Weekend Roundup: counting down to MSPIFF 2016 + ‘Meet the Patels’ documentary (2014) review

How’s your weekend everyone? It’s kind of an uneventful one for me but April is going to be quite busy with the Minneapolis/St Paul Film Fest coming next weekend!!

MSPIFF2016

I can always rely on MSPIFF to bring an excellent selection of world and regional cinema and independent films, many of which I never would’ve been able to see on the big screen!

I wish I could see at least a couple of films a day but given that I have a 9-5 job, I can only see a handful of them (maybe more if they have online screeners, so we’ll see). If you’re in the area, be sure to take part in MSPIFF and support MN film society. You can see what films are playing here which you can search by genre/country/language, etc. and they have a handy daily schedule as well.

Here are some films I’m looking forward to:


Lots of female filmmakers represented, from MN-made Dragonfly to TWO films by Deepa Mehta (Beeba Boys & Bollywood/Hollywood). I wish I could see the Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language film Mustang, but the screenings are both in Rochester which is almost 2 hours away from where I live. It’s tradition that I see one movie with Juliette Binoche at MSPIFF, and this year we’ve got L’atessa, a drama set in Sicily.

So stay tuned for my MSPIFF coverage later this month!


Well, I started my April movie viewing with a mixed bag of movies.

Daredevil2003

The first was Daredevil which I saw out of sheer curiosity. The fact that I just finished Netflix’s Daredevil season 2 last week and also saw Ben Affleck playing yet another superhero (this time from DC) that is Batman in Batman V Superman, made it all the more interesting that I finally saw the 2003 movie. Well, I mainly watched it for the laughs and with that kind of expectation, I wasn’t disappointed 😉

It’s as cheesy, silly and hilarious as people say, my gosh the first fight between Matt and Elektra (played by Affleck’s now ex-wife Jennifer Garner) was so cringe-inducing! Funny that when this movie was made they weren’t even married yet and now they’re already divorced, well that’s Hollywood for ya. As bad as Affleck was in the role though, I think the worst performer is Colin Farrell as Bullseye but really that’s the most idiotic character ever-written. That’s gotta be in the top 3 of Farrell’s most ridiculous roles, right up there with Oliver Stone’s Alexander and whatever his name was in the abominable Winter’s Tale.


The second movie I saw this weekend was a real winner however…

MeetThePatels

I saw the trailer of this doc a while ago but finally got around to seeing it. I tell you, it’s one of the most fun and poignant cultural documentaries I’ve ever seen. Directed by brother and sister Ravi and Geeta Patel, it centers on Ravi himself on a quest to find a wife, with the help of his parents and extended family. Ravi is an Indian-American man who grew up in the United States, and as he’s about to turn 30 with no prospect for a wife, naturally his parents are worried (you could even say panicking).

The journey follows him and his family in looking for a suitable wife in the traditional Indian way. I knew that arranged-marriage has been and still is common among many Indians, I have a few friends who got married in this way and they made no qualms about it. But Ravi, who resides in L.A., is very Americanized and it’s clear he’s got issues with this centuries-old tradition, especially since he’s still not quite over his ex-girlfriend Audrey. The film takes place mostly in the US, but the first act includes him (and his parents) traveling all the way to India, which was quite amusing. But the craziest part was the fact that he flew all over the country and met with various Indian women from coast to coast!
MeetThePatels_familyMeetThePatels_RaviAudrey

It’s really a hilarious documentary from start to finish. It’s decidedly NOT the most visually-arresting doc, as Ravi himself mocked his sister that she’s not really a cinematographer, so the film often looks like a family vacation video shot with a handy-cam. But the *imperfections* are really part of the charm and adds to the authenticity of the movie. What Ravi and Geeta are great at is in the storytelling, which includes fun cartoon segments to illustrate certain scenarios that Ravi go through. I was fully-invested in Ravi’s journey and got a glimpse of what goes on inside a traditional Indian parents when one of their children is in *Code Red*, that is ‘almost 30 and never married.’

All of the people in the docs are Patel’s own family and friends, none of them are played by actors. It also includes interviews with some of Ravi’s friends who are both single and married (either arranged or on their own) so we get interesting perspectives about the subject matter. It’s inevitable that you’ll fall in love with the Patel family and learn a thing or two about Indian culture in the most delightful way. I can’t recommend this one enough, it’s part documentary and part romantic-comedy that’s wonderfully entertaining.

4Reels


So that’s my weekend recap folks. What did you see this weekend, anything good?

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38 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: counting down to MSPIFF 2016 + ‘Meet the Patels’ documentary (2014) review

  1. I’ve seen Daredevil and my reaction about the film is… meh…. What I saw this weekend is Ant-Man (in anticipation for Captain America: Civil War) and Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog which I just posted.

    1. Ahah, it’s more than meh. It was sheer hilarity and not really in a good way. But given I’ve been curious about it for some time, I wasn’t disappointed that I finally saw it.

  2. I don’t pay attention to film festivals as much as I used to anymore, mostly because I’m more busy with the 9-5 job, lol. But nice seeing the MSPIFF is still going strong.

    I didn’t see anything new, went to see Batman v. Superman again with a friend of mine. We saw it at the zoo IMAX theater, my feeling didn’t change about the film but since I didn’t have any expectations for it, I was able to enjoyed it more this time. Disagree with you about Affleck being bad in DareDevil, I thought he’s the only good thing in that “film”; everything else was atrocious and yes Colin’s Bullseye was one of the worst villains ever put on film. Let’s hope when Bullseye appears on Netflix’s DareDevil, he’ll be a real menacing character.

    1. Film Fest is a great way to catch little gems that we otherwise would never get to see. I’m glad we have two film fests in town!

      Well I think in relation to OTHER superheroes, Affleck’s Daredevil was pretty lame. Whether it’s his own fault or not is debatable but he didn’t exactly elevated the role IMHO. But man Colin’s Bullseye is hysterically bad, I mean it’s an abomination.

    1. I think that’s right up your alley Nostra, one of the most fun docs I’ve seen, though the amateurish camera work could be a bit distracting.

  3. Never heard of that doco, sounds good!

    I think L’atessa and one of the other French films you listed are playing at the moment – French Film Festival 😀

    1. Hi Jordan! That’s so cool that there’s even a French Film Festival in Adelaide! I’m seeing L’atessa and My King, but unfortunately I have a scheduling conflict w/ Francofonia.

  4. I love ‘Meet the Patels’! It’s very funny and poignant as you say. Like a good romantic comedy. And I understood all of what he was going through since one of my best friends is Gujarati and enduring same marriage pressures.

    1. Hi Shane! I have a few friends who’ve been through arranged marriage so it’s very relatable. I think the presentation was very fun and even sweet, so kudos to the Patels 😀

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Intriguingly honest perspective regarding Dare Devil. Whom I never considered to be a viable live action Super Hero. Though the long ago Frank Miller era of his generating the comic for Marvel excels in all areas.

    Super Heroes and their Alter Egos should be taut, ripped and muscular to begin with. Ben Affeck is none of these things.

    You know who is taut, ripped and muscular?…. Kevin Conroy! The voice of Batman in the Warner Brothers animated series and current Arkham games.

    Sometimes, Hollywood refuses to see the forest for the trees!

    Spent the weekend watching some works of, and finishing up a critique of UK director, John Irvin. Should have it off to you before mid week.

    1. Well hello Kevin, long time no see 😛

      I think Daredevil is a pretty formidable hero when done right, as Netflix does in their series. I think Affleck looks ok in the suit, he seems ripped enough, but it’s the writing and direction that’s the issue, and he doesn’t exactly have the gravitas to elevate the role.

      Hey I look forward to your post on John Irvin!

  6. Paul S

    Meet the Patels is a lot of fun. I loved the way it showed the richness of life created by family. Great use of animation to break up Ravi’s story too.

    1. Hi Paul, glad to hear you’ve seen Meet The Patels! Yes it’s definitely rich in humor and cultural tidbits and the animation was fun to watch.

  7. Brittani

    I’ve never heard of Meet the Patels. I still need to finish Daredevil…and my weekend consisted of me rolling my eyes at the Walking Dead. lol

  8. I think I saw he Daredevil movie years ago. I’ve never been much of a Marvel fan, so it didn’t leave an impression on me. From what I’ve seen I really do like Batfleck, despite the movie being terrible. Affleck really captured the essence of Batman…more so than Bale IMO. Affleck is also a better actor today than he was 13 years ago. The thing I notice most about the Daredevil movie is the mandatory comic book movie “butt pose” poor Jennifer Garner is in. Seriously? Everyone else is standing forward, but she has to show some ass.

    I just finished watching the Daredevil series, which was top notch. My favorite character this season was of course the Punisher. Bernthal did a fantastic job.

    1. I didn’t become a Marvel fan until oh I dunno, the first Captain America and Iron Man? They’re just so well-made compared to the super cheesy Daredevil. I do like the Batfleck, I was surprised how much I like him as I LOVE Bale’s Batman. Ahah, yep the sexism still persists to this day unfortunately, I mean they sexualized Garner so much as Elektra. But now they’re doing it to the men too w/ Cavill’s Superman.

      Glad to hear you love Daredevil, and yes I LOVE The Punisher too, can’t wait to see Bernthal in the spinoff series.

    1. Oh you’re going to that? How cool is that Jay! I was hoping to go but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it, plus I want to cover the local film fest 🙂

            1. Ohhh man, then you have a ton of options!! There’s LLF too that I wish I could go to. How far is it from your place? Do you have to take the tube or drive to London?

                    1. I think it’d be fun Vin, if only I lived only 2 hrs from London!

                      Btw, hope you take part on my monthly series Five for the Fifth, the post just went up a minute ago 😉

  9. I watched Testament of Youth over the weekend and it was… okay. Alicia Vikander was great but poor old Kit Harrington needs to stick to having a beard and not talking too much.

    1. Oh I want to see Testament of Youth, but mostly for Vikander as I don’t really get the fuss over Kit, but then again I don’t watch GOT. I think he’s a pretty little fella, ahah.

    1. Yep the movie is so awful, but I have to admit it’s quite hilarious in parts. I think because we’ve seen the actors done better things, it’s more amusing. But yeah, the Netflix series is far superior!

        1. Farrell was hilariously bad but I guess from comedic perspective it was ok. Duncan was good, not as scary as D’Onofrio’s version but he was huge physically!

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