MOLLY’S GAME

Hemingway had a phrase: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” If Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) ever needed a mantra, I’d offer her that. Diagnosed with early onset scoliosis, Bloom blew out her back at the age of thirteen. Less than a year later, she was competing in downhill skiing. A decade later, a one-in-a-million frozen tree branch dislodged her ski during an Olympic qualifying event, spraying Bloom all over the slope and ending her competitive career. A year later, Bloom landed in Los Angeles penniless but quickly found work as a cocktail waitress. … Continue reading MOLLY’S GAME

Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Cuban Fury – Once a rising star in the world-renowned and lucrative profession of salsa dancer, Bruce (Nick Frost) tossed in the towel and opted for a lifetime of take-out, pastries and self-pity. That was, until the beautiful Julia (Rashida Jones) walked into his life and lit a fire in his loins that would return Bruce to form. Of course, he has a whole lot of obstacles to hurdle, none of which is more damaging than his own lack of confidence. Co-starring Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach and the always-incredible Ian McShane. Directed by James Griffiths and in limited … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Movie Beat – 02.21.14

3 Days To Kill – Kevin Costner is an agent assigned to killing, torturing and blowing-up parts of Paris. I wonder what on his resume landed him the job? He wants out, but his boss (Amber Heard?) wants him to take one last job. He does. Bad idea. His family gets involved, badder idea. He takes his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) along with him. Baddest idea. What will his wife (Connie Nielsen) think? Directed by that three-lettered Charlie’s Angels guy, McG, and in wide release from Relativity Media.   Almost Human – Two years ago, Mark (Josh Ethier) was abducted … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.21.14

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

MAN OF STEEL

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To borrow a tagline from another recently rebooted franchise, Man of Steel is not your Father’s Superman. The name ‘Superman’ isn’t even in the title, is only spoken in the movie once, and not even by one of the main characters! The red underpants are missing, the color palette is muted, the All American Boy Scout is toned down, and we are in lot more danger. And I like it.

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Movie Beat – 06.14.13

20 Feet From Stardom – There isn’t that much distance from the band at the front of the stage, and the singers in the back. Only a twenty foot walk, but, as The Boss puts it, “It’s a bit of a walk.” This documentary follows Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill, all back-up singers, all trying to break into careers with some sort of success, some sort of identification, something that isn’t so difficult, so heartbreaking, so discouraging. Not having your dreams come true is difficult, but is the difficulty easier or harder when you … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.14.13

Movie Beat – 12.25.12

Django Unchained – What could say Christmas more than a Quentin Tarantino movie? Set in the South two years prior to the Civil War, Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a bounty hunter who frees Django (Jamie Foxx) from slavery because he needs Django’s special knowledge of a very large bounty. Django comes along for the ride, because what could be better than getting paid to kill all the folks who whipped you and stole your wife? Of course all of this leads back to the terrible and ferocious Calvin Candie (Leonardo DeCaprio). Part Spaghetti Western, part German Fairytale, total Tarantino. Few … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.25.12