Posts Tagged ‘movie’

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I’ve waited quite a while for a zombie film that did something different. So much rides on the concept. As you may have guessed, my view is that we need more serious stories told from the perspective of younger people.

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Finally, we have an interesting divergence from the usual, and it came out of Britain. These chompers are a bit like the 28 Days Later variety, but with head fungus. There’s a fungus among us. And that’s just the start.

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I liked that the Girl was completely a wild card. The title makes sense by the end. So, no spoilers. Get the film and support a zombie.

 

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Trailer


My own little universe!

US viewers can watch here. Amazon Prime members in UK, Germany & Japan also watch for free.

More episodes to come, and so you can keep in touch with the show:

Twitter / Facebook

J. Giambrone

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By now I have a serious love/hate relationship with The Purge. Dammit. My feelings toward this movie seem to mirror my feelings toward American culture generally: I like the freedom, but not the scumbags who abuse it.

Greg Palast, BBC, had perhaps the best zinger of the modern age: “Armed Madhouse.”

Installment three of The Purge is exactly what you’d expect if you’re up on the franchise. We have a dystopian satire and a straight action movie cliche-fest wrapped into one. For every plus there is a minus. So the thing hovers near zero, but leans slightly positive.

I’m talking great class war metaphor and cheesy dialogue from the school of Roger Corman or something. It’s hard to accept the narrative when it is so chock full of cliches and glaringly BAD WRITING!

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Example: the “climax,” if that’s what it’s supposed to be, is indistinguishable from that of the film

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‘The Wall’: Stunning behind-the-scenes images

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by Kim Niccolini

Last year, I bought my daughter a portable record player for her 16th birthday. She is fascinated with music from the early and mid-60s (the time when I grew up), and I thought listening to records of that music would be a great experience for her. I remembered how much joy I got out of my portable record player as a kid, so I wanted to share that joy with my daughter.

She loves her record player as much as I loved mine. Since I got it for her nearly a year ago, she has grown quite a collection of vinyl from re-issues to original releases that we have found at our local independent and used record stores. So along with an appreciation of vinyl, she has also learned to appreciate the record store (before it becomes another extinct artifact of Late Capitalism). Her collection includes all the Beatles albums (including a few original releases in pristine condition, of which she is mightily proud to own), Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, Velvet Underground, the Mama & the Papas and Janis Joplin.70105364

After seeing the movieLove & Mercy, my daughter developed a very strong identification with Brian Wilson, and Pet Sounds joined the ranks of her favorite albums of all time. A couple of weeks ago, we pulled her vinyl copy of Pet Sounds off the shelf and listened to it on her record player. The layers of sound are unbelievable. In the film Love & Mercy we see how Brian Wilson worked with studio musicians to create these sounds. He translated his fierce vision into complex layers of sound by working with a whole cadre of musicians who played everything from guitar to cello to bass, drums and saxophone. Hearing the album on vinyl and remembering the scenes in the movie with the studio musicians, the layers of orchestral under-sounds in Pet Sounds became even more mesmerizing.

After Pet Sounds, we pulled a Simon & Garfunkel album off the shelf. I placed the needle on the groove of the record, and we closed our eyes and listened. I hadn’t heard the album since I was a young girl of twelve. The first thing I noticed when I listened a couple of weeks ago was a complexity of sound that I never noticed before. It was especially notable coming directly on the heels of the Beach Boys. I said, “Wait a minute. Do you hear that? This album has the same level of complex sounds as Pet Sounds!”

A few days later I watched the documentary The WreckingCrew on Netflix. I learned of the film after writing about Love & Mercy when a friend mentioned I should watch the documentary about the band that played back-up on Pet Sounds. So I went into the movie thinking it was going to be about the band that played for the Beach Boys. What I didn’t know until watching this documentary is that The Wrecking Crew was the “back-up” band that literally defined a whole generation of music – the very music I grew up with in the 1960s. The reason the sounds on the Simon & Garfunkel album reminded me of Pet Sounds is because it is The Wrecking Crew playing the instruments on both records. It’s the same band, just different vocalists and songs.

The Wrecking Crew consisted of a group of musicians that backed songs from the top of the music charts of the 50s, 60s and 70s. They were responsible for Phil Spector’s groundbreaking “Wall of Sound” featured on such Spector enterprises as The Ronettes and The Crystals. But the Crew didn’t stop with Phil Spector. For nearly three decades, this uncredited band of musicians provided the pop sound that sold records by Elvis Presley, The Mamas & the Papas, the 5th Dimension, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Byrds, The Carpenters, Sam Cooke, Harry Nillson, Cher, The Monkees, and dozens of other musicians. Check out a sampling of Wrecking Crew songs here.

As I was watching the documentary, and the songs piled up, it was like flipping through the pop radio station dial on my portable radio when I was a kid. My daughter would squeal from the other room as one of her favorite tunes was sampled in the film. “I love that song!” I would chime in with, “I loved that song when I was a kid too!” What I didn’t know is how a specific sound manufactured by the Los Angeles music business was responsible for the soundtrack of my childhood and created by artists whose names I never knew until I watched this film.

Speaking of kids, the movie was made by Denny Tedesco, the son of one of the most hardworking members of the Wrecking Crew – guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The reason I don’t cite the date of the film during its first mention is because assigning a singular date to this movie would be as misleading as giving The Byrds credit for the music behind their hit single “Mr. Tambourine Man,” music which was played by The Wrecking Crew because The Byrds did not actually know how to play instruments when the song was released. The film took nearly two decades to make, and it was only with dedication, sweat, and a lot of scraped-together cash and materials that it ever was released to the public.

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3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets—17-year-old loses his life; Stand Your Grounder Gets Life in Prison

by Martha Rosenberg

Chicago

Who remembers the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida nine months after Trayvon Martin’s death in Sanford, Florida? The case received less media play than that of Trayvon Martin but both focused attention on white gun carriers profiling African-Americans as “bad guys” and using Florida’s extreme  laws to defend themselves. George Zimmerman famously said he fell scared for his life even though he was the stalker and Trayvon Martin was unarmed.

 Zimmerman did not invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in  George Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer charged with murdering Jordan Davis, did and a new Sundance documentary covers his trial.

 “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” from Participant Media, written and directed by Marc Silver, had its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center to a sold out audience in Chicago earlier this month. Lucia McBath, Jordan Davis’ mother spoke after the film which will be shown on HBO this fall

 Many remember the highlights of the case which was dubbed the “loud music” or “thug music” trial by the media. Angry about loud music in a car next to him at a gas station (while his girlfriend was buying something inside ) George Dunn got in an altercation with the four youths in the car and shot and killed Jordan Davis.

 Much of the movie’s tension centers on trial proceedings to determine if Dunn was really threatened or felt threatened before he shot 10 bullets into the car. Dunn’s lawyer, Cory Strolla, valiantly tries to prove in the film that Dunn was scared for his life before he shot, either seeing the barrel of a gun or a lead pipe, both of which are weapons that could do “harm” he notes. Dunn’s defense attorney puts law enforcement officers on the stand and tries to prove that they did a poor job of examining the crime scene–a weapon could indeed have been displayed, as Dunn claims, and then discarded, perhaps in a dumpster. But Dunn’s girlfriend Rhonda Rouer, denies on the stand that Dunn ever mentioned a gun or other weapon immediately after the shooting , later that evening or even the next day.

 Moved and relieved by Rouer’s testimony, which proved a turning point in the trial, leading to Dunn’s conviction, Lucia McBath says in the movie she does not know if Rouer has children of her own but felt that her compassion had inspired her to tell the truth about the shooting.

 “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” includes real time audio and video from the shooting as Rouer pays in the gas station while shots ring out and bystanders yell someone’s “shooting” and they better call “911.” The film intercuts between dramatic trial footage, close up interviews with Jordan’s friends and the effect of the shooting and trial on McBath and Jordan’s father Ron Davis and even the community.

 Despite its subject, there are some moments of laughter in “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” like when Jordan’s friends say he dressed sharp but was miserable at basketball and when they are asked on the witness stand why they bought gum at the gas station where the shooting occurred. (They wanted to meet girls and make sure their breath wasn’t bad, they say.)
 
Still, the broken lives from the shooting are hard to ignore–from friends and family of Jordan to those close to Michael Dunn. Upon sentencing Dunn to life in prison (after a second trial which found him guilty of murder) Circuit Court Judge Russell Healey admonishes Dunn that there would have been “nothing wrong” with retreating from the scene instead of shooting. Stand Your Ground laws remove the “duty to retreat.” There is nothing worse for a parent than losing a child the judge tells Dunn.
 
During  the question and answer period, McBath was asked if she or others had addressed Michael Dunn as the families of nine church worshippers killed in Charleston, S.C. in June, allegedly by a white supremacist, were said to have done

“We gave victim impact statements in court,” said McBath and I “told Michael Dunn I forgive him.” The reason she summoned forgiveness in her soul, said Jordan’s mother was forgiveness was “what I was teaching my child” and if she allowed “pain, anger and angst” to remain with her, “I could not do this work I was ordained to do.”  Lucia McBath is now working against gun violence.


 

Some in the audience at the screening of “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets,”  discussed the deaths of their own teenagers. “You are my role model,” one mother told McBath.

Borgman – my review

Posted: January 16, 2015 in -
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J. Giambrone

Borgman
This film will prompt about four exclamations of “What the fuck?”This is a deviant work, and one that I’m still trying to process. It’s a small Dutch indie, with a bourgeois veneer. But it’s also a twisted tale that seems to merge class conflict with some kind of unexplained demonology. A harsh dichotomy separates the rich family from the servant class invaders who infiltrate and take control of their minds.

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The film seems to point to a revolutionary mindset, but the story comes at it from left field. Also there are children involved, completely vulnerable. The parents and the children are divided. An uncomfortable obliviousness overtakes the family, and it leaves them helpless. At the center is the mother, who is captivated by Borgman.

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By indulging her lust, she puts them all at risk. But since there is a magical element, it seems that she has no free will…

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