By Donna Bourgois. Hey everyone! Ethan here. I was blessed (or cursed?) with being able to select the films Donna had to watch this month. (This came about when at the end of last month I was at my wits end with not being able to watch what I wanted to watch and demanded to pick all the movies for a month. My whining payed off and I was given the month of June.) When Donna texted me on the first demanding a list and I had nothing prepared, I knew I was in for a rough thirty days. Thanks to some radical new releases, some of my all time faves, and some required podcast viewings, I was able to scrape together enough selections to fill the month. So, here’s to being better prepared next time and some Dope (heh, pun) flicks! Back to Donna.

Well, that was a fun break from the normal, and overall this month was pretty fun. Lots of touring screeners in town, so a lot of time spent talking about filming and the writing process. Of course another festival passed, this time the ever growing ATX TV festival, which was great! The company I work for had a super successful E3, and much like you I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront. That being said, I was incredibly busy and have slipped even further into the 365 movie pit of despair. A shovel will surely be thrown in my direction soon and I am certain I will dig myself out before the walls cave in. I’m gearing up for some big game releases, some exciting GBTM news, and of course getting ready, pumped, and counting down the days till Fantastic Fest. As always, hit me up on Twitter with any recommendations, and I look forward to checking in with y’all next month!

glengarry-glen-rossGlengarry Glen Ross

Directed by James Foley.

Running time 100 min.

Screened via Netflix.

There a lot of films that tend to be more geared toward men, the obvious ones like action films, and buddy cop fart comedies. However, I think this is like as man movie as it gets. The film is running on some serious star power with a list of actors it’s almost impossible to guess the billing order.

10122454.0Sex Ed

Directed by Isaac Feder.

Running time 92 min.

Screened via Netflix.

What impressed me most about Sex Ed was the conversation about actual sex education in schools. While the plot is a bit jumbled and the dialogue is a little too forced, Haley Joel Osment is very convincing as Ed Cole. While the film isn’t particularly challenging it is cute and funny, a cute rom-com.

taxiTaxi Driver

Directed by Martin Scorsese.

Running time 113 min.

Screened via Netflix.

Somehow, I’ve never seen this classic all the way through. A classic for a reason, and one of Scorsese’s greatest works. The performances in the film are amazing, and wonderfully executed by Scorsese, who truly embraced the raw emotion of the characters and the setting. Another perfect example of a classic that does not disappoint.

34f107c80ecba8f442f39066d844a36bThe Graduate

Directed by Mike Nichols.

Running time 106 min.

Screened via Netflix.

With this month’s challenge, and keeping with the theme of classics, I decided to revisit this Hoffman vehicle. Amazing acting, beautiful sets, superb cinematography, and wonderfully executed script. I’ve established before that bad sound editing can destroy a film, The Graduate is a perfect example of how great sound editing can really affect the mood of a film.


Directed by David Cross.

Running time 96 min.

Screened via Netflix.

The film reminds me a lot of Bobcat Goldthwait’s 2011 feature God Bless America, a satirical look at several characters revolving around a small town under the umbrella of celebrity. I found the film fairly funny, and for David Cross’ first film it was pretty good, but there are certainly some areas to improve upon.

big-wednesdayBig Wednesday

Directed by John Milius.

Running time 120 min.

Screened via PSN Streaming.

Gearing up for the summer, myself and the rest of the Gary Buseytown Massacre dove into some surfing movies, starting with the cult classic Big Wednesday. The strangest thing about Big Wednesday is that the facts surrounding the film are actually way more interesting than the actual film.

Jurassic-World-Robinson-Simpkins2Jurassic World

Directed by Colin Trevorrow.

Running time 124 min.

Screened via Alamo Drafthouse.

The dialogue seemed kind of clunky and I can’t tell if it was an issue with the script or with the casting (kids aside I thought everyone was great). All marketing ploys aside, if you go into the film expecting something other than a mindless summer blockbuster, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Point Break

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

Running time 122 min.

Screened via Vulcan Video.

The second of the surf movies I watched for The Gary Buseytown Massacre, which I forgot until scrolling through IMDB that Busey was even in, was the bromance classic Point Break. It had been awhile since last I had seen the Swayze wetsuit butt, and I had a real Tina Belcher moment. Awesome action scenes, Eighties babes, feels.

big-hero-6-teaseBig Hero 6

Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams.

Running time 102 min.

Screened via Vulcan Video.

Not exactly where the comic went but the story is truly heartwarming and focuses on a difficult subject for children. As everyone has come to expect from Disney, the animation is fantastic and the voice acting is great. Despite the variation from the comic the movie is fun to watch for children and adults alike.

maxresdefault (1) - EditedHappy Valley

Directed by Amir Bar-Lev.

Running time 98 min.

Screened via Netflix.

Not to be confused with the mini-series on Netflix. This feature film, of the same name, is a documentary focusing on the supporters and students of the Sandusky scandal. While the film doesn’t elaborate on anything already covered in the news, there are some interesting interviews which opened my eyes to the perspective of the students caught up in the whole mess.

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-is-hilariously-heartwarming-sundance-2015Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

Running time 105 min.

Screened via Alamo Drafthouse.

Two best friends obsessed with film work together to create a gift for a cancer-stricken girl. If the emo stuff turns you off, it’s well worth checking out for the besties’ classic remakes. (Here’s to hoping we get some more of those in the DVD release.) Overall, a much needed breath of fresh air in the genre of sappy teen movies.


Directed by Rick Famuyiwa.

Running time 103 min.

Screened via Alamo Drafthouse.

While Me and Earl and the Dying Girl focuses on friendship, Dope takes the classic House Party approach and sets a bar for the genre by creating an honest conversation about race and education. While the film stumbles over some technical issues the film really attacks racial bias and most importantly makes it accessible for a teenage demographic.

the-nightmare-e1422576021654The Nightmare

Directed by Rodney Ascher.

Running time 91 min.

Screened via PSN Streaming.

The same gentleman who coerced a bunch of lunatics to share their vastly differing theories on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in Room 237 now brings to our attention the terror that is sleep paralysis. Ascher really hones it in this time, sprinkling recreations of nightmares throughout the film to paint a better picture.

shep-gordon_2977649bSupermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Directed by Beth Aala and Mike Meyers.

Running time 85 min.

Screened via Vulcan Video.

After watching this film it’s difficult to think of a celebrity that Shep hasn’t been involved with. Meyers does an exceptional job of bringing to light one of Hollywood’s great managers. Comedic anecdotes sandwiched between legendary road stories make this documentary a fun and entertaining ride.

c7af20d0a9a087d4e2b3c3add79299a8_cannes-2014_1Red Army (2014)

Directed by Gabe Polsky.

Running time 76 min.

Screened via PSN Streaming.

Polsky doesn’t just focus on hockey or the famous Miracle On Ice, he also brings to light a lot of the political issues preventing players from joining the NHL. The politics and impact of these beliefs on the players is what makes this documentary excellent, and not just fanservice to the oftentimes ignored demographic of sports nuts.

the_seventh_seal_60345-1280x800 - EditedThe Seventh Seal

Directed by Ingmar Bergman.

Running time 96 min.

Screened via Hulu Plus.

After watching Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Ethan and I were talking about the Bergman classic, and realizing it’s been awhile I thought it was about time I dusted off the ol’ Hulu Criterion Collection. The most notable scenes are of course those involving death. With some of the best religious parallels and symbolism it’s easy to see why The Seventh Seal is considered a classic.

1280-zombeaversjpg-1e07b7_1280w - EditedZombeavers

Directed by Jordan Rubin.

Running time 85 min.

Screened via Netflix.

I like the idea of scary movies being self-aware and intentionally shitty, and Zombeavers is just that. Fully embracing the corny and stupid, the film has radioactive beavers chomping at the bit to get some of that sweet human flesh. This mindless horror comedy is the perfect thing to watch before going on a camping trip this summer.

bill-mAmerican Movie

Directed by Chris Smith.

Running time 107 min.

Screened via PSN Streaming.

Last year I went to a VHS swap at End of an Ear here in Austin. I was walking around about to call it quits when a guy next to me scored a copy of Coven, signed by Mark Borchardt. Despite having never seen American Movie I’d seen so many clips that I wasn’t in a huge rush to watch it. What a fool I’ve been. American Movie is like watching a drunk trainwreck and it’s great.


Directed by Bill Fishman.

Running time 93 min.

Screened via Netflix.

Tim Robbins and John Cusack play a couple of goofs that stumble into a political scandal around the same time that they find success. I added this to my Netflix queue and totally forgot that I’ve seen this before, and I own it on VHS. If you like Nothing to Lose, Better Off Dead, or Hot Pursuit you are totally going to love this.

winnebago_man_1Winnebago Man

Directed by Ben Steinbauer.

Running time 85 min.

Screened via Netflix.

Unlike American Movie which turns the subject matter into the butt of a joke, Steinbauer goes out in search of the early YouTube celebrity seen here. Steinbauer does an excellent job of showing the endearing sides of Jack Rebney while giving you exactly what you want, which is an old guy cussing up a storm. Winnebago Man is super funny, really entertaining, and pretty sweet.

Hey! Are you on Letterboxd? You should be. Follow Donna’s daily progress over on her Letterboxd page.