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Friday , August 16 2013
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Attack & To Do

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As another weekend rolls around there’s a handful of new movies opening and once again your humble scribe is begging you to attend a must-see flick. But you’re like, man that’s what you said about the movies last week.

It’s true, good films come out all year round, not just awards season. And you can’t keep up with them all unless you eat, pray, love films. So here’s a couple you can’t live without.

The Attack devastates you with a tale of modern terrorism. The Attack is a Lebanese film that was partially shot in Israel with dialogue in Hebrew and Arabic. Dealing with a Palestinian surgeon living in Tel Aviv offers a chance to look at the irrational Middle East conflict through the eyes of a rational man.

Lead player Ali Suliman (who was also in Paradise Lost) works in the equivalent of the ER. When a bombing occurs close to the hospital he finds himself trying to save the victims. The drama here erupts with operating room violence but that’s nothing compared to the following day when Suliman confronts what’s left of his wife on a morgue slab. The rest of The Attack deals with the surgeon’s attempt to piece together the details of the attack, and try to clear his wife, who’s been accused of being a suicide bomber, of the charges. The journey is eye opening for Suliman and for the audience as along the path we discover uncomfortable realities.

The Attack is not some third world film but rather a brilliant thriller set in a harsh contemporary society. The Attack opens exclusively at the downtown Sundance Cinemas Houston.

Also of note is The To Do List, a movie it would be easy enough to label a chick-flick or to call a distaff Superbad. But that’s the easy lay way of describing what is actually a timely sex farce that deals with teen sexuality. Aubrey Plaza as Brandy Klark epitomizes the repressed cocoon that’s about to burst into the beautiful butterfly.

Plaza plays a virgin valedictorian that decides to lose her cherry during her last summer before college. Plaza methodically starts writing a sex manual, literally experiencing the various “ sex terms” and taking names and notes. An excellent supporting cast backs her up, if not dry humping her, the entire time.

If I was a gawky teenager, and I was, and I saw this R-rated film I would realize that there was light at the end of the pubescent tunnel. The To Do List is pro-woman and as such will probably turn off a bunch of Texas conservatives. I can’t think of higher praise for a film.

- Michael Bergeron

About MBergeron

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