It's no secret I like dumb movies. Like, I get pretty stoked hearing they're fast working on another Piranha sequel called Piranha 3DD (pronounced Piranha Three-Double-D because there just wasn't enough nudity in the last one). Dumb is usually simple and the simple things in life can be more fun than the heavy/arty/dramatic/human condition/intellectual stuff that so often reeks of pretension.
Of course, no one wants to live in a "dumb shit" vacuum so I watch a lot of intelligent documentaries (this is a golden era for docs after all) so for all you smarty-pants and teacher's pets out there who aren't into boobs, guns, explosions and laser beams, here's a trifecta of smart docs you can rent/download or buy online.
Objectified is one of those killer films that sheds new light on stuff you otherwise take for granted - toothbrushes, lawn chairs, the handle on the potato peeler. All those objects were designed, their very shape and function painstakingly worked and reworked by one or more people hoping to discover the perfect product, the one that will never become obsolete. It's called industrial art and, according to director Gary Hustwit ( Helvetica ) , it's the art form of the future.
Objectified is thought provoking and tackles everything from inherent good taste to Plato's theory of forms to the way the objects in our lives compete to have real meaning to us..
And then we have the White family of West Virginia. Not really smart at all, the Whites are pill-snorting, hard-partying, system-dodging hillbillies straight outta coal mining country. Dickhouse Films (the dudes who make the Jackass series) diversify by going down south and getting dirty with some of the redneckiest Appalachian shitkickers ever born and come up with an intriguing glimpse into another world.
Known mostly for their famous brain-damaged, tap dancing uncle Jesco White, the entire family is composed of tough as nails characters who, for better or worse, embody the rebel American spirit to the core. T he Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia watches like a long episode of Intervention but there are plenty of laughs and tender moments to go alongside watching a guy talk about shooting his step-uncle three times in the head or witnessing a brand new mother crushing up Oxycontins on the side table in the maternity ward. These people are no joke.
The last doc is called Freakonomics and it's about how number crunchers can pretty much predict the future and that future looks crooked. Check it out and ponder.
In the theatres, Summer Blockbuster season kicks off a few weeks early as Thor opens (in 2D) at the Village 8. Based on the Marvel comic character (who is based on the Norse god) Thor is directed by Kenneth Branagh ( Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing ) whose Shakespearean sensibilities fit well with a story about a buff and bearded (and impetuous) god banished to earth to learn a little humility while courting Natalie Portman with his fish-out-of-water bit.
I haven't seen it but Thor looks good enough - maybe a bit cheesy and at two-hours ten minutes it's probably overlong but heck, it takes place in three separate dimensions and has to cram a whole mythology's worth of origin story on top of some godly ass-whoopin'.
And as a bonus, Thor stars Kat Dennings who always sizzles.
Bring on Summerr.