GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God? —Tyler Durden, Fight Club When journalist Bill Moyers interviewed narratologist Joseph Campbell in 1988 he asked why hero stories could be found in every culture, every religion across the globe. Campbell’s reply was simply: “Because that’s what’s worth writing about.” There is another component to the universality of the hero’s journey, the one between fathers and sons. Sometimes the son must vanquish the father, or some facsimile, other times the son saves the father from himself. These tropes, which rear their heads … Continue reading GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

LIVE BY NIGHT

Adapted from the 2012 novel by Dennis Lehane, Live By Night is a great American epic wrapped inside a misguided movie. Written for the screen, produced and directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars, Live by Night starts overseas in the trenches of World War I, where Joe Coughlin (Affleck) makes up his mind to never again take orders from anyone. But it doesn’t take long for Coughlin, a two-bit Boston bank robber, to learn never-say-never and he finds himself working for Albert White (Robert Glenister), an Irish gangster he eventually betrays, and then Maso Pescatore (Remo Girone), the Italian … Continue reading LIVE BY NIGHT

Movie Beat – 8.01.14

The Almost Man – Some people are late bloomers and others will just never bloom. It’s still up in the air which one Henrik (Henrik Rafaelsen) will end up. 35 years old and still living with his mother (who treats him like the child he wants to be) when his girlfriend informs him that he is about to be a father. Henrik needs to make some drastic changes: a new job, a pre-fab duplex and responsibility are the name of the game. Sadly, these clothes don’t fit Henrik very well. Co-starring Janne Heltberg Haarseth, Tov Sletta, Per Kjærstad and Tore Sagen. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 8.01.14

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

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Star Trek Into Darkness - Poster

Star Trek Into Darkness begins with an action set piece, dropping the audience right in the middle of chaos. Reminiscent of a James Bond or an Indiana Jones pre-credit sequence, Spock is trying to diffuse an erupting volcano while Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy run from an angry mob. Director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof beg you not to ask any questions about what in the hell is going on, just go with it. Why are these natives chasing Kirk and Bones? Because Kirk stole something of theirs. What did he steal? Who knows, probably some significant religious scrolls. How is Spock going to stop this volcano from erupting? He has a super ice-cube of course! Details are not the important part of this scene, what is important is the presence of action. It lets the viewers know right up front what kind of movie they are in for. Abrams and company present us with a bargain, “We will give you two hours of action, just please don’t ask any questions.”

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Movie Beat – 05.17.13

33 Postcards – Mei Mei (Zhu Lin) is a Chinese orphan with a sponsor down in Australia, Dean Randall (Guy Pearce). They write back and forth for ten years, and Mei Mei grows up dreaming of Dean’s perfect life, his perfect family, and the perfect skyline of Sydney. Her choir travels to Australia for the Australian Choir Festival, and Mei Mei uses this trip to visit her beloved pen pal. When she meets Dean, things aren’t quite so hunky-dory as he is a convict with a very shady past. Mei Mei still sees some family as a hell of a lot better than no … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.17.13