MALEFICENT

Maleficent is Disney’s latest in a spate of Nostalgia Branding, a trend spawned from the enormous box-office success of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Last year’s Saving Mr. Banks was a lesser movie than the movie it referenced, Mary Poppins, but the performances from Tom Hanks as Uncle Walt and Emma Thompson as writer P.L. Travers added enough heart to carry the otherwise schmaltz material. Coming next year, Disney will revamp Cinderella and I am sure there are many more of these can’t miss financial opportunities to come. The logic is: if you see Maleficent, Disney get’s your money. If you … Continue reading MALEFICENT

Movie Beat – 05.30.14

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhass – Michael Kohlhass (Mads Mikkelsen) was just another family man, a horse trader and a loyal citizen. Then they stole his horses and murdered his wife, now he has nothing to live for. Nothing, except for his revenge. A classic tale of retribution painted across the wide-open landscape of 16th Century France. Mélusine Mayance, Delphine Chuillot, David Kross, Bruno Ganz and Denis Lavant co-star in a script written by Christelle Berthevas and Arnaud des Pallières with des Pallières directing as well. In limited release from Music Box Films.   Filth – Bruce … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.30.14

Movie Beat – 01.03.14

The Best Offer – It takes more than the ability to hold a brush to be an artist, it takes a mystery inside. Virgil (Geoffrey Rush) is a man searching for a mystery in his own life. He is a well-mannered, cultured, and fastidious man, an art lover, and on his sixty-third birthday he receives a phone call from a mysterious woman needing his assistance. He takes the job, but curiosity gets the best of the cat, and Virgil is in over his head. Sylvia Hoeks plays the mysterious woman, Jim Sturgess plays Virgil’s best friend, and Donald Sutherland is … Continue reading Movie Beat – 01.03.14

Movie Beat – 11.27.13

Black Nativity – It’s time for holiday movies, and that means focus on the family and focus on the faith. In Black Nativity, the road to both of these runs right through the church, which allows for a good deal of musical numbers. Langston (Jacob Latimore) and his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), have run across hard times, and Langston is sent to his grandparents, the Reverend (Forest Whitaker) and Aretha (Angela Bassett). They are going to try and steer Langston in the right direction, if only he will let them. Adapted from the play by Langston Hughes and directed by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.27.13

Born On This Day – September 17

“So, what is creative freedom? We can make what we want, how we want. The only constraint is: not for any budget.” –Baz Luhrmann “There’s no point in making films unless you intend to show us something special, otherwise just go out and watch a play. Kubrick showed us something special. Every film was a challenge, and a direct assault on cinema’s conventions.” –Bryan Singer Continue reading Born On This Day – September 17

Movie Beat – 8.9.13

Elysium – The year is 2154, and the rift between the haves and the have-nots has gotten a little out of control. The haves live on a space station orbiting Earth, Elysium. No disease, no crime, no poverty, nothing to disturb your pleasant valley Sunday. The rest of us, live/survive on Earth. A desolate and ruined planet that has not yet been cleaned up by Wall-E. Max (Matt Damon) lives on Earth, but needs to get to Elysium, and there are a few people who can help him. Co-starring Jodi Foster, Sharlto Copley, and William Fichtner. From writer/director Neill Blomkamp … Continue reading Movie Beat – 8.9.13

Movie Beat – 08.02.13

2 Guns – Two gentlemen look to rip off a bank and steal about $40 million US. They are wise cracking, professional, and very good with a gun. Then it turns out that one of these gentlemen (Denzel Washington) is not who he says he is, he’s actually an undercover DEA agent. But the other gentleman (Mark Wahlberg) is not who he says he is either, he’s from the Navy! Well, that is awkward. Too bad that this is all one big set-up, and surprise surprise, they have to work together to uncover the mystery. Bill Paxton shows how good … Continue reading Movie Beat – 08.02.13