Interstellar

Interstellar

Interstellar is the latest conceptual tour-de-force from Christopher Nolan, in which he traverses the scientific mysteries of deep space, while grounding his story in themes of love, family, and human perseverance. Although Nolan borrows from the likes of Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Ridley Scott, and others, Interstellar feels original and daring in its own right, as perhaps the first major feature film to reliably tackle 21st Century theories of astrophysics.

>Woes Be Gone

 Last Sunday, October 25th, I caught a quick clip of A Prairie Home Companion on my way home from a bike ride. It turns out that the episode was a rebroadcast from 2011. What caught my ear was a story about a young man who had found himself at stagnant in his post-collegiate life. 

>Saving Cinema: GIFF 2015 at Channelside Cinemas

The Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) found itself left hanging a few months ago when it was unable to secure the Hyde Park Cinebistro or the CentroYbor theatres for the 2015 film festival. Those venues had been two killer locations for the festival for the past several years. Centro Ybor had historic Ybor City while CineBistro featured a relaxed and upscale atmosphere with food delivered directly to your over-stuffed sofa chairs.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent

The wisdom of the elderly is priceless, but when your elderly babysitter owes money to loan sharks, the bank, and even to his own pregnant stripper/prostitute girlfriend, take the wisdom with a grain of salt. In St. Vincent, an unkempt, strapped-for-cash man becomes an unlikely babysitter and role model to a kid struggling to adapt to his new school. While certainly not the most original plot, St. Vincent finds its own stride and offers a satisfying spat of gags amongst some exceptional performances.

Harmontown

Harmontown

The critically-acclaimed, but low-rated cult sensation Community underwent an upheaval after its third season, when Dan Harmon, its creator, was fired. Just before his exit, he started a monthly live show called “Harmontown”, which became a weekly show and podcast and post-occupational outlet for his creativity. Harmontown is a documentary that chronicles a selective tour the self-titled podcast undertook several months after Harmon’s termination.

Field of Lost Shoes

Field of Lost Shoes

In 1863, Ulysses S. Grant (Tom Skerritt) is appointed as the Chief of Union Forces by Abraham Lincoln, who is under pressure to achieve more progress on the frontlines as the presidential election is around the corner. A freshman class of teenagers enroll into the Virginia Military Institute as the Civil War continues to reshape the American landscape and mindset. Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge (Jason Isaacs) of the Confederacy recognizes the incoming threat, and hastily puts together a hodgepodge of forces, including the VMI Corps of Cadets of teenagers to fight in the Battle of New Market.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Something has to fill up the 24-hour news cycle. If it’s not the generic panel shows that manufacture news in real-time, it’s the gas-bag pundits that perpetuate fear and manipulate the public’s perceptions. Gone Girl revels in satirizing the media circus as it overwhelms a suburban Missouri town when a wealthy woman goes missing.

The Drop

The Drop

In the testosterone-drenched film The Drop, director Michaël Roskam uses Dennis Lehane’s screenplay (his first), a fine supporting role from James Gandolfini (his last), and a puppy named Rocco to create the space for a career-defining performance from actor Tom Hardy.

In this his second film, Roskam’s artistry—seen full-blown in his Oscar-nominated Belgian-language film Bullhead (2011)—transfers well to the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and cinematographer Nicolas Karakstansis’ early-winter palette provides the perfect canvas for Lehane’s muscular dialogue.

Leaving Circadia

Leaving Circadia

Leaving Circadia portrays extended adolescence no differently than what we’ve seen before with a pacing and style that doesn’t take any chances. This romantic comedy strives to bring home the point of pursuing American dreams, but the film fails to see past its own hypocritical plasticity as it is just as predictable and light-hearted as any other date-night American rom-com.

The Congress

The Congress

Equally clever and weird, The Congress examines the century-old fight for artistic autonomy by exploring the consumption of the celebrity through a contrarian message of hope in the film industry. Using both live-action footage and a plethora of animation styles, The Congress is bound to make an impact while joining the growing list of Hollywood satires.

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