MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA

When it comes to high drama, there probably isn’t any time in a person’s life that is as tumultuous and dramatic as high school. Well, combat maybe, but not everyone has to face the front lines. They do have to face first period, and when you’re in the shit, it can seem just as bad. Many movies have mined high school histrionics for great effect (the 2000 Japanese dystopian film, Battle Royal, possibly being the greatest) and though the dynamics of class, race, gender and sexual orientation within the hallowed halls of secondary education are certainly well-plowed, fresh aesthetics can … Continue reading MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA

LISTEN UP PHILIP

“I want you to contextualize my sadness,” Philip says. “Put whatever you’re going through into perspective.” Philip delivers this line to his girlfriend, but he might as well address it directly to the camera. Or to the world. As far as Philip is concerned, it’s all the same thing. Galileo was wrong; the Earth is in fact geocentric. And it revolves around him. In Listen Up Philip, Philip Lewis Friedman (Jason Schwartzman) joins the list of cinema narcissists, a long line if there ever was one. The dialog I chose to open this review comes in the final fifteen minutes … Continue reading LISTEN UP PHILIP

Movie Beat – 03.07.14

300: Rise of an Empire – The Greeks and Persians are at war again in Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel, Xerese. The battle has moved from land to the sea, and the warriors have increased from 300 to a hell of a lot more. Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) is leading the Greek army against mortal turned God, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and the fierce general of the Persian Army, Artemisia (Eva Green) who has a score to settle. Supporting cast includes, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan and a horde of digital fodder all moving in varying speeds of dramatic slow motion. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 03.07.14

Movie Beat – 12.13.13

American Hustle – It’s all about the con, not the con-artist, but the con. Every business, every transaction, every dream levied is a con in one way or another, and director David O. Russell is out to show everyone how deep the con goes. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are the con artist, Jennifer Lawrence is his ex-wife, Bradley Cooper is the FBI agent needing a little help, Jeremy Renner is the politician who is conning everyone, and Eric Singer and David O. Russell are the writers who concocted this whole shebang. Out in limited release from Sony Pictures.   … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.13.13

Movie Beat – 02.08.13

Caesar Must Die – William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is one of the most infamous and greatest pieces of theater. It has been performed a countless number of times in virtually every language. One would think that we would reach a saturation point for this particular play, but we never will, and we can thank Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and those of like mind for such inventiveness. Their staging of Julius Caesar is part documentary, part staging. The performers, harden criminals, some with no hope of parole. “Et tu, Brute?” takes on a completely different meaning to one who might have … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.08.13