Life After Sin (This Week’s Movies)

Josh Brolin, ape-like and none too bright, in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Josh Brolin, ape-like and none too bright, in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Links my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. “People are constantly talking about how rough it is and how lethal the people are. They left out one thing: You could also die of boredom here.”

If I Stay. “Most notable for its grimness.” (If Herald paywall is an issue, the Seattle Weekly version is here.)

Alive Inside. “A work of activism, and a beautiful one.” (Weekly version here.)

Life After Beth. “For issues of tone, please consult Seinfeld episodes concerning Jerry’s parents.” (Weekly version here.)

The most recent installment of Framing Pictures is now online and watchable here. In this one I join Richard T. Jameson and Bruce Reid for a conversation about Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Eric Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale, and a few confessions on the subject of Guilty Pleasures. The program will be broadcast on the Seattle Channel (often channel 21 hereabouts) at 10 p.m. Friday night, 11 p.m. Saturday night, 8 p.m. Sunday night, and a buncha other times; see the schedule here.

Check the Overlook Podcast for our latest movie-talk here.

I’ve been popping in on KIRO radio’s “Mark Rahner Show” on weekends lately; here’s the link to the most recent session, in which we talk about The Giver and play an exciting round of Focus Group. Before I come on, listen to the folks from Scarecrow Video talk about their Kickstarter campaign, which you can check out here (yes, I appear in the video).


Movie Diary 8/20/2014

Return of the Secaucus Seven (John Sayles, 1980). Directing debut of John Sayles, who will be honored at this year’s Port Townsend Film Festival in September. It meant something at the time, and it still means something now – although now it no longer looks quite as much like people growing up as it does people being young. A nice film, a little scruffy around the edges, as it should be.

Movie Diary 8/19/2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, 2014). You saw the first one, right? This is more of what they did there. With any luck, when you see the film, it will not involve sitting through a live red-carpet event being broadcast in 3D in your theater. (full review 8/22)

Movie Diary 8/18/2014

If I Stay (R.J. Cutler, 2014). Can a high-school cellist (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a neo-punk rocker (Jamie Blackley) find happiness in the series of flashbacks that follow a devastating car accident? If it can happen anywhere, it can happen in Portland. (full review 8/22)

Love is Strange (Ira Sachs, 2014). John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as longtime companions whose Manhattan existence is upended by money and family issues. Sachs continues to work his interesting groove, in a film that strongly calls back to the Leo McCarey classic Make Way for Tomorrow. (full review 9/12)

Dog Giver Team (This Week’s Movies)

Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges: The Giver

Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges: The Giver

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Giver. “The promise doesn’t pan out.”

The Dog. “A rock turned over to expose a very weird pocket of life.” (In case of Herald paywall issues, here’s the link to the Weekly version.)

The Kill Team. “Creates a portrait of occupational boredom, anger, and resentment, spinning in a perpetual cycle.” (Link to Weekly version.)

New installment of the Overlook Podcast up this week. I didn’t go for The Hundred-Foot Journey, but it led Steve Scher and me to have a conversation about the film and the appeal of food movies; listen in here.

Sunday August 17 at 2 p.m., the Magic Lantern series at the Frye Art Museum presents Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s 2011 film On the Ice, a drama set in a tight-knit Inuit community. Performer Allison Warden will attend the screening. See here for more info.

On successive Thursday nights, September 4 & 11, I’ll be leading a workshop at the Northwest Film Forum called “Cinematic Space and Sound.” The first session will concentrate on the evocative use of screen space, the second on masters of sound. More information here.

Movie Diary 8/13/2014

The Guest (Adam Wingard, 2014). A man (Dan Stevens) shows up at the home of a grieving family, claiming to be a platoon-mate of their late son. It’s almost Halloween. The director of Who’s Next returns with another blend of straight suspense and self-aware humor – and for the most part, this guy knows what he’s doing. (full review 9/?)

Thursday night at 6:30 at the Olympic Sculpture Park, my wife and I lead an “Art Hit” tour through the park; she’ll take an environmental angle, I’ll go cinematic. It’s a free event and a festive evening (live music, lotsa food, live theater), so come along and enjoy the pleasant vibe. More info here.

Movie Diary 8/12/2014

The Giver (Phillip Noyce, 2014). In a future society of sameness, a teenager (Brenton Thwaites) receives the eye-opening truth from the Giver (Jeff Bridges). Feels like a much bigger film hurried into 94 minutes. (full review 8/15)

Have you kicked in to the Kickstarter for Scarecrow Video’s transition into a non-profit organization? Check out the details here. Even my appearance in the video shouldn’t hurt this thing’s chances.

Movie Diary 8/11/2014

Gog (Herbert L. Strock, 1954). Cautionary Cold War robot tale from the director of I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. Richard Egan travels to a desert facility where Herbert Marshall’s team of scientists is working on space travel and stuff. Some pretty decent science talk and a surprisingly robust body count. Produced by Ivan Tors.

Storm Journey Magic (This Week’s Movies)

Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight

Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight

Links to reviews I wrote this week for the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Into the Storm. “Sadly, the mayhem is periodically interrupted by scenes of people talking, although I use the terms ‘people’ and ‘talking’ loosely.”

The Hundred-Foot Journey. “As premeditated as a Marvel Comics blockbuster.” (If you have Herald paywall issues, the Seattle Weekly version is here.)

Magic in the Moonlight. “Allen’s job these days is creating fantasies that lead to some kind of truth.”

What If. “The wisecracking zingers and cascading conversations rarely pause.” (Seattle Weekly version here.)

Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater. “Watching two directors play catch is not a guarantee of interest.” (Seattle Weekly version here.)

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I talk about the levels of magic moonlit in Woody Allen’s latest film. Listen here.

Thursday August 14, join us for a “Summer at SAM” event at the Olympic Sculpture Park. At the “Art Hit Tour” at 6:30 my wife and I will lead a stroll as we cover two aspects of the park: its cinematic possibilities and ecological awareness. The event is free and there’s lots of other stuff going on to sample. Read more about that night and the other “Summer at SAM” events here. Check the environmental blog Present Occupant here.

Movie Diary 8/7/2014

The Dog (Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren, 2013). You will need a shower after bearing witness to the true story behind the guy Dog Day Afternoon was based on. This is another in the subgenre of wacky black-comic documentaries about criminals, a form that generates queasy feelings aplenty – but a wild story, to be sure. (full review 8/15)


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