DARK PHOENIX

Dark Phoenix, the latest installment in the current X-Men series, is fine. Yes, that is damning with faint praise, but considering Dark Phoenix’s odd mishmash of tones and race to the finishing line, “fine” is both good enough and the best outcome one could hope for. Not exactly a new criticism for a cycle of movies that have been uneven, to say the least. This particular franchise re-ignition began with 2011’s X-Men: First Class starring James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a., Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme, a.k.a. Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult as Hank … Continue reading DARK PHOENIX

The 39th Denver Film Festival — Days 8–12

THE PULITZER AT 100 Hungarian immigrant and yellow journalist Joseph Pulitzer wanted to elevate his chosen profession by honoring the best in the business. He gave his fortune to Columbia University to start a school of journalism and on June 4, 1917, six years after his death, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. Almost a century later, the Pulitzer remains the highest award to honor writing and journalism and director Kirk Simon pays tribute to the award and the those who it has graced, in the new talking heads documentary, The Pulitzer at 100. While the doc touches briefly on the history of Joseph Pulitzer, Pulitzer … Continue reading The 39th Denver Film Festival — Days 8–12

STEVE JOBS

The new film from director Danny Boyle and writer Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs, marks the third cinematic interpretation of Apple’s storied co-founder in the past two years — Jobs (Joshua Michael Stern, 2013) and Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine (Alex Gibney, 2015) were the previous two. I have seen all three and still cannot answer the question my sister posed after the credits rolled for this iteration: “Why are people so fascinated by him?” Is it because the products his company produced are so integral to our day-to-day lives? Because we find Apple products so aesthetically pleasing? So intuitive? … Continue reading STEVE JOBS

FRANK

Kurt Vonnegut once confessed that he was the victim of a happy childhood. What a terrible tragedy to befall one with a yen to make it in the artistic world. Any artist worth their salt has clearly risen up from an abusive upbringing, mental illness and an addiction or two. How else could they produce such great and tortured works of art? Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is one of the unlucky. The product of two supportive, well to-do suburban parents who are nothing but supportive of their child and his ambitions. As Vonnegut would say, “[that] is no way for a … Continue reading FRANK

Movie Beat – 05.23.14

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn – Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is the angriest man in all of Brooklyn, which is saying something. He better make a change, or all that anger is going to be the death of him. Eventually at least, not today, which is actually what he thinks because a doctor (Mila Kunis) was pissed at him and told him he only has 90 minutes to live. Now he is running around town trying to patch everything up, and no one really cares. That just makes him angrier. Things don’t look good for Henry. Melissa Leo, Peter Dinklage, … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.23.14

Movie Beat – 10.25.13

Blood Brother – Documentary about Rocky Braat, a young and successful American searching for meaning and purpose in his life. He finds it in India, with a bunch of HIV infected kids who are doing their best not just to survive, but to enjoy life on the way out. Braat comes face to face with the beauty and horror that exists simultaneously, and tells his story, hoping to inspire others. Directed by Steve Hoover and out in very limited release. Check here for when it will be playing in a theater near you.   Blue Is The Warmest Color – … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.25.13

Movie Beat – 10.18.13

2 Jacks – A modern and comic spin on a classic Leo Tolstoy story, “Two Hussars” set in Los Angeles. The Jacks are both movie directors, with the son following in the father’s footsteps whether he likes it or not. It’s a cutthroat business, this movie business, and it takes a cutthroat individual to make it happen. Danny Huston plays Jack Sr., Jack Huston is Jack Jr., Sienna Miller and Jacqueline Bisset play the girl, and Billy Zane and Rosie Fellner add to the cast. Bernard Rose directed and Breaking Glass Pictures gives this one a limited release.   12 … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.18.13

Movie Beat – 04.05.13

André Gregory: Before and After Dinner – Most people know André Gregory from My Dinner With Andre, a filmed conversation on life with his close friend and collaborator Wallace Shawn. Others know of his extensive work in the theater, some may know of his brief stint in Hollywood. But only one person knows the whole story, and it’s not Gregory, it’s his wife, director Cindy Kleine. This is a look back in the life of one man, who became a bit of a cultural icon. Never one to shy away, Gregory offers plenty to his fans, but for those who haven’t yet … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.05.13