WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

There’s no hyperbole in calling War for the Planet of the Apes the best of the franchise just as there is no overstating the series’ contribution to motion capture performance. With each Apes installment, the technology gets a little better, but what makes War special is not simply that the technology has become more refined, but the storytelling as well. Set two years after the events in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) continues to lead his army of genetically enhanced apes against the last few outposts of humankind. The war is hard fought and with dwindling … Continue reading WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

Young, energetic stories need young, energetic voices, and that is precisely what The Edge of Seventeen has going for it. Written and directed by first-timer Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age/high school drama littered with clichés and familiar moments but manages to remain lively, upbeat and, most importantly, fresh. The movie centers on Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), a volcano of a teen who thinks that no one else is as broken as she is. When she confronts her history teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), with plans to commit suicide, Mr. Bruner responds with his own fabricated suicide … Continue reading THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

Born On This Day – February 18, 1932

“I know this sounds so little, and not serious enough, but I believe that I have to have fun. We all have to have fun – me, the actors, the cameraman, everybody should feel as if we are making a home movie, because that is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness. If everybody involved feels the seriousness, the heavy weight of money being stamped on movies, it somehow influences the result in a way which is anesthetizing to life.” –Milos Forman Continue reading Born On This Day – February 18, 1932

Movie Beat – 12.06.13

Breakfast With Curtis – Curtis is a shy young boy who lives next door to his complete opposite, Syd. Syd is a middle-aged bookseller, who spends most of his days drinking red wine and waxing poetically about this and that, but he needs some money, and that is where Curtis comes in. He manages to convince Curtis to shoot commercials for his book business, which he does, and Curtis is exposed to a whole new world through Syd. Free of cliches and irony, this small chamber piece is light and fun with an awful lot of heart. Starring Theo Green, … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.06.13

Movie Beat – 11.22.13

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

Movie Beat – 11.01.13

About Time – Men of the Lake family have a very particular gift, once he turns a certain age, he has the ability to travel back in time. That age is twenty-one, and that is probably the worst age to give someone the power to shape their life. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls desperately in love. Unbeknownst to Mary, Tim is recreating his own little Groundhog’s Day by redoing the moments of their relationship until he gets things just right. Works for a while, and then it doesn’t. Time travel is complicated. Co-starring Bill Nighy, Tom … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.01.13

Movie Beat – 05.31.13

After Earth – One thousand years ago, mankind was driven from Earth and forced to relocate. Without man ruling the planet, animals have evolved into something much more dangerous and deadly. Not the greatest of places to crash-land a spaceship. The only two survivors are the father and son duo of Kitai (Jaden Smith) and Cypher (Will Smith). They must do everything they can to try to brave the new world, but they are going to have to do it while an alien that they were transporting on the ship hunts them down. Written by M. Night Shymalan (who also … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.31.13

Movie Beat – 10.12.12

3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom – We kick this week’s list of releases with writer/director Jordan Roberts’ second feature.  Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) has a problem, and that problem is his brother (Chris O’Dowd), a recovering addict who loves to film Frankie’s every embarrassing and personal moment, including, Frankie and a girl (Lizzie Caplan) having sex. Now Frankie has to track the video down and keep it out of the hands of a notorious pornography producer (Chris Noth) who happens to be the girl’s father. This is one of those movies where nothing is easy.  You can’t even go and hire an old prison cellmate without some dramatic twist. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.12.12

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

Seven Psychopaths is writer/director Martin McDonagh’s second feature film.  McDonagh, probably best know as a playwright, debut feature, In Bruges (2008), was critically accepted and doubled its budget in sales.  In Bruges starred Colin Farrell, who takes the role of the central character, Marty, in this film as well.  Marty is a screenwriter who is also dealing with a pretty serious case of alcoholism, he is rarely seen without a drink in his hand.  It is later pointed out by Marty’s friend that it’s in his nature to be an alcoholic, he is a writer and Irish, two strikes against him.  In real life, Farrell … Continue reading SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS