Latest Entries »

‘St. Vincent’

 

murray-dylan

Some roles and movies feel like they would only work if one person played the lead role.  It’s hard for me to see anyone but Bill Murray as the title character of this film.  As in ‘Lost in Translation’, the role of Vincent comes across a lot as in alternate universe version of Bill Murray.

Vincent when we meet him is a cantankerous, smart ass alcoholic and degenerate gambler.  He doesn’t really change all that much by the end of the film to be honest.  This is one of the stories where the ‘why he turned out this way’ and the details of who he is beneath are what make it memorable (so you can imagine how much a movie like this appealed to me).

The cast is rounded out by great actors: Melissa McCarthy playing against type as the straight man to Murray’s jokes.  Naomi Watts playing against type as the low class, knocked up Russian love interest.  Terrance Howard playing against type as the Shady Black Guy with a Nasally Voice.  OK, 2 out of 3…

But a must see film regardless for everyone who worships at the Temple of Murray…

 

JDilla_0003_4

All caught up on the award season movies, so we can space those out.  Movie reviews return Sunday night.

Right now, time to start the weekend.  The funkiest remix of a bad ass song to begin with.

Have a good one!

 

‘Still Alice’

 

stillalice

Not so fast Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain…

Like most of you, I’ve been a fan of Julianne Moore since Boogie Nights (at least).  If ‘Still Alice’ gets her the Lifetime Achievement Oscar, I won’t be mad.  The film is about a brilliant professor who is diagnosed with early on set Alzheimer’s.  Off of the top of my head, I’m pretty sure that’s the best depiction of that specific disease and how it angers and frustrates both the person with it and the people who care about them.

The supporting cast is filled out nicely with some familiar faces. Kate Bosworth as the cold, eldest daughter.  Alec Baldwin as the supportive husband. Kirsten Stewart as the daughter who’s struggling to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress (not touching that joke with a ten foot pole).  But the film belongs to Julianne Moore and of course she’s talented enough to carry it.

Smaller, character piece, you know I dug it.

‘Nightcrawler’

 

nightcrawler

How timely. I mean, it’s always been a ripe issue for the movies (going back to ‘Citizen Kane’), but as social media has become a perfect tool for forcing the issue, it’s really become a hot debate: who decides what is ‘newsworthy’?  And from there: where’s the line between reporting/documenting what you see, and creating/instigating the news to drive profit/get attention?

That’s the bigger theme in this film anchored by Jake Gyllenhaal (reminding us that yes, you can build a movie around him).  I say this with the utmost respect, actor to actor, because who really turns down the ‘franchise movie star’ roles and paychecks if they’re offered to you?  But I don’t find it remotely coincidental that when Jake went back into Donnie Darko/Brokeback Mountain/’You have nice eyes but there’s something…not quite above board going on’ territory, he nails it again.

The setup here by the way is Jake is one of these creepy night owl types who worms his way into the news business as a journalistic, version of an ambulance chaser.  You know, one of these types who uses his police scanner and GPS to show up at crime scenes to sell their footage to the news stations.  I can’t be too mad, these types have been good about staying out of my way and not trying to discover my secret iden…

(…)

You know, it’s a good movie.  Check it out.

‘Foxcatcher’

 

foxcatcher

Very sad and disturbing, but all in an entertaining way.

Like the other nominated movies that are ‘based on a true story’, you can Google the real people and get all the broad strokes and facts of this story.  The beauty of the dramatization in Foxcatcher is in the deadly three way relationship between the Schultz brothers (played by Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum), and their sponsor John Du Pont (a worthy Oscar nomination for Steve Carell.)

A brief setup of the film: the Shultz brothers are world class wrestlers.  David is the elder, the All-American hero with a pretty wife and two lovable kids.  Mark has also made a name for himself, but has forever lived in the shadow of his older, more popular brother.  In walks creepy heir John Du Pont with dreams of sponsoring the 1988 Olympic wrestling team, and away we go…

What everyone is talking about with this film is one of our great funny men playing the ‘loser’ card not for laughs but for villainy.  Like all three dimensional heels, there’s a degree of sympathy built into the story (and why is there always a domineering, disapproving mother, in this film played by Vanessa Redgrave?).  All that said, when we get to the end (which you probably know going in), it’s still a really heartbreaking conclusion.

Not a story to watch for ‘fun’, but one of the year’s better films I have to say.

Never Forget…

 

mlk-jail

 

GoldGold_fw0aumz9

I know. The movie reviews are way behind.  As far as the Oscar nominations…we’ll get to that next month when the show gets closer.

Can’t solve all my problems at once but they’re all getting solved one at a time so I’m in good spirits.  With only three football games left this season, this feels like the right way to start the weekend.

Enjoy!

 

 

kirkfranklin

A song I enjoy from someone you may be surprised by…

 

 

02_Macho-DVD-31

Let me be the 130,428,241st person to tell the WWE: ABOUT DAMN TIME HE WENT INTO THE HALL OF FAME!!!!!

It really is a shame he didn’t live long enough that we’ll hear his speech.  The best all around performer in WWE of his generation. Depending on how you feel about Naitch, you may feel he’s the best all around performer ever. Great as a heel, great as a babyface, great technical wrestler, famous outside of being a wrestler (Slim Jims and the original Spider Man movie immediately come to mind).  The Man.

And still my favorite “Um, I think he’s REALLY about to go out there and whip his ass!” promo.  There will truly never be another Macho Man Randy Savage.  Enjoy!

 

 

120214-centric-whats-good-da-sweet-blood-of-jesus-movie

So…this one’s not for everybody.

The newest official Spike Lee Joint, ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus’ is actually a remake of ‘Ganja and Hess’, a cult classic blaxploitation flick by Bill Gunn (who gets a writing credit here).  Much like the original, this film takes the ‘vampire’ character and uses it as a parable for a story about the black experience in America.

Make no mistake though, this is a Spike Lee film.  Plenty of sex, plenty of violence. The dolly shot, New York City.  This is the film Spike funded through Kickstarter, which in retrospect is the biggest hint: don’t look for anything traditional Hollywood here (even by Spike’s terms).  This one is more in the vein of Bamboozled, Girl 6, and the like.  Especially in the current moment where we have a few ‘black films’ made by black directors that are being celebrated (justifiably) by the system, it’s interesting to watch a film like this, which is on the other end in my opinion of ‘black cinema’.

If you’re a Spike fanboy, you need to check this one out.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 944 other followers