#2,386: Wind River
The Mars Generation - ★★½☆☆
I like to do a joke where I say that I bet there was one week each year at Space Camp when every kid there was a Double Dare champion. Like, you'd want to keep those game show winners away from the serious space kids seen in this movie.
The problem, of course, is that for younger audiences nothing about that joke makes any sense. The smart thing to do would be to tell a different joke. But what I usually do is try to dig my way out of the hole by explaining it to them. Space Camp, I'll say, doesn't exist anymore, but it's a place where you used to be able to send fancy children so that they could pretend to be a part of the Space Program, which doesn't exist anymore, but used to be a scheme organized by the government to shoot United States citizens. At the moon. And it worked! Except that some people don't believe it, they think it was all a hoax put on by Stanley Kubrick, who is a filmmaker that doesn't exist anymore...
Somewhere around this time I realize that the college kids or whoever are just staring at me, having learned nothing because I started in on the wrong part of the sentence, and for some reason I start again. Double Dare, I'll say, is a game show that doesn't exist anymore, where the grand prize (so named for its size compared to the other prizes) was a trip to Space Camp. Of course, I'm talking about original, proper Double Dare, not Family Double Dare, Super Sloppy Double Dare, or Double Dare 2000, because as we all know, the grand prize of these latter-day Doubles Dare is a trip to Universal Studios Florida, also known as: the place where Double Dare was taped.
That's right! If you somehow got on to one of these shows, played your ten-year-old heart out and won? You got to go outside. To the theme park you already paid to enter, so that you could be on Double Dare.
What I'm trying to say is that I learned from this movie that Space Camp still exists. It looks like it's pretty fun if you're into that sort of thing.
20th Century Women - ★★★★½
Wow, Annette Benning is great in this. I hope she won a prize for it. I would have given her a prize. Wow.
Wind River - ★★★★☆
Hawkeye continues to mentor the Scarlet Witch (here using the winking pseudonym "Jane Banner"), this time in dealing with the casual horror regular humans are capable of perpetrating on one another. It's a little unclear whether this takes place before or after Civil War, although my money's on before if they're operating under the auspices of the federal government.
It's refreshing to have one of these smaller, quieter side stories without Robert Downey Jr. zooming in to save the day every few minutes. Sometimes a regular man with impeccable target shooting skills is enough.