STAR WARS AT 40

A space opera in eight films, five directors, and two studios. A long time ago — May 25, 1977, to be precise — in a Hollywood far, far away, Star Wars took cinematic hearts and minds by storm. Later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars was a ragtag space opera about a young farmer and two mercenaries trying to rescue a captured princess from the evil clutches of the Empire and return her to the Rebel base so she could deliver the stolen plan necessary to destroy the armored base. The backstory was sparse, the plot points were standard, and the characters were archetypal. … Continue reading STAR WARS AT 40

Movie Beat – 06.20.14

Code Black – If the outside of LA County Hospital looks familiar, it’s because the exterior was used for the popular daytime soap, General Hospital. Inside, it’s far more dramatic than your average soap opera as LA ER is one of the most intense and chaotic ones in the nation. Follow the doctors and surgeons who joined this cause in pursuit of helping people and saving lives and have now found their lives complicated by bureaucracy and paperwork. Documentary scripted by Joshua Altman and Ryan McGarry with McGarry directing as well. Out in limited release from Long Shot Factory. Coherence … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.20.14

Movie Beat – 05.30.14

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhass – Michael Kohlhass (Mads Mikkelsen) was just another family man, a horse trader and a loyal citizen. Then they stole his horses and murdered his wife, now he has nothing to live for. Nothing, except for his revenge. A classic tale of retribution painted across the wide-open landscape of 16th Century France. Mélusine Mayance, Delphine Chuillot, David Kross, Bruno Ganz and Denis Lavant co-star in a script written by Christelle Berthevas and Arnaud des Pallières with des Pallières directing as well. In limited release from Music Box Films.   Filth – Bruce … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.30.14

THE LEGO MOVIE

Most Hollywood movies can be neatly summed up and packaged in one 140-character sentence. The official term for it is “High Concept”. To try to sum up The Lego Movie in a single sentence or label it high concept is nearly impossible, and frankly, wrong. There are those who have tried (“It’s like Toy Story in The Matrix.”), but any summation falls short to the experience of what The Lego Movie has to offer, and The Lego Movie has a lot to offer. Any fears that The Lego Movie is nothing more than an elongated commercial for a Danish building block, … Continue reading THE LEGO MOVIE

Movie Beat – 02.28.14

The Bag Man – The role of a Bag Man is a time-honored tradition. Heartless, ruthless and cold, the Bag Man kills for money and is hired because he kills. This Bag Man (John Cusack) has been hired by this mobster (Robert De Niro) to transport the bag to this rundown motel loaded with these shady people (Rebecca Da Costa, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell). Why bring all these characters under one roof? You’ll have to watch to find that out, but one thing we can be certain of, it will not end without a fair amount of bloodshed. Directed by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.28.14

Movie Beat – 02.07.14

After The Dark – Armageddon is here and not everyone can be spared. There are twenty-two people, but only ten spaces in the bunker. Each person has a unique skill, a special trait, but which ones are expendable and which ones are necessary? This is the philosophical quandary that a teacher poses his class. It’s starts civil, but it quickly falls apart as the students are reduced to an animal mentality. James D’Arcy, Daryl Sabara, Rhys Wakefield, Bonnie Wright, Sophie Lowe and Freddie Stroma star in this morality question posed by writer/director John Huddles. In limited release from Phase 4 … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.07.14

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

Movie Beat – 10.05.12

Butter – It was Julia Child’s favorite ingredient, it is the best thing to use when sauteing, and everyone is terrified of what it does to our arteries: butter. Here I was spreading it on my toast all this time! I had no idea that butter sculptures were a thing, but that is why we go to the movies, to learn something new. Butter is about a local butter sculpting contest, dominated by the local housewives, and a youngster who discovers her hidden talent. How wonderful it is to realize one’s true potential. Stars Jennifer Gardner, Ty Burrell, Oliva Wilde, … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.05.12