[Editor’s Note:Contributing writer Jessica Pierson brings you a selection of films comprised of a throwback, a rental, a Netflix pick, and a movie currently in theaters.]

Jessica_1IN THEATERS // Big Eyes (Directed by Tim Burton)

Based on the life of acclaimed painter Margaret Keane, the film follows her hidden career as a female painter and the man who took credit for her work.

Although I enjoyed this film, I don’t think it’s crucial that you see it in theaters. The narrative is compelling, especially since it’s based on a true story, but there was nothing that made it a must-see-in-theaters experience. At times, I actually found myself quite annoyed with the other movie-goers. In the most haunting, quiet moments, laughter arose in the theater. I’m not sure if they just didn’t understand the film or if their laughter came from discomfort brought on by the subject matter.

Big Eyes had a lasting effect. I left the theater thinking about, among other things: feminism (obviously), women in the creative fields today vs. women in the creative fields in the 60s (how they have changed, and sadly how they haven’t), and art and the importance of inner strength. If you watch this film, I hope you find yourself thinking about similar topics and are inspired to create.

What to eat while watching Big Eyes: Popcorn and two large jawbreakers


Jessica_2THROWBACK // Ernest Saves Christmas (Directed by John R. Cherry III)

Santa needs to find a new Santa to take his place. In a flurry of events, St. Nick winds up in Ernest’s cab. Along with a runaway teen, Ernest and Santa set out on a wacky adventure to find a new Kris Kringle and save Christmas.

Watching Ernest movies as an adult is a different experience than watching Ernest movies as a child. If (unlike me) you didn’t watch every Ernest movie ever made at least three times during your childhood, watching an Ernest movie for the first time as an adult may be more scary than odd or nostalgic. Ernest (played by Jim Varney) is one of those characters who would probably exasperate you in real life, but he always tries to do the right thing, so onscreen, you feel compassion for him. He is immature and his comedic strength lies in dressing up as other characters, including an injured old woman, a snake farmer, and a businessman to name a few. 

If anything, watching an Ernest movie (there are several to choose from), will at least take you back to the styles of the 80s and 90s: denim vests, side ponies, big hair. I suppose you could also just take a trip to a nearby “80s Night” and have a similar experience, but that would leave you sans the endearing weirdo.

What to eat while watching Ernest movies: Totino’s Pizza and off-brand cola


NJessica_3ETFLIX // Wrong (Directed by Quentin Dupieux)

A man living in a surreal and slightly confounding world loses his dog.

Wrong is the type of movie that you can’t stop watching; you don’t know what is going to happen next and you may not understand what is happening at any given moment. It thrives on altered perspectives and unexplained shifts in reality, a mysterious soundtrack, characters that you want to know more about, and a mysterious storyline. When you reach the end, you’ll probably say one of two things: “Let’s watch that again” or “I hated it.” If you find yourself in the latter camp, ask yourself why. Chances are this will lead you to a second viewing.

Quentin Dupieux also directed Rubber, a film about an evil tire (also available on Netflix). This may not be the type of movie you normally seek out when browsing through your streaming options, but next time, skip Orange is the New Black, and give Wrong a try.

What to eat while watching WrongAn orange and a glass of rainwater


Jessica_4MOVIE STORE // Survive Style 5+ (Directed by Gen Sekiguchi)

Throughout this film, five storylines intertwine and loosely connect. Some of the characters include: a father who thinks he is a bird, a scary hitman, and an arrogant magician.

If you still need a reason to rent and watch this, I’ll give you 5 (get it?):

  1. unsuccessful murders
  2. a magician who loves tigers
  3. a man who asks, “What is your function in life?”
  4. a cute family who dances and sings in the car
  5. a woman talking into a bedazzled tape recorder

 Watch this movie! (You can find it at Movie Madness on Belmont.)

What to eat while watching Survive Style 5+Fried eggs, a large stack of pancakes, baked ham, pineapple, peppers, salad, cereal, cheese, a loaf of bread, a blue smoothie and an espresso with sugar

– Jessica Pierson