MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA

When it comes to high drama, there probably isn’t any time in a person’s life that is as tumultuous and dramatic as high school. Well, combat maybe, but not everyone has to face the front lines. They do have to face first period, and when you’re in the shit, it can seem just as bad. Many movies have mined high school histrionics for great effect (the 2000 Japanese dystopian film, Battle Royal, possibly being the greatest) and though the dynamics of class, race, gender and sexual orientation within the hallowed halls of secondary education are certainly well-plowed, fresh aesthetics can … Continue reading MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA

TAMMY

Tammy begins with the titular character (Melissa McCarthy) driving her rundown Toyota Corolla through the farmlands of Illinois. On the passenger seat, a CD boom box plays Classic Rock. Suddenly a deer jumps out of nowhere and smashes into the Corolla. Tammy gets out of the car, apologizes to the animal and tries to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (by blowing on it from a distance). Miraculously, the deer springs to life and gallops off into the woods. Sadly, Tammy does not. Tammy’s tough day continues as the deer incident results in her being late for work at her fast-food job. The … Continue reading TAMMY

Movie Beat – 07.04.14

Beyond the Edge – Part documentary, part dramatic recreation, Beyond the Edge tells the tale of Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay as they ascending Mount Everest in 1953. Now, many have conquered the world’s highest point, but then, we weren’t even sure if such a feat was possible. Chad Moffitt, Sonam P. Sherpa, John Wraight, Joshua Rutter, Dan Musgrove and Erroll Shand re-enact the historic feat, Matthew Metcalfe wrote the script and Leanne Pooley directed it. Out in limited release from IFC Films.   Deliver Us From Evil – New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.04.14

Movie Beat – 06.06.14

Borgman – It starts with a bang: Borgman (Jan Bijvoet) is on the run because a group of heavily armed priests are hunting him down. They locate his lair, force him out and he escapes just barely. He then comes to a suburban family’s house and asks them for a bath. They turn him away. He returns as a gardener and they accept him into their home and lives. Big mistake. Taking place in modern-day Netherland, this morality tale is played out with some very high stakes. Co-starring Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Eva van de Wijdeven and … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.06.14

Movie Beat – 04.26.13

Arthur Newman – Wallace (Colin Firth) is tired of his life and decides to start over again. This time with someone else’s identity, completely fabricated, a new man: Arthur Newman (a bit on the nose if you ask me). He meets Michaela, or Mike, (Emily Blunt) and they take off together, having all sorts of adventures and romps that poor old Wallace could only dream of. But when fiction becomes so desirable, there is a point where we must turn it into a fact. That means taking the crap along with the fun. Two characters in search of an identity, two great actors in search of a … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.26.13

Movie Beat – 04.05.13

André Gregory: Before and After Dinner – Most people know André Gregory from My Dinner With Andre, a filmed conversation on life with his close friend and collaborator Wallace Shawn. Others know of his extensive work in the theater, some may know of his brief stint in Hollywood. But only one person knows the whole story, and it’s not Gregory, it’s his wife, director Cindy Kleine. This is a look back in the life of one man, who became a bit of a cultural icon. Never one to shy away, Gregory offers plenty to his fans, but for those who haven’t yet … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.05.13

Movie Beat – 02.22.13

Saturday is the Film Independent Spirit Awards and Sunday, The Oscars, and then that’s it. No more awards and the books on 2012 are finally closed. Time to move on. Well, not quite yet, next weekend maybe, but with the bulk of movie talk this weekend focused on the best in last years cinema, the studios are saving their big movies for March where they will get a little more attention. Not a terrible crop of movies out this week, just a touch on the thin side. It’s Oscar Weekend after all! 11 Flowers – We don’t get to choose … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.22.13

2012: A Year At The Movies

2012 was a magnificent year for the movies. They are more diverse, more personal, and more magical than ever. Yes, there was the onslaught of the usual blockbuster fare, sequels left and right, and the mighty flops that were John Carter and Battleship, but there was so much more to discover in theaters this year. It is quite possible that 2012 was one of the best years for the cinema, maybe not on par with 1939 or 1960, but time will tell which of these stories permeate the collective consciousness and hang around and continue to inform our experiences. 2012 also saw a great amount of cinema history as … Continue reading 2012: A Year At The Movies

CLOUD ATLAS

“Everything is connected” is the tagline to Cloud Atlas, a movie that is as ambitious as it is long. Adapted from the novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas carries three directors, six storylines spanning centuries, and twelve actors all playing multiple roles. A large budget film with lofty ambitions, Cloud Atlas aims to not only adapt a beloved novel, but to illuminate while entertaining. It does manage to entertain, which is necessary for a film with a three-hour running time, but its illuminations are superficial at best. Cloud Atlas comes with a very dense, almost labyrinthine plot. I suspect that the reason … Continue reading CLOUD ATLAS