An unknown punk band from the D.C. suburbs awakes to find their van in the middle of a cornfield. The driver, taking them across the country on a mildly unsuccessful tour, passed out at the wheel. Light on cash but heavy on moxie, two punks head to a skating rink to siphon gas so they can make their next gig—a lightly attended show at a restaurant that nets each member a few bucks.
You could argue that one of the first films ever made, the Lumières’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, was shot from a first person perspective: that of an individual next to some tracks, watching the train come in. Indeed, the effect of the train bearing down on an individual was so shocking that audiences supposedly (read: apocryphally) leapt out of their seats in fear, running from the hall screaming like savages bewitched by a new technology.
Midnight Special is a film that touches on many subjects. Faith and freedom and fear and the federal government’s watchful eye, for starters. But director Jeff Nichols’ latest—like his previous features, Take Shelter and Mud—is mainly a film about family disintegration and repair, about the stresses a family endures and the lengths we will go to keep our wards safe.
Zev Gutman (Christopher Plummer) is a 90-something Auschwitz survivor. Following the death of his wife, Zev is sent on a mission by one of his friends in his nursing home, Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau), to take out the Nazi who oversaw the murder of both of their families in the infamous death camp.
Cloverfield (2008) was a masterpiece of movie marketing rather than moviemaking. A found footage flick with a Godzilla twist, it grabbed a huge opening weekend thanks to an innovative marketing campaign laden with Internet-based games and trailers that revealed little of the plot—and less of the monster terrorizing New York.