Ones that got away

Ones that got away
Ones that got away

As the summer movie season comes to an end and the fall movies pick up, this is always a good time to catch up on movies that were overlooked in theatrical release or never made it to local theaters and are now available on DVD and streaming platforms.

During the ’60s and ’70s, Glen Campbell dominated the country and pop charts with hits like “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” and a slew of other songs that earned him a bookshelf full of Grammys. Who can forget “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” that ran on CBS during that time with the affable, clean cut singer/musician hosting his own variety show?

Campbell now suffers from Alzheimer’s, diagnosed several years ago when he was 76, and Stacy Keach’s documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” follows the singer as he’s given the news about his illness and his subsequent farewell tour for his final album. It’s a sobering look at the disease and its effect on one man, as well as a retrospective on one of the greatest talents of that era.

One of the little known facts about Glen Campbell was his stint on the famous “Wrecking Crew,” the stable of first-rate session musicians that backed up the major artists of the day during. One of my favorite movies this past summer was “Love and Mercy” about Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and some of its best scenes take place in the studio with Paul Dano playing Wilson as he puts together his masterpiece “Pet Sounds.” The Wrecking Crew, with Campbell on guitar, plays on the album.

It’s a little hard to explain, but Dano plays the younger Wilson while John Cusack plays the older, broken Wilson recovering from a mental breakdown, but it works and I highly recommend “Love and Mercy.”

“The Age of Adeline” came and went very quickly in the spring to make way for the more bombastic summer movies. Starring Blake Lively, this is one for the romantics with Lively playing a woman who hasn’t aged since the ’40s due to a freak accident; she’s forced to distance herself from everyone so her secret is not discovered. This changes when she begins to date the son of an old beau, creating a really awkward situation. The schmaltzy plot is saved by a subtle, graceful performance from Lively, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

“A Little Chaos” barely made it to theaters at all, and came and went very quickly. Directed by actor Alan Rickman, who also stars as King Louis XIV, the story revolves around the famous gardens at his opulent palace Versailles and the landscape architects who designed it. Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts play the romantically involved gardeners in this beautifully filmed indie movie.

Schoenaerts also stars in another “pretty movie” released in the last few months, “Far From the Madding Crowd,” with Carey Mulligan as the headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle’s property. Schoenaerts co-stars as a sheep farmer, one of three suitors Bathsheba becomes involved with. This is a great adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel.

The French film “Two Days, One Night”” earned Marion Cotillard an Oscar nomination earlier this year, even though no one saw it. Cotillard plays a factory worker who must appeal to all of her co-workers in a short period of time in order to get her job back. It’s a powerful performance that demonstrates Cotillard’s talent.

Writer/director Cameron Crowe has never managed to match the success of “Jerry Maguire,” and “Aloha” is not going to help. I kindly suggested to anyone who asked me if I liked it that they just wait for the DVD. Well, it’s available and the passage of time hasn’t softened my feeling that this was one of the most annoying movies I’ve seen in recent memory. But if you’re a Bradley Cooper fan, you’ll probably feel compelled to watch it anyway. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.