KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Kubo and the Two Strings — the latest stop-motion animation from the Portland-based Laika Entertainment — opens with a fantastic piece of advice: “If you must blink, do it now.” With that, director Travis Knight drops the audience into a fairy tale that races along without pausing to catch the audience up with a backstory. Much like Lucas’s Star Wars, Kubo builds worlds first and answers questions later. The attentive viewer need not fear: comprehension is possible without explanation. That is the nature of classic folk tales. Or fairy tale, myth, story; call it what you will, but all are … Continue reading KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Starz Denver Film Festival: Day 10 – 12

From jean to shining jean Proper cinema doesn’t highlight the differences that separate us, but the things that connect us. Blue Gold is one of those documentaries it works hard to show us how tradition and culture can spread across the globe, all in a harmless, but somehow revolutionary pair of pants. Jeans were first known as Miner Pants, but then WWII came and the jeans went overseas. At first, the jeans were identified with cowboys, but thanks to Marlon Brando and James Dean, they became the symbols of counter-culture. Symbols that The Ramones and The Sex Pistols co-opted. Soon, these jeans were taken and marketed … Continue reading Starz Denver Film Festival: Day 10 – 12

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

In a year where directors are inseparable from the subject of their movies (To The Wonder, Pain & Gain, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and many more), one rises above the rest of the pack. The Wolf of Wall Street is about Jordan Belfort’s desire to become one of Tom Wolfe’s “Masters of the Universe,” a Wall Street money mogul that can rise above and pay their way out of their discrepancies. Who better to tell this tale than Martin Scorsese, a director who has spent his career chronicling those high-minded dreamers who care very little about the legality or morality … Continue reading THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Movie Beat – 12.25.13

47 Ronin – A ronin is a master-less samurai, a drifter, a wanderer who makes his way from village to village, performing meaningless tasks for room and board. Kai (Keanu Reeves) joins up with a bunch of other ronin, 46 to be exact, to defeat a bunch of evil spirits and demons plaguing the land. Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, and Min Tanaka co-star. Writers Hossein Amini and Chris Morgan retell the legendary tale with direction from Carl Rinsch. Out in wide release from Universal Pictures.   August: Osage County – Holidays mean family time. Some of … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.25.13

Movie Beat – 11.01.13

About Time – Men of the Lake family have a very particular gift, once he turns a certain age, he has the ability to travel back in time. That age is twenty-one, and that is probably the worst age to give someone the power to shape their life. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls desperately in love. Unbeknownst to Mary, Tim is recreating his own little Groundhog’s Day by redoing the moments of their relationship until he gets things just right. Works for a while, and then it doesn’t. Time travel is complicated. Co-starring Bill Nighy, Tom … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.01.13

Movie Beat – 04.26.13

Arthur Newman – Wallace (Colin Firth) is tired of his life and decides to start over again. This time with someone else’s identity, completely fabricated, a new man: Arthur Newman (a bit on the nose if you ask me). He meets Michaela, or Mike, (Emily Blunt) and they take off together, having all sorts of adventures and romps that poor old Wallace could only dream of. But when fiction becomes so desirable, there is a point where we must turn it into a fact. That means taking the crap along with the fun. Two characters in search of an identity, two great actors in search of a … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.26.13

2012: A Year At The Movies

2012 was a magnificent year for the movies. They are more diverse, more personal, and more magical than ever. Yes, there was the onslaught of the usual blockbuster fare, sequels left and right, and the mighty flops that were John Carter and Battleship, but there was so much more to discover in theaters this year. It is quite possible that 2012 was one of the best years for the cinema, maybe not on par with 1939 or 1960, but time will tell which of these stories permeate the collective consciousness and hang around and continue to inform our experiences. 2012 also saw a great amount of cinema history as … Continue reading 2012: A Year At The Movies

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