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Tribeca Capsule Review: Rock'n Roll

Apr 24 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221472:43531:0[/embed] Rock'n RollDirector: Guillaume CanetRating: TBDRelease Date: February 15, 2017 (France)Country: France  While making a drama about a pastor and his daughter, Guillaume's younger co-star Camille Rowe mentions he's of an older generation of French actors that her friends no longer find sexy. He becomes extremely self-conscious about his age and how people think of him, and embarks on a journey of self-destructive narcissism in the quest to be younger and more rock n roll. Canet allows himself to be a hapless buffoon as this goes on, and he's completely oblivious to how silly he is. Such is the power of this celebrity vanity. In movies about the elderly acting like younger people, there's a sense of comic nobility. Look at that old man drive like a 25-year-old racecar driver; look at that old man lead a tango with a woman one-third his age. In movies about middle-aged people acting younger, filmmakers often treat their 40-something heroes as clowns. For the first half of Rock'n Roll, Canet sustains an industry satire that consistently bites at Guillaume's ego. He falls further and further into a pathetic spiral of vanity, and can't recognize how pitiful it makes him look to Marion and the French public at large. Rather than learn some life lesson about aging gracefully, Guillaume doesn't learn. Vanity can metastasize. At that point Rock'n Roll shifts from satire to an off-the-rails farce, and I'm not sure it works. Sure, it subverts the explicit and implicit moralizing common in mid-life crises narratives, but are the 40-something clowns that senseless? Or maybe that's the point, and the indictment is about the persistent cycle of oblivious buffoonery that so many stars fall into and never escape. I guess I'm of two minds on Rock'n Roll, and it at least leaves me curious about Canet's other movies he's directed and the tone they strike. I'm also curious about my own desire for moralizing in this movie. Would that have made a difference, or maybe I should I just sit back and try to laugh. But am I laughing with the caricature or at some pitiable analog for so many stars who fell?
Review: Rock'n Roll photo
Vanity in middle age is a bad look
I feel like I might have appreciated Rock'n Roll more if I was familiar with French pop culture and the country's film industry. Writer, director, and star Guillaume Canet packs his comedy with real-life French celebrities pl...

Tribeca Review: LA 92

Apr 21 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221425:43497:0[/embed] LA 92Directors: Daniel Lindsay and T.J. MartinRating: RRelease Date: April 28, 2019 (NYC, LA); April 30, 2019 (National Geographic Channel)  Lindsay and Martin start not with the LA riots of 1992, but instead the Watts riots of 1965. Another case of police brutality and violence, another instance of outrage and destruction. Riots might be viewed as a type of self-harm. When a community is helpless to redress a wrong, they wound themselves. It makes sense that the specter of Watts lingers through the film, suggesting an inescapable inevitability of violence in the face of cyclical, systemic, and maybe even perpetual racism. These are decades and decades of oppression manifested in a grandiose act of self-mutilation. Tensions ratchet up following the beating of Rodney King. LA 92 notes the death of Latasha Harlins as part of the fomenting rage, which would lead to a lot of Korean businesses getting targeted during the riots themselves. Harlins was allegedly trying to shoplift orange juice at a convenience store. She got into a struggle with store owner Soon Ja Du, who shot Harlins dead at the register. Harlins was just 15 years old. The verdict in the murder case implies a lot of unsavory things about how the minority status of blacks and Asians are so different in the eyes of white America. (This goes beyond the purview of this review, but I couldn't help but think of the myth of the model minority that seems to pit blacks and Asians against one another, as if the American experience for these ethnic groups are commensurate simply by dint of minority status.) The build to the riots themselves on the day of the Rodney King verdict is so ominous. It's played out through a series of escalations; an argument over donuts, shoutdowns in the courthouse parking lot, feet on the ground, gatherings in churches. The anger has been shut in so long, it can't be contained. The cops are evacuated out of fear for their safety. The social order breaks down. Then the riot happens. The riot on screen is an unrelenting cinematic assault for at least an hour. The rage is palpable, as are the confusion and sadness. There's also a lot of sadistic happiness, the type of manic glee that comes with vengeance and feelings of dominance. A man's face gets caved in on camera, and people laugh at him in triumph. One scene I can't get out of my head. A man gets beaten, and his genitals are exposed. His attackers spray paint his face and and his private parts black. He quivers on the ground in the way that people in movies quiver when they're about to die. And then a preacher approaches the man slowly, fire and rubble around him; there's a Bible in one hand and his arms are outstretched like Christ. That's end times imagery; it happened in my own lifetime. Occasionally it feels like the gyre of a score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans will completely overtake the madness on screen. Yet the imagery is so potent and the emotions are so raw, the music felt like perfect accompaniment. There is nothing subtle or subdued about what's happening or what anyone is feeling in those moments. That score also enhances the unfolding chaos of what happened. As businesses in Koreatown are targeted, Korean men with guns fire at passing cars. One guy unloads a whole clip from his handgun with abandon and a psychotic determination on his face. It's no surprise that LA 92 refuses to provide a conciliatory conclusion. Rodney King's "Can we all get along?" was such a punchline of a quote even in 1992, but to see the full press conference is another matter. King's so overwhelmed saying those words. There's nothing to laugh about. It's one of the most earnest expressions of empathy he could offer, tinged by an awareness of how meek and helpless it might sound. So many images and moments of LA 92 will haunt me, but the new context of King's question chills me when I think of it. The answer seems like, "I'm not sure."
Review: LA 92 photo
Chilling, apocalyptic, and timely
It's been 25 years since the LA riots, and there are a number of films coming out that revisit this harrowing moment in the country's history. The most high-profile might be Let It Fall: LA from 1982-1992 from John Ridley, sc...

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Will Smith may voice Genie in live action prequel of Disney's Aladdin


Bradley Cooper as Apu anyone?
Apr 21
// Rick Lash
We haven't heard much about Disney's live action Aladdin prequel. In fact, it's been close to two years since we posted news here on Flixist, and that was basically just to say that they are in fact working on one. But now th...
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Director James Gunn says Guardians of the Galaxy will be a trilogy


But never fear, they'll remake in a year
Apr 21
// Rick Lash
At the Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 premiere, Director James Gunn, who was confirmed earlier this week to be returning to helm Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, indicated that GoTG would be a trilogy, at least in its curren...

Captain Marvel directors photo
Captain Marvel directors

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck will co-direct Captain Marvel for the MCU


Indie directors going large again
Apr 19
// Hubert Vigilla
Continuing the trend of hiring indie directors to helm blockbuster films, Variety broke news today that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have been hired to co-direct Captain Marvel. The duo has been collaborating together since meet...
Awesome Mix Vol. 2 photo
Awesome Mix Vol. 2

Here's the full Awesome Mix tracklist for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


ELO, Parliment, and The 'Hoff
Apr 19
// Hubert Vigilla
The Awesome Mix from Guardians of the Galaxy was a nice in-story mix-tape that was loaded with good songs and emotional impact. Suicide Squad tried to copy the Awesome Mix formula with mixed results. Truly, Red Bone's "Come a...
Kingsman photo
Kingsman

First teaser for Kingsman: The Golden Circle plays up teaser status


Don't worry, you can slow it down
Apr 19
// Matthew Razak
In a world where we get trailers for trailers (we've sworn to never put one of those up) it's refreshing to see a teaser trailer as self aware as the one for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It's also a brilliant piece of marketi...
SyFy's Krypton trailer photo
SyFy's Krypton trailer

Trailer for SyFy's Krypton follows the life of Superman's grandfather


Supergrandad
Apr 18
// Hubert Vigilla
A while ago we heard word that writer/director David Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel) was working on a SyFy show about Krypton, the home planet of Superman. We now have a trailer for the show, which features Seg-El (Camero...
Carmen Sandiego Netflix photo
Carmen Sandiego Netflix

New Carmen Sandiego animated series coming to Netflix in 2019


Needs more Rockapella
Apr 18
// Hubert Vigilla
If you're a person of a certain age (i.e., you're old), you probably have some fond memories of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? There were the computer games in the 80s and 90s, which spun off into a children's game sh...
Tribeca Film Festival photo
Get ready for some filmstuffs
It's that time of year again. This week, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival kicks off in New York City. Running from April 19th through the 30th, the Tribeca Film Festival will feature countless narrative and documentary premiere...

Hans Zimmer live photo
Hans Zimmer live

Watch Hans Zimmer play the Inception soundtrack live at Coachella


BWAAAAAAMCHELLAWWWWWWWM
Apr 17
// Hubert Vigilla
As we reported last year, acclaimed film composer and BWAAMaster General Hans Zimmer is going on tour. The world tour included a stop at Coachella, because when I think of Coachella, I think of BWAAAAM. If you're wondering ho...
Gunn doing Guardians 3 photo
Gunn doing Guardians 3

James Gunn will write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3


Come and get your trilogy of love
Apr 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of our most anticipated movies of 2017. It comes out May 5, 2017, but there's already some information on the sequel. James Gunn previously confirmed there will be a Guardians of the Gala...
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Fate of the Furious races past global box office opening weekend record with $532.5M


Audiences still love cars, explosions
Apr 17
// Rick Lash
Universal's The Fate of the Furious, aka Vin Diesel Wears a Tank Top While Driving a Car 8, just did a rolling stop right through the previous record for biggest global opening weekend of all time with a haul of $532.5M, pass...
Carrie Fisher Star Wars 9 photo
Carrie Fisher Star Wars 9

Carrie Fisher will NOT appear in Star Wars IX says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy


Wonder what that means for The Last Jedi
Apr 16
// Hubert Vigilla
Last Monday we reported that Carrie Fisher will appear in Star Wars Episode IX without the use of CGI doubles. Todd Fisher, Carrie Fisher's brother, mentioned this during a TCM event. As it turns out, Todd Fisher seems to hav...
Last Jedi/Force Awakens photo
Last Jedi/Force Awakens

Watch the Last Jedi and Force Awakens trailers side by side for Star Wars teaser symmetry


It's like poetry, so that they rhyme
Apr 16
// Hubert Vigilla
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought the hype. There's some beautiful imagery as Rey trains with Luke Skywalker; ditto when those landspeeders leave brilliant red smoke in their wake while racing across a de...
R-rated Watchmen cartoon photo
R-rated Watchmen cartoon

Warner Bros making R-rated animated Watchmen adaptation that no one wants


Milk that IP until it bleeds
Apr 15
// Hubert Vigilla
According to Comic Book Resources, Warner Bros. will release a cartoon adaptation of Watchmen that will likely be rated R. CBR obtained a screenshot from a WB "A-List Community" survey that describes the project as a faithful made-for-video adaptation of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons comic. Hurm. Here's the screenshot in question:
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Dolph Lundgren to play Aquaboy in Aquaman, or something


Vincent Chase IS Aquaman, forever.
Apr 14
// Rick Lash
At some point, somebody decided to do something with all the 80s, 90s, and early 00s decaying action heroes of films past and made a little move called The Expendables. In the process, they revived the dormant career of one s...
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Jude Law is young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts sequel


Well, Jude is a Fantastic Beast...
Apr 14
// Rick Lash
  Yesterday, news broke that Jude Law will portray Albus Dumbledore, beloved character and Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in the sequel to 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Fantas...
Last Jedi photo
Dark. Light. So much more.
We're going to get a lot of Star Wars trailers in the coming years. In fact we've had plenty just off of the first two Disney released films, and yet the second that theme kicks in I get excited like its the first time a...

40 Years of Star Wars photo
40 Years of Star Wars

Watch the 40 Years of Star Wars panel from 2017's Star Wars Celebration


That's a lot of years, dude
Apr 14
// Hubert Vigilla
We're all expecting the first trailer for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi today. Down at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, the panel for The Last Jedi starts at 11:00am EST. It truly is a good Friday. (I...
Coming to America photo
Coming to America

Coming to America 2 gets original's screenwriters


This doesn't make it good
Apr 14
// Matthew Razak
What... Why... The Coming to America sequel might make the least sense of all sequels ever, but it's happening. The Tracking Board has confirmed that Paramount is mounting the Eddie Murphy led sequel and has pulled in th...
Carrie Fisher tribute photo
Carrie Fisher tribute

Watch a funny, moving tribute to Carrie Fisher from the 2017 Star Wars Celebration


I know
Apr 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Carrie Fisher's passing late last year was tragic and unexpected. It did, however, prompt an outpouring of love and praise for Fisher's work, not just in Star Wars but as a writer, a script doctor, a performer, a dog owner, a...
Mary and Witch's Flower photo
Mary and Witch's Flower

New Mary and the Witch's Flower trailer showcases magic from ex-Ghibli talent


From Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Apr 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Even though Hayao Miyazaki is no longer retired, Studio Ghibli is in a transition period. The venerable studio went on a hiatus in 2014. The following year, producer Yoshiaki Nishimura and other Ghibli members started their o...

Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

Apr 13 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220922:43512:0[/embed] My Entire High School Sinking Into the SeaDirector: Dash ShawRating: PG-13Release Date: April 14, 2017 The set-up is at least sort of promising. An earthquake sends a high school on a hill by the ocean crashing down into the water. Students have to swim from floor to floor for air and survival, with a stratified class hierarchy--freshmen on the bottom and seniors on top. There's something questlike about it all, structured like a videogame with different kinds of levels--one sequence is even presented like a screen from the original Double Dragon, with characters throwing punches and jumpkicks with the same poses as Billy and Jimmy Lee. But Shaw takes all of these potentially interesting ideas and dials them down to the same level of slacker disinterest. The voice actors deliver their lines in a uniform indifferent monotone, as if they've begrudgingly recorded their dialogue one afternoon and left. The jokes are never distinct from the asides or the exposition. Apart from the heroic Lorraine the Lunch Lady (voiced by Sarandon), everyone sounds interchangeable. Since none of the voices stand out, it makes the all-star indie cast seem like needless stunt casting for the indie cachet. Lots of the dialogue gets lost in the audio mix, with any hint of personality drowned in the repetitive, overbearing, wall-to-wall score. This is a 77-minute movie that just drones on and on. It doesn't help that the protagonist, Dash (Schwartzman), is the least interesting character in the entire film. He's a self-important high school journalist and stand-in for the real life Dash Shaw. Yes, how twee, this fictional story is supposed to be semi-autobiographical. Dash is the type of tepid lead who gets in the way of the more worthy supporting players. His fellow staff members on the newspaper, Assaf (Watts) and Verti (Rudolph), have a warmth to them as well as a burgeoning crush that would have been great to watch unfold front and center. Even Dunham's overachieving all-goodnik Mary could have been the compelling hub of the story--a class president go-getter in survival mode. But no, it's boring old Dash, the "ugh, that guy" sort of hipster dude. There are moments of beauty in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, like the opening animation of Dash in silhouette running to class, or select flashbacks rendered with great care, or parts of the conclusion that have a zen-like quality. Most of it, though, looks like a hodgepodge of watercolor, acrylic, and magic marker, with a wonky, unrefined aesthetic. It simulates the stuff made while screwing around in a high school art class. The choice makes sense, but it's not always interesting to look at in full wobbly motion. It's animation with a sort of haphazard craft--art as marginalia rather than a point of focus, a talented person's creative assignment put together the night before. I was particularly put off by the film's defensiveness. At points, Dash and Assaf brag about being great writers whose genius and talent no one will understand. That metatextual boast always irks me. I rarely feel that a creative work should gird itself against criticism so overtly, and in such an insecure manner. Especially in this case, in which there's so little at stake and so little offered. Why be so precious over an animated shrug?
Entire High School review photo
A shrugworthy mumblecore cartoon
There are so many possibilities in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, the directorial debut of indie comics artist Dash Shaw. There's the image of an entire high school building adrift on the ocean and sinking. Think...

MoMI Jim Henson exhibit photo
MoMI Jim Henson exhibit

Kickstarter: Help Museum of the Moving Image crowdfund a permanent Jim Henson exhibition


MoMI right along *banjo*
Apr 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Jim Henson was one of the most creative and beloved people who ever worked in television or film. If you ask most people of a certain age, they'll usually express some sort of indebtedness to Jim Henson's imagination; if you ...
HISHE: Logan photo
HISHE: Logan

How It Should Have Ended gives Logan a grand send-off


One snikt more
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
If Hugh Jackman had to have a swan song as Wolverine, Logan was the best possible outcome. A superhero movie that didn't feel like a superhero movie, the film served as a grim, melancholy, violent capstone for Jackman's run a...
Josh Brolin Cable photo
Josh Brolin Cable

Josh Brolin (who plays Thanos) has been cast as Cable in Deadpool 2


BAH GAWD! THAT'S THANOS' MUSIC!
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Well... that was unexpected. After months of speculation (or weeks--who's counting), Josh Brolin has been cast as Cable in Deadpool 2. Brolin also plays Thanos in the MCU movies, which are a different thing entirely than the ...
Just the Ten of Us meme photo
Just the Ten of Us meme

Doin' It the Best I Can from Just the Ten of Us is the new Guile's Theme Goes with Everything


Go Home and Do It the Best You Can
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Guile's Theme Goes with Everything is one of those memes that lasts. Probably because Guile's theme does go with everything. There have been numerous attempts to recreate the Guile meme with other music. For example, last yea...
The Modern Ocean hype photo
The Modern Ocean hype

Tom Holland says Shane Carruth's The Modern Ocean is the best, craziest script he's ever read


I mean, yeah, he's young, but still
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
I am an unabashed fan of writer/director Shane Carruth. Primer is one of the great lo-fi science fiction films, and the ethereal and existential Upstream Color is my favorite movie of the last decade. I love Upstrea...
Transformers 5 photo
Transformers 5

New Transformers: The Last Knight trailer is incomprehensible yet mesmerizing nonsense


A Michael Bay fever dream
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
The trailers for Transformers: The Last Knight have been absolutely daft. It's like Michael Bay has turned over his toy box and made big battles out of whatever action figures fell out. Now, this sounds great in theory--it's ...

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