. luluthebeast

    [b]All in all, I think the winner is Corey Stoll.[/b]

    You have a strong point there, he was mesmerising!

  24. Ken Hanke

    You have a strong point there, he was mesmerising!

    Actually, all that set of characters were good. Allison Pill was good, too. But Stoll really nailed my notion of the character in question.

  25. Ken Hanke

    The only of Allen’s 21st century work that I have no use for is Match Point, which I think is crap. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger wasn’t great, but Whatever Works was. This is better. But the tone is so different that it’s hard to compare them fairly.

  26. Ken Hanke

    I do not have this officially, but based on the turnout for Hobo with a Shotgun this weekend, I will be surprised if it’s still here come this Friday.

  27. Ken Hanke

    Come on Ashevillains, support independent film!

    I suspect it’s too late for this ‘un, Young Jeremy. Its fate will be decided by the weekend’s grosses.

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