The novelty of this renting WHATEVER WE WANT on Apple TV is never going to wear off. : ) And yes, we actually watched two things last night, because there was no gym pickup and Maddie was at a sleepover and the other two had their own sleepover in Gracie's room and we were able to start watching before 8:45 pm and it wasn't that long of a movie, so at 10:27 we decided we had it in us to watch a 67 minute documentary to round out the evening. Movie heaven!
Movie #1: Sleepwalk With Me
The cool thing (I mean, one of the cool things) about Apple TV is that you can watch previews. You know I get mad if I miss even five seconds of the previews in the theater, right? Well, you can watch previews to your heart's content for free, so last weekend we watched a preview for this movie and "wishlisted" it immediately.
It was really, really, really good. And best of all: it's so good because it's based on Mike Birbiglia's life as a struggling stand-up comedian, struggling partner in an eight-year relationship, and struggling victim of a terrible sleep disorder called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder—but lest you think it's all doom and gloom and struggle, it isn't; it's actually really funny, and you immediately feel compassion for him, his wonderful girlfriend, and all the plights going on throughout the movie. He originally performed this as a one-man off Broadway show, and turned it into a film that won lots of accolades at Sundance and was generally received as one of the best, funniest movies of the year by critics. Ira Glass produced it (and played the wedding photographer, look closely!) and it definitely has the feel of something that you might hear on This American Life.
Without giving it away, there are moments where you just get wide-eyed and start to cringe and nervously giggle all at the same time, because it's just so... awful. It's a special gift to be able to pull off a portrayal of his condition with humor but also to completely capture the frightening seriousness of it, but he does that, very well. It ends as it should, which is to say, you feel a little sad but also "how can I be sad when it ended as it should." It's always a good sign when you feel absolutely content at the end of a movie, I think.
Movie #2: Big Easy Express (A Documentary)
Check yes to the things you like on the following list:
___ Mumford & Sons
___ Old Crow Medicine Show
___ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
___ watching people who love music perform music
___ marching bands
___ Woody Guthrie
___ the idea of traveling across the U.S.
___ 8 mm fiilm effects
___ imagining the thrill of being a photographer assigned to photograph a train tour from Oakland to New Orleans
If you checked even one item on the list, I think you will like the second movie we watched last night:
It's a documentary that follows a 10 day train tour of Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros from their first stop in the railyards in Oakland all the way to New Orleans, stopping along the way to perform concerts (and playing inside the train pretty much the rest of the time). These people (and there are a lot of them that make up these three bands) love music and it is a joy to watch them perform, though both Matt and I agreed that we liked the more informal performances (on the train, in the middle of the desert, in a high school band room) even more than the concert footage. We also agreed that we probably prefer to listen to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros perform vs. watching them, but that's just us.
When I recommended this to Marie last night, I also told her I'd give her $10 if she didn't burst into tears (or at least get really, really weepy) at the part where the Mumfords stop in Austin, TX for a rehearsal. I don't want to ruin it for anyone that will watch it, but if you come from any kind of band instrument-playing childhood, it will be touching. Matt was giggling at me, but I know his tuba- and clarinet-playing heart was touched, too. Heh. At the end I very abruptly got all Veruca Salt-like and told Matt I wanted the painted signs from the movie. As in, DON'T REST UNTIL YOU GET THEM FOR ME. Poor man. It would be easier for him to present me with a squirrel.
An interesting aside: Mumford & Sons, first recommended by my friend Mary, was not a band I immediately fell for. Chalk it up to the list of things I didn't used to like (as much as I should have) but now I think are (better than) OK.
Tell us what you think if you rent these, too : )