• Oh my God…oh my God…Monster Squad! You can see Monster Squad, the greatest movie to ever discuss Wolf Man nards, on the big screen again! I realize you need context, but you don’t bury the lead.  Film Streams just announced the latest “Forever Young” series to hit the Ruth Sokolof theater and it’s jam packed with family friendly movies that all loosely involve animals…if you consider the Wolf Man a part of nature. Partnering with the Lincoln Financial Foundation, the series includes Monster freakin Squad, Winged Migration, The Black Stallion (the good version, not the one where Tim McGraw attempts what he thinks is acting), Free Willy (the anti-Blackfish), The Freshman and It’s a Wonderful Life…because angels are animals? For showtimes and tickets head to filmstreams.org and don’t forget to call me when you go see Monster Squad.  
  • I believe in the power of pop culture and art to change attitudes and shape perceptions. That’s why I love that director Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) wants to make an action movie featuring a gay interracial couple at the core, something he describes as a “gay Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Nevermind that Mr. and Mrs. Smith is like a fly strip for my eyes, in that I can’t skip over it when I see it on TV, I’m thrilled that Daniels is thinking about parlaying his industry swag in the wake of The Butler dominating the box office into making a truly original action film where the central characters just happen to crap on every cookie-cutter formulaic format that’s rolled out in that genre. Things don’t change when “Modern Family” rolls out two stereotypes and jokes about it; things change when tough, bad-ass dudes of different races blow stuff up.
  • Speaking of formula, here’s a funny story. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity would be a little different if he listened to executives. Instead of a movie set entirely in space, it would cut to the Houston control room. Not a terrible idea, but uninspired. Oh, and there would be flashbacks. Again, not so bad but nothing original. There would be a love story with one of the folks in the control room and the main character. Blech. And, of course, Sandra Bullock wouldn’t be the lead a dude would. Ugh, of course. Props to Cuarón for having the chutzpah to stick to his guns and props to everyone for proving you can be smart and original and still make hella bank.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (KVNO.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).

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