Best friends forever is a clichéd phrase
that gets bandied about between people closely linked for a time,
through a particular patch of life, but few of these relationships truly
last. Only a precious few bond on the deepest levels and fewer still
cross the gender divide.
Unlike the action junkies
chopping up the battles to pile on more frames helter-skelter, Tony Scott
would actually slow the moments down, to let us see the beauty of
stillness before the clash. He gave us a chance to breathe and steady
Sometimes a story taps into a primal
human desire, a need so intrinsic that it makes belief come to life.
Screenwriter (and director) Peter Hedges, working from a story conceived
by Frank Zappa’s son, Ahmet, dares to make audiences hope and believe
in something so real with The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
For Ruby Sparks, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine)
tag team with first-time screenwriter and co-star Zoe Kazan to tell the
incredible story of Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), a young author who
finds himself struggling to complete the follow-up to the debut novel
that made him one of the brightest literary stars of the late 20th
Film, as a medium, provides writers and directors the opportunity to tell great stories. But sometimes, as is the case with Jonathan Demme's latest effort, Neil Young Journeys, film simply goes along for the ride with an even greater storyteller as he does his thing.
Christopher Nolan is daring us to ask the question. Is The Dark Knight Rises the best third film in a series ever? After going through this exercise for a few days now, there
really isn’t much of a list to delineate and rank. Let’s review the
obvious candidates and determine how Nolan’s finale stacks up.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, the
savage visual poem from debut director Benh Zeitlin (which he co-wrote
with playwright Lucy Alibar), takes us on an adventure from its opening
frame, yet what makes it so special and downright impossible to imagine
in any other form, is Hushpuppy’s voice.
Take This Waltz focuses on Margot (Michelle Williams), a freelance writer
married to a cookbook author (Seth Rogen) but who develops feelings for
a neighbor (Luke Kirby), an artist and rickshaw driver. Waltz feels like an avant-garde
performance devoted to women on the verge. What happens to women who long for
more than life has given them but then encounter an
opportunity to grab hold of something more?
The next stop, To Rome With Love,
finds Woody Allen cruising through the Eternal City in a madcap fantasy of
misdirection, misinterpretation and almost-missed opportunities for a
collection of characters whose lives and misadventures don’t intersect.
Let’s get something straight about The Amazing Spider-Man, the franchise reboot from director Marc Webb of (500) Days of Summer
fame. Comics, especially the new millennial generation editions, have
no problems with reimagining and reconfiguring the continuity of these
Seth MacFarlane's new movie Ted, a live action
hybrid, finds him channeling just one character, an animated teddy bear
brought to life by the wish of a young boy named John Bennett (Mark
Wahlberg stands in as the adult body double) who longs for a best
friend, a buddy to hang onto during the thunderous storms of life or
toke up and watch Flash Gordon with during all of those
Lola Versus starts with such
promise: Lola (Greta Gerwig), on the beach, engaging in morning yoga
while through voiceover informing us about life and the changes on the
horizon. In particular, she alerts us to the fact that she (like most of
us) is not good with change.
With issues surrounding fracking, natural
gas and oil dominating headlines recently, Josh Fox’s 2010
Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary Gasland seems all too
relevant. The film is two years old, but the stories presented in the
film are now — more than ever — resonant with the people of Ohio.
I’m sure that at some point during last
year’s Toronto International Film Festival, some outlet in the world
referred to Tanya Wexler’s Hysteria, which humorously probes into
the birth of the vibrator, as “a feel-good” story, so I will
shamelessly insert my own play on this idea. I must, because the premise
simply demands this kooky kind of lowball take.
In a remote Lebanese village (hard to
believe that such out-of-the-way places actually exist), Christians and
Muslims live together, side by side, working and entertaining themselves
as a community that is as close as family. Boys being boys joke and
cross lines that are familiar to both sides, the men drink and eye women
— although there is a sense of respect and honor truly from another