PLEASE STAND BY

For Wendy (Dakota Fanning), the world is as big as it is confusing. Autistic and living in a San Francisco group home under the tutelage of Scottie (Toni Collette), Wendy has learned what to do and how to do — from which color sweater to wear on Tuesdays to saying the right thing to customers while handing out samples at Cinnabon — it’s just the why that trips her up. And while her day job at Cinnabon and her living space bring comfort and routine, Wendy’s life lacks purpose and adventure. She finds it in a Star Trek spec script … Continue reading PLEASE STAND BY

Movie Beat – 07.11.14

The Battered Bastards of Baseball – Next week is All-Star Week where the best of the National League and American League will take a break from a grueling and long season to play a game, that has some impact on the outcome, but is by and large for fun. The Battered Bastards of Baseball looks back to a time when baseball was a whole lot of fun and money didn’t pollute and convolute everything. How could it? There was none of it to go around! The story of Portland’s Mavericks and Bing Russell, directed by Chapman Russell Way and Maclain … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.11.14

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 – 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

ENOUGH SAID

Enough Said is not a flashy piece of cinema designed to captivate and intrigue. Nor is it the type of movie where actors are given a lot of room to chew the furniture and hit all those notes. It does not adhere to a certain philosophy of cinema like a Dogme 95 film. It is not designed for any particular demographic or have an agenda, political or commercial. It is about watching people go through the trials and tribulations of life. Nothing more and nothing less. Enough Said is the perfect example of the “nothing’s easy” phrase. Why should it be? … Continue reading ENOUGH SAID

Movie Beat – 09.20.13

After Tiller – Since the Supreme Court legalized abortions in 1973, eight abortion clinic workers have been murdered. Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, KS was the most recent, and one of the most controversial considering that he openly practiced third-trimester abortions. This is a heavily debated political issue, but this documentary is not interested in weighing this side versus that side, it wants to answer basic questions: Why does the mother decide that they cannot go through with the birth this late in the game? Why do these clinic workers, who are constantly in danger, continue to do the work … Continue reading Movie Beat – 09.20.13

Movie Beat – 07.05.13

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

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

HITCHCOCK

The old truism goes, behind every great man is an even greater woman. This was seldom truer than the relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville. Hitchcock got his start in the British film industry drawing title cards and sets. Alma Reville worked as a producer and slowly their path’s converged. According to Donald Spoto’s biography, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock, Hitch was taken with Alma, but refused to speak to her until they were on equal ground professionally. He waited and worked his way up to a position as a director and the two … Continue reading HITCHCOCK