Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Movie Review: 'Detroit' burns down with its message

Detroit (2017, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. U.S.A., English, Color, 143 minutes) The most important thing about a society steeped in the arts and culture is the ability to observe our own behavior. Every form of media can be used to deliver a message about who we are, or who we have been, as a civilized group of people. In the history of American cinema we have seen film used to glorify the KKK ("The Birth of a Nation") and even excoriating a presidency ("Fahrenheit 9/11"). Needless to say, it's one of the most powerful and controversial mediums in the world for the stories it tells. "Detroit" is a movie presented as a contemporary art piece that exploits extremely raw emotions of modern events to create a telling of a previous heinous event in our history. The film is as empty, shallow and void of feeling as the society we live in.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Movie Review: 'Dunkirk' is an intense, beautiful film

Dunkirk (2017, directed by Christopher Nolan. U.S.A./U.K., English, Color, 106 minutes) In the realm of war movies, the most memorable one of recent years is 1998's "Saving Private Ryan" - even though "The Hurt Locker" is better. It's violent, it's bloody, there's a human interest aspect to it, and it has pretty boys in it acting out a young man's fantasy of shooting guns and fighting off the Nazis.

Almost 20 years later and Christopher Nolan releases "Dunkirk", a film with a keen eye for suspense and storytelling that it easily eclipses Spielberg's one-trick pony of a film.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Movie Review: Emotions sink like a stone in dried up 'Wind River'

The Weinstein Company
Wind River (2017, directed by Taylor Sheridan. U.S.A., English, Color, 111 minutes) In his directorial debut following his Oscar nomination for writing last year's "Hell or High Water", Taylor Sheridan continues his passion for crime with "Wind River", the incredibly mean-spirited and drab story about a young girl found frozen to death in the middle of a Wyoming Indian reservation. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen team up as the Fish and Wildlife Service officer and FBI agent, respectively, tasked with combating personal conflicts and cultural differences to solve the crime in the barren, frozen lands.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Movie Review: 'Lady Macbeth' is a powerful masterclass

Lady Macbeth (2017, directed by William Oldroyd. England, English, Color, 89 minutes) Lady Macbeth is a memorable figure in Shakespeare's epic tragedy "Macbeth," but the film "Lady Macbeth", an ode to the manipulative wife of the titular character, is not the main character of this film. Instead, a young bride named Catherine is the driving force of this morbid story set in mid-19th century rural England, but her affects are reminiscent to those of the Lady herself. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Movie Review: Simmering tension ignites 'The Beguiled'

Courtesy of Focus Features
The Beguiled (2017, directed by Sofia Coppola. U.S.A, English, Color, 94 minutes) A group of young women, their teacher and the headmistress are confronted with a shocking reality that has yet to fall before them. A wounded Union soldier is brought to them in to their Virginia school during the thick of the Civil War. But it's not the war lying right there at their doorstep that's intrusive for them. Oh no. It's the ruggedly handsome soldier who inflames repressed sexual tension among the women, and it fills the screen with an intensity that slowly explodes over the course of 90 minutes.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Media Film Festival Returns Tonight!

Grab the popcorn and the quarters for the parking meters because the Media Film Festival is back.

The homegrown festival dedicated to local and international short films returns for its 10th outing on April 7 and 8 with a lineup of 36 films that include student-produced narratives, world premiere showings and a block of horror films.

“It just gets to be more and more fun every year,” said the festival’s marketing director Emily Scheivert. “It’s wonderful, so much fun to put together.”

To find selections for the fest, a dozen members of a screening jury watched 100 submissions to weed out the best, the worst and those in the middle. It was mathematical, for the most part, to pick this year’s selections.

“While the scoring, the balloting is important there is sometimes a bit of subjectivity in that middle area …. Sometimes you go back to judgment night (when final selections are chosen) and then pick who they like best,” said Scheivert.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The 59th Annual Grammy Winners

Winners in over 80 categories in the fields of pop, rap, classical and music video and so many more were announced during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. The bulk of the winners were announced during the premiere ceremony before the main telecast. 

Beyoncé led the slate with nine nominations this year picking up best music video at the premiere ceremony and then best contemporary album for "Lemonade".

Adele was the biggest winner of the night winning in all five categories she was nominated for: album of the year and pop vocal album for "25" and record of the year, song of the year and best pop solo performance for "Hello".

Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West earned eight nominations each this year, but only Drake was able to earn wins winning best rap song and rap/sung performance for "Hotline Bling."

David Bowie earned four posthumous Grammys winning best alternative album and best engineered album, non-classical for "Blackstar," and earning a rock performance and rock song win for the title track. "Blackstar" also won best recording package for its art director. He won his first Grammy in 1985 for best short form music video.

Chance the Rapper won best rap performance at the premiere ceremony before claiming the primetime telecast's first award of the night, best new artist and, later, best rap album over album of the year nominee "Views".

Winners will be posted live throughout the afternoon and evening.

Record of the Year- "Hello," Adele.

Album of the Year- "25," Adele.

Song of the Year- "Hello," Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin, songwriters. (Adele)

Best New Artist- Chance the Rapper


Best Pop Solo Performance- "Hello," Adele.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance- "Stressed Out," Twenty One Pilots

Best Pop Album- "25," Adele.

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album- "Summertime; Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin," Willie Nelson.


Best Dance/Electronica Album- "Skin," Flume

Best Dance Recording- "Don't Let me Down," The Chainsmokers featuring Daya