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 – 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 – 08.23.13

Devil’s Pass – Fifty years ago, nine people froze to death while hiking in the Ural Mountains. Now, a group of idiotic twenty-somethings is going to recreate that hike just to prove that man can conquer the elements. Or because they have nothing better to do. At first things go well, it always does, then something happens, and things don’t go so well. They always do. Someone tries to kill them, first by avalanche, then by gun, but once they find a long abandoned bunker with some sort of zombie-demon inhabitants, they are doomed for sure. Happens to me all … Continue reading Movie Beat – 08.23.13

Movie Beat – 06.07.13

Dirty Wars – One part documentary, one part recreation, and one part storytelling excellence equals the adaptation of Jeremy Scahill’s latest book of investigative journalism.  Scahill has been on the front lines for the war on terror since 1998, years before the phrase was even coined. Based on his book of the same name, Scahill tracks down the hidden war, the war that is happening behind the war we see on TV, the dirty war that might be the real reason for a decade-plus and two wars that Americans have fought abroad. Conspiracies, corruption, cover-ups, just another day in Afghanistan. Written by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.07.13