When a Song Gets Bigger than the Movie: Stay Alive

This one is for all the daydreamers and travelers out there who want to be anywhere but stuck at home right now. The song ‘Stay Alive’ is one of several the Argentinian-Swedish indie folk singer/songwriter José González contributed to the soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a 2013 adventure drama/fantasy starring Ben Stiller, Sean Penn,Continue reading “When a Song Gets Bigger than the Movie: Stay Alive”

The Dawn Wall

Release: Friday, September 14, 2018 (limited) →Netflix Directed by: Josh Lowell; Peter Mortimer Generally speaking, if you want climbing films done right, you turn to the Lowell brothers. In 1997 Josh and Brett Lowell co-founded Big UP Productions, and over the last two decades have documented some of the most stunning climbing achievements across the globe, evenContinue reading “The Dawn Wall”

Queen of Katwe

Release: Friday, September 23, 2016 (limited) [Theater] Written by: William Wheeler Directed by: Mira Nair Despite the illusion of diversity and the notion that films are now being tailor-made for niched audiences, director Mira Nair’s latest feels like a rarity, one that’s not only good for the soul, but good for Disney. Here is a work of substanceContinue reading “Queen of Katwe”

30-for-30: Four Falls of Buffalo

Release: Saturday, December 12, 2015 [Netflix] Directed by: Ken Rodgers It’s easy to see why Ken Rodgers’ retrospective has been described as a love letter, not just to sports fanatics but to the city of Buffalo itself. Pro football has a certain stigma attached to it in this part of the country. The Bills are more freelyContinue reading “30-for-30: Four Falls of Buffalo”

Paul G — #6

Last time we were here, Paul was being held hostage by Samuel L. Jackson in a tense dramatic thriller F. Gary Gray made back in the late ’90s. Let’s negotiate our way past that and look at a more substantial supporting role he’s had as part of one of Ron Howard’s many prestige pictures. HereContinue reading “Paul G — #6”

Creed

Release: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 [Theater] Written by: Ryan Coogler; Aaron Covington Directed by: Ryan Coogler Perhaps it’s the fact that Creed feels more akin to a warm family reunion than a cold cash grab that unnecessarily extends a beloved boxing franchise that has allowed it to curry favor with both critics and audiences alike. The end product certainly doesn’t stand on shaky legs, with earlyContinue reading “Creed”

The 33

Release: Friday, November 13, 2015 (limited) [Theater] Written by: Mikko Alanne; Craig Borten; Michael Thomas; Jose Rivera Directed by: Patricia Riggen Patricia Riggen’s optimistic, spiritual account of the 2010 San José mining accident in which 33 miners were trapped 2,300 feet below ground for nearly three months collapses under the weight of a feebly written and executed script. DisasterContinue reading “The 33”

Spare Parts

Release: Friday, January 16, 2015 (limited)  [Theater] Written by: Elissa Matsueda Directed by: Sean McNamara Well-intentioned but also thoroughly cliched, Sean McNamara’s strict adherence to the inspirational Wired.com article ‘La Vida Robot’ still manages to surprise with an atypical performance from George Lopez. Lopez plays Fredi Cameron, a substitute teacher whose inexperience with the troubled Carl Hayden Community High studentContinue reading “Spare Parts”

The Theory of Everything

Release: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 [Theater] Written by: Anthony McCarten  Directed by: James Marsh If you want to talk ambition, meet British director James Marsh. He once thought it realistic to stuff everything Stephen Hawking-related into a two-hour romantic drama. There are obvious issues with such a strategy. Not so obvious perhaps are the compromises he’s made in producing something worth watching. Or, maybe theyContinue reading “The Theory of Everything”

The Fault in Our Stars

Release: Friday, June 6, 2014 [Theater] For every hundred or so saccharine romances that Hollywood will churn out in a year, probability suggests there will be the odd exception or two that comes along and says “enough is enough.” The cinematic adaptation of John Green’s best-selling novel, The Fault in Our Stars, is at once aContinue reading “The Fault in Our Stars”