DETROIT

Detroit — the latest film from Academy Award-winning director, Kathryn Bigelow — opens with as much promise and technical brilliance as any feature made this year. Starting with a brief animation depicting the White Flight of the 20th century, Detroit opens on the early morning of July 23, 1967, with a speakeasy raided by police. An informant is roughed up, arrests are made, a crowd gathers. The cameras, seemingly omnipotent, cut back and forth from multiple perspectives, stitching together bits of action from all over; not to give an abstract picture, but to construct a complete one. This is how … Continue reading DETROIT

Movie Beat – 04.04.14

Afflicted – Derek Lee and Clif Prowse have a plan. They are going to take a year off, travel around the world and film every last second of it. What will they do with all that footage? Upload it to the Internet of course! They rig themselves with cameras and take off. Everything goes according to the plan for a day or two and then they meet a beautiful and tempting woman. Sounds a little Old Testament-y, but that woman does something to Derek and now he has powers well beyond his control. What happens to Derek and what will … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.04.14

Movie Beat – 02.28.14

The Bag Man – The role of a Bag Man is a time-honored tradition. Heartless, ruthless and cold, the Bag Man kills for money and is hired because he kills. This Bag Man (John Cusack) has been hired by this mobster (Robert De Niro) to transport the bag to this rundown motel loaded with these shady people (Rebecca Da Costa, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell). Why bring all these characters under one roof? You’ll have to watch to find that out, but one thing we can be certain of, it will not end without a fair amount of bloodshed. Directed by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.28.14

Movie Beat – 10.18.13

2 Jacks – A modern and comic spin on a classic Leo Tolstoy story, “Two Hussars” set in Los Angeles. The Jacks are both movie directors, with the son following in the father’s footsteps whether he likes it or not. It’s a cutthroat business, this movie business, and it takes a cutthroat individual to make it happen. Danny Huston plays Jack Sr., Jack Huston is Jack Jr., Sienna Miller and Jacqueline Bisset play the girl, and Billy Zane and Rosie Fellner add to the cast. Bernard Rose directed and Breaking Glass Pictures gives this one a limited release.   12 … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.18.13

Movie Beat – 10.04.13

A.C.O.D. – Adult Child of Divorce, a very common thing these days, “the least parented generation in history.” That might explain all the hang-ups. Or the parents might have just been basket cases to begin with and never should have had children in the first place. Adam Scott is the Adult Child in question who is dealing with his divorced parents played by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara while his younger brother, played by Clark Duke, gets engaged. Jane Lynch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Amy Poehler, and Jessica Alba all join in on the fun. Ben Karlin and Stu Zicherman wrote … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.04.13

PAIN & GAIN

Pain & Gain - Poster

“If I think I deserve it, the universe will serve it,” Daniel Lugo tells himself and anyone who will listen. Is he trying to convince them, or is he trying to convince himself? “If I think I deserve it, the universe will serve it.” Throw it in a self-help book, and you could move a decent amount of copies. Just another line in a string of pop-hokum that people will shell out honest to good money to either read in books like The Secret or pay to hear at a motivational talk by Tony Robbins. It’s likely the mantra that Jeff Goldblum forgot way back in Annie Hall. “If I think I deserve it, the universe will serve it!” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, The American Dream!

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Movie Beat – 04.26.13

Arthur Newman – Wallace (Colin Firth) is tired of his life and decides to start over again. This time with someone else’s identity, completely fabricated, a new man: Arthur Newman (a bit on the nose if you ask me). He meets Michaela, or Mike, (Emily Blunt) and they take off together, having all sorts of adventures and romps that poor old Wallace could only dream of. But when fiction becomes so desirable, there is a point where we must turn it into a fact. That means taking the crap along with the fun. Two characters in search of an identity, two great actors in search of a … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.26.13

Movie Beat – 01.11.13

The biggest movie news of the week are the Oscar nominations, but just because there are a bunch of movies from last year that you need to catch up on, doesn’t mean that there is some fresh fun out there today. Take a look and judge for yourself. $ellebrity – Kevin Mazur, who has made his living as a rock n’ roll photographer, puts together a collection of interviews, clips, and Cinema Verité style footage into a documentary about fame, celebrity, and most importantly, the voracity at which the public consumes it. This isn’t a documentary that provides an answer to the problem, because … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.11.13