MA

It’s not easy being a high schooler, let alone a high schooler in a small town. It seems like everyone knows who you are. And if they don’t, then they at least know who your parents are. Sometimes that’s worse. For Haley (McKaley Miller), Andy (Corey Fogelmanis), Chaz (Gianni Paolo), and Darrell (Dante Brown), that means it’s hard to find someone who will buy you booze, and even harder to find a secluded place to drink it. For Maggie (Diana Silvers), it means moving back to your Mom’s hometown and inheriting her baggage. Erica (Juliette Lewis) left Ohio years ago, … Continue reading MA

ZOOTOPIA

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” —Cinderella, 1950 The Walt Disney Corporation is a company built upon a foundation of wishes and dreams. Be it a wish to find Prince Charming, for adventure, for a genie’s freedom, a chance to be a real boy or to never grow up, Disney has personalized the American Dream since Snow White sang into that well back in 1937. As animator Marc Davis once pointed out, making those dreams come true, turning those wishes into reality, has been consistent ever since: be a good person and be kind to animals. Those two … Continue reading ZOOTOPIA

Movie Beat – 8.01.14

The Almost Man – Some people are late bloomers and others will just never bloom. It’s still up in the air which one Henrik (Henrik Rafaelsen) will end up. 35 years old and still living with his mother (who treats him like the child he wants to be) when his girlfriend informs him that he is about to be a father. Henrik needs to make some drastic changes: a new job, a pre-fab duplex and responsibility are the name of the game. Sadly, these clothes don’t fit Henrik very well. Co-starring Janne Heltberg Haarseth, Tov Sletta, Per Kjærstad and Tore Sagen. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 8.01.14

SNOWPIERCER

In 2014, the nations of Earth decided that they could no longer ignore the issue of global warming. Their solution was to use airplanes to disperse a chemical into the atmosphere in hopes of bringing the temperature down. They inadvertently ushered in a new ice age and the vast majority of the population froze to death. As luck would have it, a mad scientist, Wilford, had designed a train to circumnavigates the globe, making one full trip over the course of a year powered by an eternally running, Sacred Engine. A small portion of the population boarded the train, dubbed … Continue reading SNOWPIERCER

Movie Beat – 06.27.14

Archipelago – Another week, another movie from writer/director Joanna Hogg. This time out Hogg takes us to a remote English location to explore the quiet desperation in the lives of others. An archipelago is a collection of small islands in a vast sea, a perfect descriptor for this family who is waiting for Father to arrive. Smacks of Beckett and Antonioni, but in the best possible way. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Amy Lloyd, Christopher Baker, Kate Fahy and Lydia Leonard. In limited release from Kino Lorber.   Begin Again – Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is an ex-record executive who is drowning his … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.27.14

FRUITVALE STATION

In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, twenty-two-year-old Oscar Grant was pulled off a Bay Area Rapid Transit Train at Fruitvale Station. A struggle ensued and BART Officer Johannes Mehserle, handcuffed Grant and while he was face down on the ground, Mehserle fatally shot Oscar in the back. The entire occurrence was captured on video from BART passenger’s phones, ushering in a new era where the whole world is watching. Writer/director Ryan Coogler uses this footage to open his debut, Fruitvale Station, immediately hanging dread over the events while reminding the audience that this is not just … Continue reading FRUITVALE STATION

Movie Beat – 07.12.13

Crystal Fairy – Jamie (Michael Cera) is abroad in Chile and looking to broaden his horizons with one hell of a trip. He meets the bizarre and fun hippie, Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann), who joins him on his quest to find a magical cactus and drink the San Pedro on the beach. They make it to the beach, and things take a surprising turn for Jamie. If it weren’t about hallucinogenic drugs, then it would be strange as hell. Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva come along for the ride. A lot looser and more easy-going than … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.12.13

SMASHED

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a typical kind of person. She has a sordid past that she would prefer not to think about, a present that she isn’t fond of, and a future as hazy as a Sunday morning hangover. She is an alcoholic and by the time we meet her, she is pretty far down the path. She wakes up with her husband, Charlie (Aaron Paul) passed out on top of her and she has wet the bed, a common problem with her. Charlie forgives her not just because he is an understanding husband, but because he is a heavy … Continue reading SMASHED

Movie Beat – 10.12.12

3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom – We kick this week’s list of releases with writer/director Jordan Roberts’ second feature.  Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) has a problem, and that problem is his brother (Chris O’Dowd), a recovering addict who loves to film Frankie’s every embarrassing and personal moment, including, Frankie and a girl (Lizzie Caplan) having sex. Now Frankie has to track the video down and keep it out of the hands of a notorious pornography producer (Chris Noth) who happens to be the girl’s father. This is one of those movies where nothing is easy.  You can’t even go and hire an old prison cellmate without some dramatic twist. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.12.12