Based on a true story, this oddly exhilarating film features an almost unrecognizable Tom Hardy as Britain’s most violent prisoner. Its arresting visuals and operatic, strangely humorous tone would appeal to fans of A Clockwork Orange. Instantly available on hoopla.
“Starred up” is British slang for the early transfer of a juvenile offender to an adult prison—in this case, to one in which his father is also imprisoned. Completely different from Bronson, this is a grittier portrayal of prison life with great sympathy for its characters.
I can’t believe I watched these movies! Even more, I can’t believe how much I liked them!!
I’m trying to think of one movie I’ve ever sat and watched the whole way through that featured any one of these men. I’ve only seen parts of a few Rockys and about half the first Transporter. Oh wait, I did go to the dollar theater and see Parker, which stars Jason Statham. I would probably say he’s my favorite anyway (Terry Crews, you’re a close second).
But I’ve just heard a lot of good things about these movies so I thought I’d give them a try. And I wasn’t disappointed.
So the basic premise for all our under-the-rock dwellers is that Sly and pals are old dudes who like to save the world. They get their orders from a guy named Church (aka Bruce Willis) and then they’re off on their mission. In the first movie, The Expendables must deal with Dolph Lundgren a crazy good guy gone bad, along with a crazy South American dictator. The second movie sees us in Russia (who didn’t see that coming) and then for 3 we head to the magical world of Armenistan (I think) to track down Mel Gibson’s supposed-to-be-dead former Expendables character Stonebanks. No, Stallone doesn’t get to ask “How many times to I have to kill you?” and I think the movie is poorer for it.
My favorite scenes include Chuck Norris’s surprise cameo in #2 (oh wait, spoiler alert) and Bruce Willis’ taunt of Ah-nold – “Don’t worry. He just wants to be president.”
These movies are pretty gory, but I must admit there are some cool guns. I also liked how irreverent they are about the storied past of each actor. Famous lines are bandied about willy nilly. I am most disappointed that Harrison Ford, as he was flying in the evac copter, did not say, “Don’t get cocky” after saving the day. Sigh. Maybe in the next movie. There is a listing for The Expendables 4 on imdb.com, but there’s not much info available. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.
Only time will tell.
Until then, enjoy the shoot’em-up-bang-bang fun of the three they’ve given us so far.
p.s. If these guys think we haven’t noticed that they’ve had some “work done” then they are on crack. You’d think, as tough guys, they’d be above this, but I guess Carly Simon was right. They are so vain…and I’m looking at you Stallone and Norris. Walker Texas Ranger had plastic surgery? Wrap your head around that!
Insurgentisbased on the book by Veronica Roth Now out in theaters, Insurgent is attracting droves of fans, eager for the next installment in Triss’s quest for the truth. Reviews have been discouraging, and there are some significant changes from Roth’s book. Nevertheless, box office sales are through the roof.
Paper Towns is based on the book by John Green The thing to know about this movie is that it is not TFiOS. True, there is a girl, Margo, played by Cara Delevingne. She’s fierce, beautiful, and utterly fascinating to the boy next door, Quentin. Quentin is played by Nat Wolff, who fans will remember from the movie TFIOS, although he wore sunglasses for much of the movie. Due out July, 2015.
Fallen is the first book in a series by Lauren Kate. Addison Timlin stars as Luce Price, who has been sent to the Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. Jeremy Irvine plays opposite her as the elusive Daniel Grigori. Also due for release in July, 2015.
The Scorch Trialsis the second in James Dashner’s Maze Runner series. The big mystery of the Glade was answered at the end of the first movie…kind of. Now there’s more action as the Gladers confront a new situation and what it means for them. Look for this one in September, 2015.
The Fifth Wave is based on the book by Rick Yancey In Yancey’s thrilling novel, aliens have invaded Earth, leaving a bleak land that has been compared to the setting of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Chloe Grace Moretz is lined up to play Cassie Sullivan, who lives by one rule: “Trust No One.” Projected release date: January, 2016.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiarsis based on the book with a similar title by Ransom Riggs. Tim Burton will be directing a cast of adorably peculiar children, headed by Asa Butterfield, who plays Jacob Portman. Currently in production, the release date is set for March 2016.
Daughter of Smoke and Bonereportedly has a screen play written by author Laini Taylor. This one has been has been in the works for a while, with Michael Gracey set to direct. No news on casting or release date.
Grasshopper Jungle is based on the Printz Honor Award-winning novel by Andrew Smith. Edgar Wright is set to direct this one – eventually. Aside from the heartwarming story of how Facebook brought Grasshopper Jungle to Wright’s attention, not much has come to pass. Should be worth the wait!
I really enjoyed this well shot documentary featuring several craft beer operations in cities like Denver, Asheville and Saint Louis (in the shadow of Anheuser Busch, no less) as well as other locations in California, Texas, Minnesota and Delaware. It’s a visually appealing film, informative and sometimes down right inspirational – the entrepreneurial/American Dream in action!
The Asheville breweries (and there are many!) emphasize relying on using home grown ingredients and sources like the French Broad River, resulting in some wonderful, unique and seasonal brews. Of course, microbreweries have really proliferated over the last decade or so but it was noted that American consumers still go for the major brands and the little guys cut and scrape for about 5% of the market share. But what an interesting and unique segment that is!
Also well depicted is the spirit, hard work and commitment shown by these brewers, often expanded family run operations. The nervous run up to the opening of the Black Shirt Brewery in Denver was particularly memorable after so much work (getting codes approval, piping issues, construction work). It was also interesting to hear occasional commentary from the owner of one of the pioneering microbreweries – Anchor Steam in San Francisco as well as insights from Moonlight’s Brian Hunt. The film does jump around a bit but it’s all good and worth watching for sure.
So next time you mix up a pack of unique beers at Kroger or down your favorite ale at Blackstone’s, give a cheer to the dedicated, passionate folks who worked so hard to make it happen for us lucky consumers!
During this episode of Legends of Film we talk to director Peter Medak. Mr. Medak’s film credits include The Ruling Class, The Krays, and the upcoming Movies @ Main feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Medak discusses working with notable actors such as Glenda Jackson and Helen Mirren, his experience directing episodes of two critically acclaimed TV series: Hannibal and Breaking Bad, and finally, his justification for making another film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
See The Hunchback of Notre Dame on Saturday April 11, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library, downtown.
During this episode of Legends of Film we talk to director Steve Carver. Carver’s film credits include Big Bad Mama, Capone, and the upcoming Movies @ Main feature, Lone Wolf McQuade. Mr. Carver discusses working with the legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, and explains why it’s NOT a good idea to take over a film from another director.
See Lone Wolf Mcquade on Saturday March 14,2015 at 2:00 p.m. at Nashville Public Library, downtown.
Watching the new movie Selma was like seeing Nashville’s Civil Rights “All Stars”: James Bevel, Diane Nash, C.T. Vivian, John Lewis, Bernard LaFayette are all depicted in the film.
To be sure, the Nashville movement was much larger than these five people. Many others who gained national prominence in the Civil Rights Movement also got their start in Nashville. But they couldn’t have done it alone. Countless ordinary “foot soldiers” – like the mass of marchers in Selma – took part in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins in 1960, often enduring beatings, arrests, and insults.
James Bevel at a protest in Nashville, March 1960
What you may not have known – and what is not shown in the film – is that former Nashville activist, James Bevel, first proposed the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Prompted by the cold indifference of Alabama governor George Wallace to the killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson by state troopers, Bevel said:
“I’m going to go and talk to Wallace, and I’m going to walk all the way from Selma to Montgomery, because I want to think about what I want to say to him…. How many people you think … [will] walk with me?”
Listen to this excerpt of an oral history interview with Bernard LaFayette, where he tells more about Bevel’s role in initiating the march.
The Nashvillians portayed in Selma could march forward without fear, because they had already endured so much. They were, in the strongest sense of the word, veterans. In 1961, when some of them – including Diane Nash and John Lewis – left Nashville for Alabama to ensure that the Freedom Rides continued, they quite consciously knew they were risking death. These courageous men and women, most of them in their early twenties, made sure they had made out their wills before leaving town.
Now, it was four years later, and the Civil Rights campaign had focused on Selma. People who had gotten their training in non-violent protest in Nashville during the sit-ins were again at the forefront, and they were still risking their lives.
The Children by David Halberstam (tells the story of the Nashville sit-ins)
Written and directed by Seth MacFarlane – the guy who brought us Family Guy and Ted – A Million Ways to Die in the West takes MacFarlane’s trademark irreverence and moves it to where it belongs: The Wild West. The West was a rough place to live. If the Indians didn’t get you, the wild animals would. So many ways to die, so little time.
Seth MacFarlane plays Albert – a local sheep farmer who’s in love with Amanda Seyfried’s Louise. Unfortunately, she’s in love with the local mustache purveyor Foy (NPH himself). Will he get her back or will Charlize Theron have to climb down from her gold Dior tower to save the day? There were parts that were laugh out loud funny and parts that were scream out loud shocking. This movie is not for the faint of heart. My favorite character was Sarah Silverman’s “Lady of the Evening.”
Two notes of caution:
1) Even if he begs for it, DO NOT lend Neil Patrick Harris your hat. You won’t want it back when he’s done.
2) People die at the fair.
PS Does anyone else think Seth MacFarlane looks like Peter Brady? Just wondering…
This gem can be found on Hoopla and is certainly worth watching. If you read the recent Rolling Stone cover story (December 4, 2014 – available via Zinio!) on Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (and of course, former Nirvana member) you know he’s an intensely busy guy and that he loves the history and uniqueness of American recording studios.
Grohl produced and directed this full length documentary on the Van Nuys, California landmark, Sound City in 2013. It will have to hold me over until I can view, somehow, Sonic Highways, the eight part HBO music studio/city travelogue series he recently completed.
Sound City Studios and its legendary Neve sound mixing console saw numerous excellent bands and recordings throughout the seventies and into the nineties (a modern highpoint being Nirvana’s Nevermind) and beyond until the digital age/Pro Tools and other changes affected it’s ultimate demise in 2011. From Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedos, HardPromises (and others) to recordings by Rick Springfield (you’ll learn more about his famous dog too), War, Cheap Trick, Johnny Cash and many others this place reveled in a no frills / do it live ethos that resulted in some truly solid recordings. Was it the room dynamics that lead to the terrific and much sought after drum sound? Or a combination of magic and luck…
The film is a flowing trip of first hand recollections, great footage, interviews with musicians and those that worked there or helped make the recordings – Butch Vig, Ric Reuben among them along with Grohl’s own animated appearances. Find out what eventually happened to the legendary sound board, see Stevie Nicks laying down vocals with the Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney jamming on what appears to be an electric cigar box guitar! Great stuff.
Your holds queue just gained a few holiday pounds. These are best movies of the year. Could Bryan’s favorite movie of the year be Amanda’s least favorite of the year? You’ll have to listen to find out. Tell us your favorites in the comments.