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The Anticipation Almanac: Movies

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For the Vitamin D Averse

Comedian Patton Oswalt shares his summer rental list.

1. The Wind Journeys (2009)
A Colombian troubadour, legendary but long retired, is in possession of the devil’s accordion. Or is he? The journey he undertakes to return it to its master is a lush introduction to the gorgeous landscape of northern Colombia. And the accordion “insult duel” scene puts most rap battles to shame.

2. The Late Show (1977)
Forty summers from now, when arthritis and injury have hobbled most of this summer’s bang-’em-up heroes, the best of them will end up like Art Carney’s Ira Wells. He’s every Humphrey Bogart film-noir hero, trapped with a hearing aid, ulcer, and bus pass in post-hippie seventies Los Angeles. His no-nonsense, knuckles-first way of dealing with all the leisure-suited villains who hinder his path give us all hope for our inevitable twilight years.

3. The Snake (2008)
Adam Goldstein (who co-wrote and directed with Eric Kutner) plays the titular “hero”—a flaming asshole who falls in love with a bulimic girl in a body-image support group. Yes, that’s how the movie starts. Yes, you will weirdly root for him in his pursuit.

4. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
Look, you’re going to get plenty of heat outdoors these next few months. So why not enjoy the icy, bracing tonic of paranoia and body horror that is John Carpenter’s underappreciated The Thing? With some of the best dialogue in a horror movie ever.


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