MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

The year is 1561, and Mary Stuart has returned to Scotland. Spending most of her childhood in France, Mary (Saoirse Ronan) has decided to come home and claim her throne, the very one her half-brother, James (James McArdle) has been keeping warm in her absence. Maybe too warm, as Mary soon find out. But this Scotland is not the Scotland Mary left all those years ago. In 1560, the Calvinist preacher, John Knox (David Tennant), brought the Reformation to Scotland, calling for riots in the streets and the end of Catholic rule. Down in England, the Protestants already control the … Continue reading MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

Movie Beat – 03.07.14

300: Rise of an Empire – The Greeks and Persians are at war again in Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel, Xerese. The battle has moved from land to the sea, and the warriors have increased from 300 to a hell of a lot more. Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) is leading the Greek army against mortal turned God, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and the fierce general of the Persian Army, Artemisia (Eva Green) who has a score to settle. Supporting cast includes, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan and a horde of digital fodder all moving in varying speeds of dramatic slow motion. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 03.07.14

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

Movie Beat – 06.28.13

A Band Called Death – In 1973, the world was still a few years away from the Ramones, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and all the other purveyors of punk music. In Detroit, there was three brothers banging away at their instruments, playing loud, playing fast, playing punk music. They couldn’t get a record deal, so to obscurity they faded. Now, the music has been rediscovered, they are playing again, and Death lives on! Come see what Bobby, Dannis, and David Hackney were all up to in that spare bedroom. Directed by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett and out … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.28.13

Movie Beat – 06.07.13

Dirty Wars – One part documentary, one part recreation, and one part storytelling excellence equals the adaptation of Jeremy Scahill’s latest book of investigative journalism.  Scahill has been on the front lines for the war on terror since 1998, years before the phrase was even coined. Based on his book of the same name, Scahill tracks down the hidden war, the war that is happening behind the war we see on TV, the dirty war that might be the real reason for a decade-plus and two wars that Americans have fought abroad. Conspiracies, corruption, cover-ups, just another day in Afghanistan. Written by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.07.13

Movie Beat – 03.29.13

Blancanieves – Snow White en español, re-telling of a  Grimm Fairy Tale in beautiful black and white photography by Kiko de la Rica and scored by Alfonso de Vilallonga. It was last year’s entry for the Foreign Film Oscar from Spain, but it will no doubt be called this year’s The Artist. Set in 1920s Spain, a young girl grows up with just a Father and learns his craft as a bullfighter. Hated and driven out by her evil stepmother, she joins a troop of traveling dwarves and becomes the most famous bullfighter in Spain.  Performances from Ángela Molina, Maribel … Continue reading Movie Beat – 03.29.13