Thursday, March 28, 2013


I must have ballpark franks on the brain because of the upcoming start to the baseball season. What my wife's explanation is, though, I have no idea.

See, on Sunday night we watched a double feature of movies with the name "Frank" in the title.

Yep, sometimes that's all it takes for an Audient blog post.

We were on night #3 of the latest installment of the Garage Movie Projector Series. Haven't told you about this? Well, at intervals of two to three weeks, I've been borrowing the projector from work and projecting movies on the inside of our closed garage door. We have our old couch in the garage, so it works out perfectly. To take full advantage of having the projector, I've been watching two movies per weekend night, and this past weekend, my wife joined me for the second on both Saturday and Sunday.

We'd been having decent luck with streaming from Netflix in the garage -- up until we watched Butter on Saturday night, that is. We got through it, but it stopped to buffer a half-dozen times, and some of the rest of the time, the stream was out of focus. We decided it'd be better to stack the deck in our favor with actual DVDs for Sunday night.

So my wife checked out the Redbox titles online that she'd be interested in seeing. Me, I'd been missing Redbox a bit. I use the service at least once and more often twice a week during the latter half of the year, when it's stocked full of releases from the current year that I need to see before I close my list. But then I completely foresake the kiosks from the middle of January until the middle of May, since the last thing I want is to see more movies from last year. Redbox must wonder if it's something they said.

With the emphasis on having physical DVDs in our hands, however, Redbox was back on the table as an option. A promo code for 50 cents off sweetened the deal.

In order to convert the double feature, though, they needed to be two short movies. Sinister had been mentioned and probably would have taken one of the two slots if it weren't nearly two hours long. It probably would have been Sinister and Robot & Frank if time were no object. My wife has been talking about Robot & Frank since it came out, and got damn near giddy when she saw it was at Redbox.

R & F's 89 minutes met our criterion for a short running time, and so did Frankenweenie -- which I was surprised to hear my wife mention as something she wanted to see. (I thought she disliked Tim Burton almost as much as I do.) It's actually two minutes shorter than Robot & Frank.

Of course, seeing that they both had the word Frank in the title sealed the deal.

Unfortunately, that's where this mesmerizing profundity ends. There isn't anything unexpectedly similar between the two movies, other than their titles.

Oh, and the fact that they both qualified as mild disappointments. I liked most of what Robot & Frank was doing, but I expected to like it more. Though I should stop to compliment Frank Langella, always a treasure, on another memorable performance. As for Frankenweenie, it too did some things well. Ultimately, though, it still felt a bit safe for Burton, which is the opposite of what I want to see from him. Not putting his stamp on (i.e. ruining) a beloved property is a start, but even this original idea is still too deep in his wheelhouse to have surprised or enchanted me.

Next weekend we watch movies with the name "Beauregard" in the title. 

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