ROCK HISTORY: LOVE – REEL TO REAL (1974)

The late Arthur Lee and Love (the band Lee led & fronted) remains one of the most under-rated bands from the 60s/70s. Well, at least compared to their peers. Already well-documented is the fact that the likes of Jim Morrison (The Doors), Jimi Hendrix and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) were Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: COMING MOVIES – APRIL 2015

Seriously folks, the real movie season begins for film buffs on the 23rd when Avengers: Age of Ultron opens! And just like the first quarter of the year, it’s slim pickings. But here are a couple of movies to consider this month. Based on brand recognition alone, the 7th movie Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: COMING MOVIES FOR MARCH 2015

So… February was largely disappointing for new movies. Kingsman: The Secret Service was alright but Jupiter Ascending was abysmal. Sigh. Pray March will be better. 5th March CHAPPIE Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Starring Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel. Getting somewhat nervous about this one. Blomkamp did not do too well Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL – DOES AMERICAN SNIPER GLORIFY WAR OR CONDEMN IT?

Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Jason Hall.  Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller. So will the real American Sniper please stand up? The film, a biographical account of Navy SEALs sharpshooter Chris Kyle –  deadliest marksman in U.S. military history – has split US audiences down the middle. From liberals decrying Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: WHIPLASH POSES THE QUESTION – IS MUSICAL GENIUS A PRODUCT OF OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOR OR CREATIVE INSPIRATION?

Written & directed by Damien Chazelle Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons & Paul Reiser. Whiplash – the story of Andrew Neiman (Teller), a young jazz drummer who attends one of the best music schools in the country under the tutelage of Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons), the school’s fearsome maestro of Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: BIRDMAN SOARS ABOVE THE COMPETITION & LIVES UP TO THE HYPE

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr & Armando Bo. Starring  Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts. Nominated for a total of nine Oscars, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is surrealist black comedy at its best. Mocking the artifice of celebrity and Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING IS MORE THAN THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, IT IS THE AFFIRMATION OF LIFE ITSELF

Directed by James Marsh. Written by Anthony McCarten. Starring Eddie Redmayne & Felicity Jones.  The Theory of Everything is a beautiful film. Beautifully shot, beautifully scored but ultimately, it is a story about two beautiful people who had to reinvent themselves and their relationship constantly in the face of challenging Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL: MIKE LEIGH PROVIDES A SLICE OF AN ARTISTIC LIFE IN MR. TURNER

Written & directed by Mike Leigh. Starring Timothy Spall. Premiering at Cannes last year, Leigh’s biopic of famed English painter JMW Turner has already garnered a Best Actor award for Spall’s performance in the lead role and a special jury prize for the film’s cinematography for Dick Pope. That just about sums Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL

Is Spike Jonze’s Her a geek film? One could argue that it is a scifi movie but the elements are so marginal that in fact it’s probably more of a romantic comedy-drama with superficial scifi tropes. BUT. This last week, I have been speaking to my students about the purpose Continue Reading

REEL TO REAL

David O. Russell has done it again! After the director’s success with last year’s romance-drama Silver Linings Playbook, Russell puts his own spin on “ABSCAM” a well-publicized scandal from the late 70s. The storyline behind American Hustle is quite complicated and difficult to summarize in a sentence or two but I Continue Reading