TOO LATE

Film noir is about being a day late and a dollar short. Hence why the newly released Too Late is a classic noir set in modern-day L.A. A dirty, but honorable, private eye with a predilection for strippers, Samson (John Hawkes), is inextricably connected to Dorothy (Crystal Reed), a stripper with a heart of gold, who winds up strangled to death in Elysian Park. From there, Samson’s Pontiac Trans Am takes him high into the Hollywood Hills where the plot thickens and the body count builds. Then: a strip club from a previous time, a drive-in 35mm theater and a … Continue reading TOO LATE

LOW DOWN

Sometimes, things just line up. In the past two weeks, I have watched three movies dealing with jazz music and musicians, and all three have found different, if not cliché approaches to explore the artistic expression of the genre. First was Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, a grueling ordeal about a student/mentor relationship and the relentless pursuit of perfection. Following that was Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary from Alan Hicks about Terry Clark and his protégé, Justin Kauflin. In direct contrast to Whiplash, Terry was not only one of the most prolific jazz trumpeters he was also the happiest. A narrative … Continue reading LOW DOWN

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

LINCOLN & A ROYAL AFFAIR

It’s the end of the year, and that means that the theaters are loaded up with movies that are all vying for spots on Top Ten Lists and those all important Oscars nominations. Films about important things are seen as important films, and if they can crib from important moments in history, then it raises their prestige even more. History is a lot more fun if we can recognize our favorite actors. There are two films currently in release, one American, one Danish, that are both historical dramas focusing on a major moment in their nation’s history: in America’s corner, Lincoln, … Continue reading LINCOLN & A ROYAL AFFAIR

Movie Beat – 11.09.12

The weekend is upon us, and here we have ten new films out in cinemas for our viewing pleasures. Which one catches your eye? Citadel – Creepy kids and agoraphobia, what a lovely combination. Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) suffers from chronic agoraphobia ever since he watched a pack of feral children attack and kill his wife. Now, they seem intent on killing his daughter. Tommy teams up with a priest (James Cosmo) to try and learn what drives them, and the answers that lie within The Citadel. Ciaran Foy writes and directs his feature debut, which looks like it will scare the pants off … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.09.12

THE SESSIONS

The Sessions is based on the real life story of Mark O’Brien, a poet who suffered from polio at the age of six. Confined primarily to living and working in an iron lung, Mark, with an excellent sense of humor, managed to make the most of his life. He attended and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, found work as a poet and journalist, and lived a comfortable life with friends. At the age of thirty-eight he decided that it was time to lose his virginity. Mark has come to a point in his life where he wants one thing, the … Continue reading THE SESSIONS

Movie Beat – 10.19.12

Another week, another string of new releases. Here is a quick round-up of ten movies vying for your eyeballs. It’s an off week in the theaters, so feel free to skip all ten and catch up with some very good films that are already in theaters, Looper, Seven Psychopaths, The Master, etc. Alex Cross – Director Rob Cohen is known for Hollywood action films, and some of them are successes, The Fast and Furious (2001), and some are flops, Stealth (2005).  Looks like Cross falls closer to Stealth than Fast and Furious, too bad for Tyler Perry. Looks like Perry is … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.19.12