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 – 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 – 11.08.13

The Armstrong Lie – “Sure I cheated. BUT, I didn’t cheat that one time, and I want credit for it.” Seems like a silly argument to take, but Lance Armstrong was a cheater, what else would you expect? In 2009, director Alex Gibney and producer Frank Marshall set out to make a documentary about Lance Armstrong, the man who overcame testicular cancer and became the poster boy of cycling. Over the course of the lionization of Armstrong, the truth came out, and boy did the subject change course. Documentary out in limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.   At Berkeley … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.08.13