THE SPECTACULAR NOW

The Spectacular Now - PosterThe poster for The Spectacular Now is quite misleading. When I first saw it, my eye was drawn to the girl in the yellow dress amidst a sea of green. Two teenagers sitting on the trunk of a used sedan, dressed for prom, and the giant words THE SPECTACULAR NOW. Clearly this is a teen movie about first love, about high school, about a time and place where the world was right there at our fingertips. The Spectacular Now indeed. What I didn’t know until I saw the movie that the present the girl in the yellow dress is holding is not an innocent Prom Corsage. It is a flask.

The boy in the poster is Sutter (Miles Teller), a high school senior who doesn’t want to leave high school, his town of Athens, GA or the bottle. The movie opens with a montage of him partying, having sex with his girlfriend (Brie Larson), and drinking. He narrates all this with excitement and reverence. He loves himself. He also loves everyone around him. But he especially loves drinking. A lot of teenagers drink, but few of them carry a pocket flask and spike their Big Gulps with brandy. Sutter doesn’t think he has a problem, most likely because no one has told he that he does have a problem. He is such a charming drunk and nothing terrible has happened, it’s probably just a phase that he’ll grow out of.

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Movie Beat – 08.02.13

2 Guns – Two gentlemen look to rip off a bank and steal about $40 million US. They are wise cracking, professional, and very good with a gun. Then it turns out that one of these gentlemen (Denzel Washington) is not who he says he is, he’s actually an undercover DEA agent. But the other gentleman (Mark Wahlberg) is not who he says he is either, he’s from the Navy! Well, that is awkward. Too bad that this is all one big set-up, and surprise surprise, they have to work together to uncover the mystery. Bill Paxton shows how good … Continue reading Movie Beat – 08.02.13

SMASHED

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a typical kind of person. She has a sordid past that she would prefer not to think about, a present that she isn’t fond of, and a future as hazy as a Sunday morning hangover. She is an alcoholic and by the time we meet her, she is pretty far down the path. She wakes up with her husband, Charlie (Aaron Paul) passed out on top of her and she has wet the bed, a common problem with her. Charlie forgives her not just because he is an understanding husband, but because he is a heavy … Continue reading SMASHED

Movie Beat – 10.12.12

3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom – We kick this week’s list of releases with writer/director Jordan Roberts’ second feature.  Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) has a problem, and that problem is his brother (Chris O’Dowd), a recovering addict who loves to film Frankie’s every embarrassing and personal moment, including, Frankie and a girl (Lizzie Caplan) having sex. Now Frankie has to track the video down and keep it out of the hands of a notorious pornography producer (Chris Noth) who happens to be the girl’s father. This is one of those movies where nothing is easy.  You can’t even go and hire an old prison cellmate without some dramatic twist. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.12.12