Cineast Movie Previews: ‘Vampire Academy,’ ‘Monuments Men,’ ‘Love & Air Sex’

"Vampire Academy"
"Vampire Academy"

Before heading to the cinema this weekend, check out our film previews for Vampire Academy, The Monuments Men and Love & Air Sex.

Vampire Academy
Even those of us who haven’t followed the ceaseless flow (so to speak) of vampire-related pop culture of the last decade are aware that vampire films are a genre ripe for spoofing. Isn’t Love At First Bite close to 35 years old? Enter Vampire Academy. The film’s tagline: They Suck At School. Well of course they do, they’re vampires! The scene: a gothic campus in Montana. The students: a bunch of vampires in training, whose chief attributes are cattiness, good looks, and mouths that open really wide to allow them to…bite necks. The action: typical on-campus infighting and melodrama, seasoned with wisecracks and a lot of bloodsucking. The whole thing promises to be fun, assuming you like your fun with fangs in it.

The Monuments Men
Based on a true story, The Monuments Men tells the WWII-era tale of a team of specialists sent by the U.S. government to Europe to locate and rescue works of art. The belief was that the Nazis would destroy the artworks they had confiscated rather than give them up in a defeat. The members of the U.S. team were experts in painting, sculpture, antiquities—too old for the physical demands of life in a war zone, and yet needed if the truly valuable cultural artifacts were to be identified and preserved. Beyond telling a cracking good war story, The Monuments Men touches on important philosophical debate: that is, how much effort should we make to save physical objects like artworks when human beings are dying? In the end, are these artworks worth risking lives for? The film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchet, and Hamptons-dweller Bob Balaban.

Love & Air Sex
Film is a very flexible artistic medium. It can make us laugh, cry, cringe, shiver. It can make us horny. And don’t forget—it can educate us. For example, how many of us would know about LARP (Live Action Role Playing games) if it weren’t for films like The Knights Of Badassdom and Role Models? And now, with the release of Love & Air Sex, we learn about air sex. Air sex is a real thing—it is a competitive activity where individual contestants get up on stage and mime sex acts all alone. The idea is to convincingly portray yourself as engaging in various sex acts in the absence of nudity or a partner. Apparently it all started in Austin, TX as an offshoot of air guitar contests. Anyway, Love & Air Sex takes a fairly standard romantic comedy idea (a brokenhearted man tries to win back the love of a woman), and sets it against a backdrop of competitive air sex. It’s very educational.

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