Twenty-one years ago, Toy Story started a revolution. Not as a breakthrough in computer animation — though it was that as well — but as a breakthrough in imagination. What went on when our backs were turned? Once we left the room and shut off the lights, would inanimate objects spring to life, establish political systems, social hierarchies, develop romantic relationships and carry grudges? It’s a romantic notion to turn objects into friends with personalities, but those personalities are only as inventive as the humans who conceive of them. That is what makes Toy Story, and its subsequent sequels, so … Continue reading THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Afflicted – Derek Lee and Clif Prowse have a plan. They are going to take a year off, travel around the world and film every last second of it. What will they do with all that footage? Upload it to the Internet of course! They rig themselves with cameras and take off. Everything goes according to the plan for a day or two and then they meet a beautiful and tempting woman. Sounds a little Old Testament-y, but that woman does something to Derek and now he has powers well beyond his control. What happens to Derek and what will … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.04.14
Bettie Page Reveals All – She was the original pin-up girl. That magnificent cocktail of beauty, innocence, naughty and nice. What was so compelling about a picture of Betty Page was her joyous approach to sexuality. Anyone looking at her picture would immediately let their mind wander to possibilities and what a good time it would be. Of course, the notorious Mrs. Page came along in a very reserved and conservative time, and she disappeared from view, but her image and legacy lived on. Writer/producer/director Mark Mori found Mrs. Page and got her to narrate her life story, and here … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.22.13
It was only a few days ago that Lindsay and I were discussing religion and identity. Namely, what happens to a person who defines themselves by their religion, then suffers a blow that runs counter to their belief? The example I used was of my Grandmother, a woman who chose and chooses to define herself as a Catholic. When her son committed suicide, she was faced with a very difficult decision, go on identifying as a Catholic-even if that meant damned her son to hell for committing a mortal sin, or cast off her beliefs and save her son’s soul. … Continue reading PHILOMENA
The Look of Love is a biopic about Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan), Britain’s richest man. Matt Greenhalgh wrote the script, with the bulk of the material coming from Paul Willetts’s biography, Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond. Paul Raymond was a self-made man, a British version of Hugh Hefner, Larry Flint, and Ringling Bros. all rolled into one. He came from Liverpool with only five bob in his pocket (as he proudly proclaimed) and built an empire based on the scintillating world of erotica. He started with strip-tease shows, moved into theater that featured significant amount of unnecessary nudity, and then started publishing magazines both in the UK and the US. At one point, he tells that his first gig was as a mind-reader and that his best trick was to read the minds of all the men who would pay to see a girl take her knickers off. He is the perfect example of rags to riches, a British Horatio Alger.
Absence – Liz (Erin Way) is near full-term when she suddenly looses the baby. Actually looses it, disappears, good-bye, nice knowing you. That’s fairly strange and the doctors have no medical explanation for it. Liz’s brother, Evan (Ryan Smale) is a film student and wants to get her side of the story on camera, and maybe get to the bottom of the mystery. Evan and husband Rick (Eric Matheny) decide to get Liz a little rest and relaxation by taking her up into the woods. Things go all right for a while, then as you can imagine, all hell breaks … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.05.13
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me – It takes balls to call your band “Big Star” and even bigger balls to call your first album “#1 Record” but that was the way of Big Star. Quite possibly the most influential band you’ve never heard of, they released three albums in the 70s, received a lot of acclaim, but disappeared back into the ether. A decade and change later, they were rediscovered when alternative bands credited Big Star as a huge influence on them. If you like the music of The Replacements, R.E.M., and Oasis, then you will probably dig Big … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.03.13
Caroline and Jackie – Everybody has problems, but some people have problems. For her birthday celebration, Caroline (Marguerite Moreau) visits her sister, Jackie (Bitsie Tulloch) for a good time. Too bad it doesn’t take long for things to go south. Caroline and Jackie’s friends rally around her and try to support her in her illness, but as the sister’s dark past starts to come to light, it becomes unclear as to who is actual sick, and who might need a little help. Also starring David Giuntoli, Jason Gray-Stanford, Valerie Azlynn, and David Fruit. Written and directed by Adam Christian Clark. Available in limited theaters … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.03.13