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Getting the Juice Back

Today I navigated my early day trying to get the juice back in my car. I had to wait for AAA to jump my car and the repair place across the street to get a new battery in it, but in the meantime I was able to watch a couple of internet rentals:

Search Party (2014)

Elliott Smith: Heaven Adores You (2014)

Don't let that red balloon pull you away.

Search Party

I had to rent this Thomas Middleditch, Adam Palley, TJ Miller comedy from Amazon. This is a pretty funny, over the top road comedy about a man who left his bride at the alter due to the insistence of his roommate. The former groom tries to win back his former bride while she is taking their honeymoon in Mexico but his car and his clothes are stolen from him and he is marooned outside of the US.

This movie has shades of The Hangover and Due Date because of it being a road comedy and for being about trying to save a relationship. It doesn't have the fratty feeling of those Todd Phillips movies, however, and gets more of its nudity/drug humor from a sense that it was written through an improvisational riff where comedians bounced ideas of how to one up each other. It has a sense of some of the great improvisational humor of Thomas Middleditch from his guest appearances on the Comedy Bang Bang Podcast.

The three comedians are very funny together, although it was not a movie that would not have been easy to get into theaters because of the casual drug use, consistent male nudity (sometimes at the same time as Middleditch was covered in cocaine while naked), and very casual talk of sadistic murder. I recommend giving this movie a look, although it's only found on Amazon for rent right now.

Elliott Smith: Heaven Adores You

This movie was less humorous as it is a documentary about the musical career of Elliott Smith who is known for his beautiful and sad tones and the mythology of him as a heroin addict and the savage means of his suicide. The only place I was able to find this movie to rent it was on iTunes.

This was an interesting look at his history and all of the places that he lived throughout his life and gave a little sense of who he was with his band mates and friends as well as his incredible musical skill. There were a few things that would have been interesting to see in this documentary. One of my favorite videos of him on youtube is of him playing a very complex classical piano piece by Rachmaninoff.

It's a very well done documentary with a lot of his music much of which are alternate recordings of songs from his albums. I felt like something was missing from this movie though. He was a very interesting songwriter for the stories he would tell. They all felt like they had a sense of his personal history but with a touch of fiction to it. It might have been interesting to see an alternate documentary that told an alternate history of his based on his songs... perhaps a rotoscope animation like Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly.

On second thought, that might not be the best idea. I'm Not There, the movie based on the mythology of Bob Dylan kind of did an alternate history of Dylan and used multiple actors to play his part, but failed to tightly pull together a narrative and didn't live very long in the hearts of viewers after it came out.

Heaven Adores You is a very well made, beautiful documentary with a wealth of footage and sound clips of Elliott Smith and was worth the watch for me to learn more about his life. I realized I didn't really know much about his history despite listening to all of his solo albums as the calming soundtrack while reading for law school. I had assumed he was from Los Angeles or spent more time there because of the stories he told about the city in his songs, but it made a lot of sense that he had moved around and soaked up many influences from different places in his life.

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