MA

It’s not easy being a high schooler, let alone a high schooler in a small town. It seems like everyone knows who you are. And if they don’t, then they at least know who your parents are. Sometimes that’s worse. For Haley (McKaley Miller), Andy (Corey Fogelmanis), Chaz (Gianni Paolo), and Darrell (Dante Brown), that means it’s hard to find someone who will buy you booze, and even harder to find a secluded place to drink it. For Maggie (Diana Silvers), it means moving back to your Mom’s hometown and inheriting her baggage. Erica (Juliette Lewis) left Ohio years ago, … Continue reading MA

ROCKETMAN

On September 8, 2018, Sir Elton Hercules John — born Reginald Kenneth Dwight — began the first leg of the five-leg farewell concert tour, his last lap around the world as a touring musician before retiring in 2021. John plans to play over 300 concerts for his Farwell Yellow Brick Road tour, and if ever there were a movie made to promote a tour, Rocketman would be it. Directed by Dexter Fletcher — who stepped in and finished Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired — Rocketman is half musical fantasia, half standard-issue biopic, all Elton John propaganda. Spanning John’s … Continue reading ROCKETMAN

This week in Film — LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Movies on Main & KGNU

Two in the paper, one on the radio this week. First, I sing the praises of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, an impressive piece of work from Chinese filmmaker Bi Gan. It’s currently playing on one screen ’round these parts, so if it comes to your neck of the woods, don’t sleep on it. Second, I spoke with Faye Lamb and Tracy Cravens about Longmont’s recently re-opened New Trojan Movie House & Art Cinema and dug a little bit into the history of theater. And finally, KGNU’s weekly Friday show, Metro Arts, has invited me to stop by and give … Continue reading This week in Film — LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Movies on Main & KGNU

MY SON (MON GARCÇON)

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: Their child has gone missing. Father Julien Perrin (Guillaume Canet) races home to his estranged ex-wife (Mélanie Laurent) and her new beau (Olivier de Benoist). There, the police greet him, show him the camp from where his son was kidnapped, and shrug their shoulders. There are no leads to follow, no suspects to question. Perrin suspects everyone. He has put career before family, and it put an irreparable strain and his marriage and his wife’s well being. It’s eaten away at him too, and you can see it in his face — a knot of … Continue reading MY SON (MON GARCÇON)

HAGAZUSSA: A HEATHEN’S CURSE

Written and directed by Lukas Feigelfeld, the Austrian/German film Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse is divided into four chapters: Shadow, Horn, Blood, and Fire. In Shadow, a single mother cares for her daughter in a lone cabin located somewhere in the 15th century Alps. Completely isolated from the nearby village, the mother grows sick and strange. Jumping ahead 15 years, Horn picks up with the daughter, Alburn (Aleksandra Cwen), now a grown single mother on her own. Not that she has much interest in interacting with the villagers, save for one. Alburn prefers to spend her days and nights among her … Continue reading HAGAZUSSA: A HEATHEN’S CURSE

BOOKSMART

Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) have been living under a false assumption. Wanting to get ahead, they decided to eschew social lives and spend high school with their noses in the books. And with the walls of their bedrooms plastered with positive aphorisms and feminist slogans, Molly and Amy have become the best versions of themselves — uberRory Gilmores with a fashion sense devoid of time or place. Molly, the school’s class president, got accepted into Yale and Amy is off to Africa to make tampons for the underprivileged before studying at Columbia. As you might expect, all … Continue reading BOOKSMART

ALADDIN

There’s no point in rehashing the plot of Aladdin, Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of their similarly titled 1992 animated film — screenwriters John August and Guy Ritchie (who also directs) closely follow the story of a diamond-in-the-rough street rat and his monkey sidekick who happen upon a magic lamp with a genie inside. Yes, there are additions, roughly 40 minutes of them. Some are bizarre: the Genie (Will Smith) gains a love interest; some are requisite showstoppers for a post-Frozen world: Jasmine (Naomi Scott) gains a new song, “Speechless;” and some eschew universality for specificity: Jafar’s (Marwan Kenzari) quest for … Continue reading ALADDIN

This week in Film — RUNNING WITH BETO

Politics and media have intersected every since we’ve had politics and media. Two recent documentaries: Knock Down the House and Running With Beto show that these types of portraits exist long after the race has finished and the position won or lost. Currently streaming on Netflix, Knock Down the House follows the 2018 primary campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,  Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin. Debuting on May 28 on HBO, Running With Beto follows his 2018 challenge to Ted Cruz’s Texas Senate seat. This approach of using past events in the present tense certainly isn’t new to documentary, yet there is something specifically … Continue reading This week in Film — RUNNING WITH BETO

ANIARA

Science fiction writers and dreamers have long been fascinated with the concept of life beyond Earth. Maybe it’s on the dark side of the Moon, maybe it’s on Mars; maybe Titan, maybe another solar system altogether. Surely we can’t be the only things out here? As Carl Sagan said, “Seems like an awful waste of space.” Set in the near future, the Swedish sci-fi film Aniara takes it both ways. First, as a standard story of humans leaving Earth en route to Mars, where they will live far away from the tumultuous climate of Earth. Their ship, named the Aniara, … Continue reading ANIARA