LANDLINE

Watch enough movies and trends start to develop. One of the major ones: Love is hard; fidelity is harder. And as time wears on it becomes harder. At least for Tom (John Turturro), a middle-aged father of two daughters who has been having an affair. When his youngest, Ali (Abby Quinn), discovers his extra-curricular activities, she is more devastated to learn that it’s not simply a physical relationship, but an emotional one as well. The eldest, Dana (Jenny Slate), should be equally disturbed, but she is also stepping out on her fiancé with an old flame. Ali isn’t exactly surprised, … Continue reading LANDLINE

MIA MADRE

Reflecting on his life and work in 1975, critic and filmmaker François Truffaut wrote: “Today, I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between; I am not interested in those films that do not pulse.” That joy and that agony form the heart of Nanni Moretti’s latest comic drama, Mia Madre. Margherita Buy plays a filmmaker of the same name currently in production on a movie of social and political relevance — the workers of a Roman factory are striking against … Continue reading MIA MADRE

HANDS OF STONE

When it comes to sports on film, none transfer to a composed and contained visual medium quite like boxing. Two men, and in some cases women, square off in a confined arena below the spotlights of show time. The action is fast, but not too fast, and in the end, a winner’s hand is raised while the music soars. And while boxing provides the draw for Hands of Stone — based on the true-life story of Panamanian champ, Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez) — the movie offers little else in the dramatics department to make it a full course meal. Durán was … Continue reading HANDS OF STONE

RIO, I LOVE YOU

What makes up a city? The people? The locale? The flavor of the food, the smell of the streets, the sounds of the crowd? When author Reyner Banham concluded his exhaustive study of the city of Los Angeles in The Architecture of Four Ecologies, he described viewing LA from the vantage point of an aircraft: Within its vast extent can be seen its diverse ecologies of sea-coasts, plain, and hill; within that diversity can be seen the mechanism, natural and human, that have made those ecologies support a way of life … Overflying such a spectacle, it is difficult to … Continue reading RIO, I LOVE YOU

Movie Beat – 05.09.14

Breastmilk – Breast milk is better for a child and produces a more intimate connection between mother and baby than formula does, but in this fast paced business world, it just takes too long. Too long to pump, too long to abstain from a cocktail, too long to feed the child. This is American and we want things now! Of course, raising a child requires time, and breastfeeding is just one of those activities that require time. Standing firmly on the side of breastfeeding, Breastmilk is a very blunt movie about the difficulties facing the modern mother. From director Dana … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.09.14

Movie Beat – 04.18.14

13 Sins – Do we make the choices that we make because we were born that way, or because a series of events brought us to this point? Well, when you have someone down on their luck and up to their eyeballs in debt, you can pretty much count on them acting in desperation. That is what Elliot (Mark Webber) is going to prove. He is a down-and-out salesman when a mysterious phone call comes and offers him a way out. He takes it. Even if that means doing some pretty horrific stuff to everyone else. Ron Pearlman is the … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.18.14