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 – 01.24.14

24 Exposures – Billy (Adam Wingard) has carved out a niche for himself by staging gruesome murders of beautiful women and photographing them. Naturally, this stirs a sexual attraction in him, I wonder what Freud would have to say about that. His girlfriend, Sophia Takal, has quite the open mind and goes along with it, but a disillusioned detective, Simon Barrett, doesn’t and brings Billy under investigation for a series of murders. Written, directed, and edited by Joe Swanberg, who seems to be churning them out fast and furious these days, and in limited release from IFC Midnight.   Aatsinki: … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.24.14

Movie Beat – 01.17.14

Big Bad Wolves – If it takes a criminal to catch a criminal, then it takes a maniac to strike fear into the heart of a maniac. A father who is seeking revenge and a cop seeking justice decide to operate outside the law on a teacher they suspect is the man responsible for a series of murders. Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan, Tzahi Grad, Dov Glickman, Menasheh Noy, and Dvir Benedek star, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado write and direct, and Magnolia Pictures gives this a limited release.   Devil’s Due – Ah found footage! What luck that the couple … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.17.14

Movie Beat – 11.08.13

The Armstrong Lie – “Sure I cheated. BUT, I didn’t cheat that one time, and I want credit for it.” Seems like a silly argument to take, but Lance Armstrong was a cheater, what else would you expect? In 2009, director Alex Gibney and producer Frank Marshall set out to make a documentary about Lance Armstrong, the man who overcame testicular cancer and became the poster boy of cycling. Over the course of the lionization of Armstrong, the truth came out, and boy did the subject change course. Documentary out in limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.   At Berkeley … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.08.13

Movie Beat – 07.12.13

Crystal Fairy – Jamie (Michael Cera) is abroad in Chile and looking to broaden his horizons with one hell of a trip. He meets the bizarre and fun hippie, Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann), who joins him on his quest to find a magical cactus and drink the San Pedro on the beach. They make it to the beach, and things take a surprising turn for Jamie. If it weren’t about hallucinogenic drugs, then it would be strange as hell. Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva come along for the ride. A lot looser and more easy-going than … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.12.13

Movie Beat – 02.22.13

Saturday is the Film Independent Spirit Awards and Sunday, The Oscars, and then that’s it. No more awards and the books on 2012 are finally closed. Time to move on. Well, not quite yet, next weekend maybe, but with the bulk of movie talk this weekend focused on the best in last years cinema, the studios are saving their big movies for March where they will get a little more attention. Not a terrible crop of movies out this week, just a touch on the thin side. It’s Oscar Weekend after all! 11 Flowers – We don’t get to choose … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.22.13

Movie Beat – 02.15.13

The Bitter Buddha – Eddie Pepitone is what people call “a comic’s comic”. In short, he is very good, but is not very successful. There are a variety of reasons why some people simply don’t break through. Why was Jerry Seinfeld so popular? Why did it take Louis C.K. so long to drop the act and find his voice? Why is Eddie Pepitone still struggling out there? There has been an incredible renaissance with stand-up comedy in the past five years, partly helped by the advent of podcasting, Twitter, and YouTube, and partly because there are some many strong and … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.15.13