In the past week, I got a chance to see what may be the fall's biggest comedy abut roller derby in a special preview, and Michael Moore's latest compelling comment on America for free.
Both were time well-spent, and are headed to a theater near you, like tomorrow.
If you've watched TV or read the paper regularly, you noticed that there was a Saturday preview of Whip It, and some incentive to spend ten bucks on it...a free T-shirt. That, and Ellen Page, convinced me to come.
It's an odd-ball coming of age story with Page as Bliss, a girl who's unhappy with small-time life in Bodeen, Texas. Thanks to roller derby, of all things, she gains new confidence, but there are still bumps to be dealt with and lessons to be learned.
This is also the first film Drew Barrymore has directed, and she does a great job with this story. She makes sure that the story is real, and that the actors are really out there skating and bumping into each other. You also see the gals with nicknames like Smashley Simpson and Iron maven are still real women.
Take a look at Kristen Wiig as "Maggie Mayhem", You'll see she still have a life beyond the roller rink.
I also liked Bliss' relationship with her friend Pash, played by Alia Shawkat, aka Maeby from Arrested Development. Get past the fact that she has grown after that show left Fox, and you'll like her, too. It's going to get stiff competition from The Invention of Lying and Zombieland (which explains the Saturday preview), but you should check out Whip It.
A couple of days later, I got a free ticket to a preview for Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore's commentary on the current economic crisis. While Fox News is sure to use this movie as evidence that Moore is a traitor, but not bother to see it, Moore is even-handed is explaining how the stock market and major financial institutions crashed. He's not exactly calling for a Soviet-style economy or socialism, but what we have now but with more consideration for all working classes. Some right-wingers will go nuts because the movie has priests saying capitalism is a sin, even if there's evidence that might prove that point. There is also the "publicity stunt" of calling the AIG building a crime scene, but he would like to see the America he remembers as a kid to come back, rather than what we have now. It may not pull in as much cash as the other movies that will start this weekend, but it hopes to make its mark on trying to help this country out.