THE NICE GUYS

What does it take to make a good movie these days? Money? Star power? A dedicated auteur? A pastiche of ideas that resemble a movie? On the surface, The Nice Guys looks like a movie: it’s got Warner Brothers’ money, it’s got Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in the leads, it’s got writer/director Shane Black doing Shane Black shtick and it’s got murder, mystery, hard-boiled detectives and the gritty streets of L.A. set in 1970s post-modern neo-noir. Check, check, check, double-check. On the surface, The Nice Guys should be a good movie, but surfaces can be deceiving. Set in smoggy … Continue reading THE NICE GUYS

Movie Beat – 03.28.14

5 Hour Friends – Timothy (Tom Sizemore) loves to golf. If he could, he would spend every waking moment of every day golfing. But life is not that simple, so Timothy has to do other things, such as work (occasionally), deal with his ex-wife (only when necessary), send money to his son (when he has any), drink (all the time) and pick up women to keep him company. Life is one big juggling act for Timothy, and he has mastered the trick. Kimberlin Brown, Musetta Vander, Dan Hewitt Owens and Leilani Sarelle co-star in this low-budget look at a man … Continue reading Movie Beat – 03.28.14

Movie Beat – 02.14.14

About Last Night – Two guys (Kevin Hart & Michael Ealy) and two gals (Regina Hall & Joy Bryant) are living in Los Angeles and trying to find love and companionship. The guys are best friends, the gals are roommates, and their lives will become inseparably tangled when they start dating. First Bernie and Joan start dating, then Danny and Debbie hook-up. Then Debbie and Danny break it off, so that means Bernie and Joan need to spend sometime apart as well. Love sure can be complicated. Written by Leslye Headland based on the play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.14.14

Movie Beat – 09.06.13

Adore – Freud was sorta right. He thought that every son had a weird fixation with his mother. Turns out that every son has a weird fixation with his mother’s friend. Close, but no cigar. Yes, most teenage boys have fantasies about Mommy’s friends, and most get over it. Some act on it, fewer yet get away with it, but none of them some how find themselves with their Mom’s best friend while her son is banging around with his Mom. Two Moms go on holiday and end up swapping sons for sex. Apparently those who have everything will do … Continue reading Movie Beat – 09.06.13

MAN OF STEEL

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To borrow a tagline from another recently rebooted franchise, Man of Steel is not your Father’s Superman. The name ‘Superman’ isn’t even in the title, is only spoken in the movie once, and not even by one of the main characters! The red underpants are missing, the color palette is muted, the All American Boy Scout is toned down, and we are in lot more danger. And I like it.

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Movie Beat – 06.14.13

20 Feet From Stardom – There isn’t that much distance from the band at the front of the stage, and the singers in the back. Only a twenty foot walk, but, as The Boss puts it, “It’s a bit of a walk.” This documentary follows Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill, all back-up singers, all trying to break into careers with some sort of success, some sort of identification, something that isn’t so difficult, so heartbreaking, so discouraging. Not having your dreams come true is difficult, but is the difficulty easier or harder when you … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.14.13

Movie Beat – 01.18.13

Birders: The Central Park Effect – What a charming little documentary about birds in Central Park. New York City is a giant metropolis of concrete, glass, steel, and asphalt. Imagine a bird soaring over skyscrapers, roads, apartment buildings, and smack dab in the middle of this, a giant swath of green, Central Park. Birds come here to congregate, rest, feed, live, and the birders can’t get enough. How these birds co-exist with thirty-eight million visitors of Central Park is remarkable. Just watch that goose calmly strut its stuff, completely indifferent to anyone else. Written and directed by Jeffrey Kimball and … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.18.13

Movie Beat – 12.25.12

Django Unchained – What could say Christmas more than a Quentin Tarantino movie? Set in the South two years prior to the Civil War, Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a bounty hunter who frees Django (Jamie Foxx) from slavery because he needs Django’s special knowledge of a very large bounty. Django comes along for the ride, because what could be better than getting paid to kill all the folks who whipped you and stole your wife? Of course all of this leads back to the terrible and ferocious Calvin Candie (Leonardo DeCaprio). Part Spaghetti Western, part German Fairytale, total Tarantino. Few … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.25.12

Movie Beat – 11.02.12

Another week, another batch of new releases for you to dig into. Quite a selection to choose from, and for the first time in a while, there are multiple good options. Let’s dive on in! The Bay – Remember a few years ago when a mass of dead fish washed ashore? Or when a thousand blackbirds suddenly dropped out of the sky? What happened there? Hard to say, but plenty of people had theories, most of them conspiracy theories, and it looks like those people got together and made a movie. It’s another found footage film, which most of us … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.02.12