Moonwalkers (January 15, 2016)

moonwalkers-movie-poster1969, the U.S. has launched Apollo 11 into deep space with a certain urgency to beat the dreaded Commies to the moon. A time when all the world’s events were seemingly galvanized by those reported on the grainy images we collectively called “the television set”. I was far from being born when we may or may not have landed on the moon. It’s difficult to get myself in the mindset of what witnessing that must’ve been like. The idea of not having a clue as to what might happen when Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on that spacely rock is lost on me. It’s been fact from day one of my existence. That’s where the value of history and movies come into effect. Moonwalkers, starring Ron Perlman and Rupert Grint is an example of that and might I say is utterly worth your time.

The film opens with Perlman deep, so very deep in the Korean jungle, facing off against a worthy adversary. We quickly move from that war to the war at home which is a populated with a starkly juxtaposed community, populated solely by war mongering weapon tech geek militants and their flower wielding, drug addled, artistic counterparts. We’ve all seen this before, but the richness of the scene and texture in Moonwalkers breathes new life into this otherwise tired trope. I haven’t even mentioned Kubrick yet. Christ! (more…)

Posted by on January 13th, 2016
File under Reviews

Roar (1981)

ROAR_BANNERI’m pissed. I’m angry. Not since learning about the sounds of turtle sex (click that link, you won’t be disappointed even if you’ve heard it before) have I felt so woefully in the dark about something as I have these last few days since learning about the 1981 movie Roar. More than a 120 big cats, 70 cast and crew members injured, over 300 stitches required, broken bones, a scalping, gangrene and Melanie Griffith ultimately required plastic surgery before the production of Roar was done with them. Described as the most dangerous film ever produced, yet somehow it has eluded me and most everyone I have yelled at about it. (more…)

Posted by on April 24th, 2015
File under Reviews

Interstellar 70mm IMAX (2014)

InterstellarOne hundred and sixty-nine minutes to tell us E = mc Love? NO! I knew my theory was a long shot, but that didn’t prevent my mind from exploring the possibility that this advanced screening was a hoax. That those of us in the theater were being subjected to an alternative version, a rough cut that had since been altered to resemble something genius. As the end credits rolled, the lights would come up prematurely and Nolan himself would emerge from behind the screen with a smirk on his face and a logical explanation on his breath. I found myself searching the faces amongst me for possible plants who were watching us and our reactions rather than the 6 story high image that shawn impossibly brightly before us. All the faces looked forward though, some in awe, others confused and more than a few as annoyed as myself. (more…)

Posted by on November 8th, 2014
File under Reviews

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

BirdmanIt’s time to enjoy something new, something different and refreshing, yet nostalgic and reflective all the same. It’s time to take in the ultra-meta and pop referential film that is sure to become part of the modern day zeitgeist as a reference point for years to come. Birdman marks not only the return of the dearly missed Michael Keaton, but also a piece of work that takes honest and albeit harsh and biting jabs at the state of current entertainment, both screen and stage alike. Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of the ultra gloomy 21 Grams, Babel as well as the under appreciated  Amores Perros, has created a true masterpiece with this darkly comedic character study. (more…)

Posted by on October 3rd, 2014
File under Reviews

Frank (2014)

FrankReviewed Frank in nearly real time this week on the Film Vault. Came directly from the screening, perched myself in front of a mic across from my shiney headed co-host and attempted to explain what I had just witnessed. This is not the first time that our schedule has dictated such a short turn around and in most cases it’s not much of an issue. Frank turns out not to be most cases and trying to speak about this haunting film before it had a chance to churn about my troubled mind was a mistake. I butchered it, didn’t give this subtle, thought provoking and quite possibly most mindful film of 2014 thus far, a fair shake. I’ll now attempt to do that here. (more…)

Posted by on August 8th, 2014
File under Reviews

Boyhood (2014)

BoyhoodSo very slow, but never boring. Linklater seamlessly transitions from one year to the next for 12 straight years, giving us a peek into one family’s mutation, adaption and drama along the way.  Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette lend their comfortable and familiar performances to help it along and seeing those two morph into who they are today is fascinating in itself. It’s not often that you one can say they’ve seen something completely new on screen, but once you’ve seen Boyhood you can. (more…)

Posted by on August 7th, 2014
File under Reviews

Snowpiercer (2013)

SnowpiercerIt’s 2031 and Earth is frozen over. The powers that be have introduced a chemical agent into the atmosphere to counteract global warming and the results were less than amenable to the levels needed to support life on the planet. Fear not! There is a super train, that’s right, a locomotive that is both ever moving forward and self-sustaining in it’s annual journey around our globe. What is also more than fortunate is the fact that all of civilization now resides within it’s multi-car class-system that, you guessed it, has the lowest of the low (evidently comprised of multiple faceless white people, a number of Asians and one black woman and her kid) forced to reside in the caboose! (more…)

Posted by on July 5th, 2014
File under Reviews

Code Black (2014)

code_blackThis is not a popcorn movie. Don’t plan on munching on bits of buttered kernel goodness while watching this graphic doc about the ER at LA County Hospital. Do not fret though, Ryan McGarry, Senior Resident Physician and writer/director of this very film, makes up for the ghastly factor of sutures and massive chest cracking trauma with his dreamy qualities. McGarry and his counterparts walk us through the ins and outs of the busiest ER in the world where more people have lost their lives per square foot than anywhere in the US and where the same can be said as for lives saved. Words cannot describe the chaos that abounds in this birthplace of the modern day Emergency Room . Moving images are needed to illustrate the true nature of the turmoil and lucky for us, Code Black provides just that, as well as a fascinating look at the history of this storied County Hospital. (more…)

Posted by on July 2nd, 2014
File under Reviews

Blue Ruin (2013)

Blue RuinA revenge flick of the highest order. The story is straight forward and to the point, but that’s not evident until after the first few scenes unfold with a severe lack of dialogue and a mounting cache of visual hints that draw you in. Ultimately and not long after these beautifully shot establishing scenes does it become apparent that this a Appalachian Mountain/Virginia family vengeance tale, that is to say, an ugly and violent dispute that will not end until one or both sides have paid a violent and bloody price. (more…)

Posted by on June 27th, 2014
File under Reviews

Chef (2014)

Chef3Been meaning to get to this one for awhile, but dread the thought of bitching about a movie with so much going for it. Short, sweet and to the point is the my aim for this write up. Short, sweet and to the point also describes the second half of John Favreau’s follow up to Cowboys and Aliens, with an emphasis on the sweet and not enough on the short. The first half of the film is a beautiful thing. Favreau plays the head chef in an upscale bistro. There is strife and (more…)

Posted by on June 25th, 2014
File under Reviews