Saturday, July 30, 2016
In Cafe Society, a young man goes to Los Angeles to get out of NYC and find a different life. He feels stifled by his family in New York, but turns to family for help in finding a life in Los Angeles. An odd love triangle forms, he learns his professional strengths and ultimately finds love, success and security. Can he hold on to it? Is it enough for him? Decent film.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Miles Davis was a brilliant jazz musician. In the film Miles Ahead his story is told in flashbacks and present day. Addiction, relationships and racism all play big parts in his journey personally and professionally. I liked the structure and performances in this film. Another good rental.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
In Born To Be Blue we get the age old struggle of the strung out musician in the story of Chet Baker. Not only is this gifted trumpet player compromised by his substance abuse, but physical injuries make playing a challenge as well. A sad story told in excellent performances. Good rental.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The story of young man from England and his dream to be an Olympic ski jumper is told in Eddie the Eagle. Though not the best athlete, he is driven and optimistic. He is oppressed and taunted by the Olympic authorities and athletes and encouraged by his coach and family. A feel-good story with a heart and great performances. Good rental.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Yo-Yo Ma has been on my radar for decades. Mot only for his music, but for his personality and activism. In the documentary The Music of Strangers we see his journey in these worlds. He approaches music as a window to different cultures with the creation of The Silk Road Ensemble. We are taken on journeys to the musicians' countries and are shown how the culture of their roots affects their music. A diverse group making beautiful music with so much joy. The audience I saw it with sat through the credits to enjoy the music, and applauded at the end. Wonderful music, wonderful stories, wonderful film.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Not everyone remebers events in the same way. In The Adderall Diaries a young man writes a book recounting his childhood as he remembers it. His father and family remember it very differently. There is struggle, there are drugs, there is sex. The editing in this film is interesting and jarring. The performances are intense and the story well told. I liked this film.
Serious themes are tackled in the animated film Zootopia. Bigotry, bullying, stereotypes, loyalty, friendship, hard work, family and tolerance. There are some intense scenes involving crime which concerns me for little ones. The animation is vibrant, and there are a lot of openings for discussion of important topics for parents. There are many light moments too, but there are a lot of life lessons among the laughs. Good film.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
The cast of Hail, Caesar! is a Hollywood Who's Who list. The story of a studio star who is kidnapped and held for ransom is silly and raucous. The characters are caricatures. I loved the musical numbers, especially No Dames with a surprisingly dynamic performance from Channing Tatum. Fun film.
Sunday, July 03, 2016
I had heard of the bassist Jaco on WTF and was happy to see this documentary about Jaco Pastorius on Netflix Instant. His short life was full of innovative music and volitile behavior. The latter did him in. His music was brilliant, what a talent. Another wonderful music documentary.
Saturday, July 02, 2016
The film Swiss Army Man is often referred to as "the farting corpse movie." It is so much more. It is a story of isolation, coping, friendship and love. The creativity of the filming and performances in this film are striking and impressive. There is laughter, there are tears. A unique story told in a unique way. I love this film.