A Face in the Crowd [imdb] [wiki]
This is an old classic, and yet, amazingly, neither of us had seen it before. Made in 1957 and directed by Elia Kazan, it was a story with a strong statement about the always unholy relationship between entertainment and politics, and the raw power that comes out of it. If you were a Keith Olbermann watcher, you know that every time he brought up Glenn Beck, he called him "Lonesome Rhodes" Beck. The Lonesome Rhodes character is the one played by Andy Griffith in this movie. He was a drifter who happened to have a folksy personality, a little musical skill and a lot of charismatic crowd appeal. He ends up on the radio almost by accident, becomes really popular, and the spiral begins. Really recommend this one that we watched on DVD via the library. The DVD also included a little documentary about the making of the film, and it includes relatively recent interviews with the now-deceased Budd Schulberg (the screenwriter), Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Tony Franciosa. Also in the movie are a young Walter Matthau and Lee Remick.
The Adventures of Tintin [imdb] [wiki]
The Grey [imdb]
This was presented as a true-to-life survival drama, but I would really say it's more surreal than real because of the way the wolves are portrayed. There are probably animals in the wild that are this big, this dangerous and possibly this mean, but not wolves. OK, so suspend disbelief and pretend they are real wolves (and I wish that they had just made up a fictional critter instead of fostering unnecessary wolf-hatred), and it's a pretty good story about survival, living vs dying, overcoming fear, the basic nature of humans, and sorting out religion. It was a teensy bit predictable here and there, but did have quite a few surprises, including the ending. Even though there are lots of philosophical discussions among this bunch of Alaska plane crash survivors, the movie doesn't resolve them for you. I liked that. One of the most striking things about this movie is the reminder that there are places on earth where humans are not meant to live, but still do.
We saw this on regular DVD which included some deleted scenes, none of which I thought should have been left in, so good call there. It was entertaining and worth a rental. Also, the snow scenes might help take the edge off these hot summer dog days.