Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Lass is More" Enters the "Death Race 2050"

The newest "Death Race" movie, "Death Race 2050" is out on Blu-ray today (you may recall our piece from New York Comic-Con on the panel for the film) and it harkens back to the original film, "Death Race 2000" and not the more recent updates.  This means that it is a return to the silly, over-the-top style of that Roger Corman classic.

What it also means is that it gets us here at "Lass is More" thinking about what it means to enter that sort of a campy realm and whether it can sometimes be used as a shield to cover up mistakes in the film.  Beyond that, there's a question as to whether the message it's trying to impart is in fact a message it's actually trying to impart of if it's simply there as a head fake.

Sadly, there may not be any good answers, but a lack of good answers in no way means that we shouldn't be asking the question.  In fact, the questions may be more valid.

photo credit: Universal Pictures

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Lass is More" Boards the "Train to Busan"

It isn't that "Train to Busan" is a bad zombie, or even just a bad movie, it's that there are some notable issues with logic in the film.  That bothers me.  It bothers me so much.

"Train to Busan" isn't the only thing I've seen lately with logic flaws either.  No, logic flaws are everywhere and they trouble me endlessly.  What is the reason for them?  Do those who create them not realize what they're doing?  Do they not care?  Do they think that we won't care?

I could rant about this all day but, instead, I've condensed the rant to about five-and-a-half minutes.  Give a listen:

photo credit: Well Go USA

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Movie Review: "A Monster Calls"

What does it take to bring the imagination of one child to life on the big screen?   J.A. Bayona has the answer and offers it up in the utterly heartbreaking, completely devastating, totally brilliant "A Monster Calls."

Written by Patrick Ness and based on his book (which in turn was inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd), "A Monster Calls" is the story of 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), and his coming to grips with his mother's illness. Played by Felicity Jones, Conor's mom is suffering from cancer while Conor's dad (Toby Kebbell), is off in America with his new wife and Conor's half-sister. Conor's grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is around to help her grandson, but they don't particularly see eye-to-eye.

As might be expected for a child in this situation, Conor suffers from nightmares. Conor believes that a yew tree in the graveyard he can see from his room is a monster and comes alive to tell him stories (the tree is voiced by Liam Neeson, as all monstrous trees should be). Conor doesn't quite get that these stories are relevant to his world, but the audience does and as Conor's mother grows ever more ill, he sinks further into this alternate relate where he talks with the monster.

The movie is one of those rare occurrences in filmmaking where the audience is not simply treated to a great tale, but rather treated to a great tale that told wonderfully. The movie switches to animation for the monster's stories, and it is a nearly seamless transition – one moment Conor is there in his room, then he is being held by a massive tree, then a story is unfolding in the most perfect CGI rendition of watercolor paintings one could want. It is outstanding. Actually, it's slightly better than the monster himself who, once or twice, doesn't blend in with the "real" world quite as well as he ought.

Coming of age stories are nothing new in our world, and if one is looking to classify "A Monster Calls," it certainly fits squarely into that genre, but somewhere down the line it may come to represent the genre. "A Monster Calls" is offered to audiences with such an incredible sense of life and the horrors of growing up and the love between parents, children, and grandparents that it emotionally lays waste to those watching in the same way that Conor and the monster lay waste to their world.

"A Monster Calls" is a movie that fires on all cylinders, doing nearly everything in perfect fashion. If one is to nitpick, I have some questions about whether Sigourney Weaver is attempting to do an accent in the film, but the honest truth is that the movie is so incredibly powerful and so beautifully rendered that even that falls by the wayside. After watching it, the first stop many will take is to the bookstore to pick up Ness' work (or to their phone to get it digitally).

One of the things I've wrestled with following the film is its appropriateness for my daughter (age 10.5 currently). She loves movies and this is an incredible one featuring a child roughly her age at its center. She loves Tim Burton's adaptation of "Miss Peregrine" and I think no small part of that is the movie's young leads. I was not satisfied with that film however and want to show her a more impressive movie with a lead closer in age to her than a typical film. On the other hand, I wonder if it would terrify her.

Rated PG-13, "A Monster Calls" is not a movie for the faint of heart. It is not a movie for those easily scared by monsters nor is it a movie for those scared by loss. Felicity Jones' portrayal (including hair, make-up, and wardrobe), is perfectly true and all the more heart-wrenching for it. My daughter wouldn't know just how accurate that aspect is, but she would see in Conor someone her age who, with an admittedly a brilliant imagination as a coping mechanism, is still having trouble dealing with a life-changing loss.

For a slightly older crowd, however, "A Monster Calls" is a movie not to be missed. It is beautiful and heartbreaking and the reason we go to the theater.

photo credit:  Focus Features

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie Review: "20th Century Women"

It feels like this year in general, and this time of year in particular, is the right moment to ask ourselves a question about what constitutes a family. I would argue—as I believe I have previously—that family isn't simply something defined by genetics and the law, that one can make their own family. Sure, that may be a non-traditional view, but non-traditional doesn't mean wrong.

Writer/director Mike Mills appears to take the same stance with his new work, "20th Century Women." The movie looks at one non-traditional family in California in 1979, with Annette Bening offering a brilliant portrayal of the matriarch at the family's core.

Sitting in the center of the film's family is Dorothea (Bening). She has a son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), and rents out rooms in her house to artist, Abbie (Greta Gerwig), and mechanic, William (Billy Crudup). Along with Jamie's friend and would-be (for him, not her) girlfriend, Julie (Elle Fanning), they are most definitely a single, although not homogeneous, unit. The relationship, even with the renters, is far less about money—Dorothea is very happy to let the rent slide—than about forming a bond and being there for one another. Dorothea, in fact, asks Abbie and Julie to help raise Jamie as his father is not around (Julie, for what it's worth, is two years Jamie's senior).

See, non-traditional.

Dorothea's plan also doesn't go brilliantly. Abbie and Julie have very different ideas about what Jamie needs to know when it comes to being an adult than both each other and than Dorothea. The whole thing, naturally, both embarrasses and confuses Jamie, particularly when it comes to learning about things like menstruation. Although, his embarrassment, and that of other people at the dinner during which it comes up, is one of the best scenes in the film.

The three women at the center of this movie all offer great performances, particularly, as noted, Bening. She is entirely winning as a strong but struggling woman, someone who grew up during the depression, knows the value of hard work, and doesn't want to complain about her life in front of anyone. This last, of course, makes it somewhat difficult for Jamie to get a handle on her and frustrates him immensely. It is one of their big sources of conflict.

What is most disturbing about Mills' film is its insistence on having Jamie, not Dorothea, at its core. She is the center of the family, but the movie is regularly told from his point of view. "20th Century Women," perhaps, is best thought of as an atom, with Jamie at the nucleus and Abbie, Julie, Dorothea, and even William as the electrons spinning around that nucleus. For a movie that is, or purports to be (as the synopsis states), "a poignant love letter to the people who raise us," viewing so much of what takes place through Jamie's eyes is an interesting, slightly off-putting, choice. One can't quite escape the sense that as strong as the female characters are, and as diverse as they are, and as intelligent as they are, they are still centered around a guy.

Some of this is lessened by a closing voiceover coming from multiple points of view, with several of the characters revealing what happens to them after the movie proper ends. Especially when delivered by the women, this voiceover is wonderful and heartfelt and, unfortunately, different than what came before.

Part of the message of the movie is that this non-traditional group can still raise a good child, and that does come through loud and clear. However, the voiceovers are so wonderful and so pure that it is impossible to watch "20th Century Women" and not want those specific voices to have been a much larger part in the telling of the tale.

photo credit: A24

Movie Review: "Patriot's Day"

Director Peter Berg is great with depicting action sequences in a powerful, believable, riveting manner. We have already seen this once in 2016 with "Deepwater Horizon." However, Berg is even better, an absolute master, when it comes to militaristic action. He did it with "Lone Survivor" and now he's back doing it again with "Patriot's Day," and make no a mistake, "Patriot's Day" unquestionably depicts a militaristic action taking place in the city of Boston on the heels of the horrific bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers during the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Putting history—especially recent history—on screen isn't easy, but that is precisely what Berg does here. Berg is very much a "you are there" director, placing the audience right into the middle of the action. Consequently, when the bombs explode and terror erupts in the crowd, the audience feels every little bit of it and from every angle. The multiple types of camera shots (from more traditional to security cameras), aid in this effort for verisimilitude.

Unfortunately, because we are treated to every little bit of what takes place, the whole becomes less than a sum of the parts. Berg's story is mainly told through the eyes of Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), but there are a plethora of other characters involved and the film constantly switches back and forth between them. Some of the individuals (like J.K. Simmons' not Watertown Police Sergeant) keep appearing on screen despite having nothing, at that moment, to do with the bombings or the investigation thereof. The audience knows that by the end of the film these folks will indeed be getting involved, but it turns into a tip of the hand that doesn't work. One keeps wondering why we are seeing people so clearly unaffiliated with the bombing or investigation on screen.

At the same time, Berg introduces characters who are present at the bombing and get injured during it. The film eventually forgets about these characters for an extended period, telling us that much of their story has ended and only coming back to their when it's time for a good cry.

"Patriot's Day" shines when it focuses not on side stories or tying all the characters together, but rather in the investigation of the bombing and the pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers (Alex Wolff is Dzohkar and Themo Melikidze is Tamerlan). Seeing the team led by FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) do their thing is impressive. The best sequence here features Saunders helping the squad as they use video footage from shops and restaurants to follow the brothers movements as much as possible. This moment depicts the technical marvel and acumen of the agency in impressive fashion.

While it may cause fears for some about a police state, what is truly unsettling about the film is the that it only gives a begrudging nod to the question of the rights of people who commit such unspeakable acts in this country. While a brief discussion occurs when an order to not mirandize comes through, it is almost immediately forgotten. In fact, it seems to exist so that it can be said to be there, not because Berg has any desire to focus on it. Additionally, when Tamerlan's wife, Katherine Russell (Melissa Benoist), is brought in for questioning, she demands to know if she is under arrest, she demands a lawyer, and she demands to leave. All of these are denied her and at the screening I attended, her being forcibly put back in a chair when she does try to leave, garnered applause. Moreover, the moment feels like one intended to garner applause.*

"Patriot's Day" also comes up a little weak in its depicted the closing moments of the chase. Problematically for the film, the real world story ends without a massive shootout or anything visually stunning. The true climax of the movie is instead during a shootout before Dzohkar ever hides inside the boat and before Boston is locked down. Of course, that's not the end of the story.

Then again, it has to be asked whether there really is ever an end to such a story. As Berg makes clear when the movie switches over to the real individuals involved, the fallout of that day in April is still being felt.

Berg performs a difficult balancing act with "Patriot's Day," attempting to tell a story which still haunts many and one which depicts both the highs and lows of our nation and us as a people and he's assembled a good cast (which also includes John Goodman and Michelle Monaghan) for it.  At times the tale falters, finding itself working far more on a visceral level while failing at an intellectual one. It appeals to our baser instincts and while that may cause some emotional satisfaction it should also cause some worry.

*It shouldn't. It is reprehensible. The Tsarnaevs like everyone else, when under police/government custody, deserve to hear their Miranda Rights Рthat's the point of our nation. We stand up for what's right even when it's hard to do so. Everyone is accorded their due process. While such a stance is sometimes referred to as naivet̩, the truth is that it is anything but Рthe height of naivet̩ is believing that we can sacrifice what we believe in so that it might be preserved for the future.

photo credit:  CBS Films

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Lass is More" Knows Something About George Bailey

"It's a Wonderful Life" is one of those films which I watch every year.  Every. Single. Year.  It's been that way for the better part of a decade, and the movie never seems to get old, it never seems to grow stale.

This year though, I saw something new in it, an added resonance.  No, not the bit above about us all being George Bailey (or at least wanting to be George Bailey), but what exactly that means today and how exactly that works.  Our wanting to be George Bailey can be used against us and what we have to remember is that George Bailey fought and struggled and never took anything from anyone else.

Confused?  Just listen.

photo credit: Paramount Home Entertainment

Monday, December 19, 2016

Movie Review: "Sing" (2016)

If you have watched any of the trailers for "Sing," you have been, as you would be for any movie, conditioned to expect certain things from the film. In this case that's a whole lot of animated animals singing pop sings new and old. Wouldn't it be great if that's what "Sing" actually was? I don't think this is one of those cases where the trailers lie about a movie – those scenes where bits of songs are sung in the trailer are in the film, they just don't make up the bulk of the film, and mostly it's just those bits of the songs.

To be clear, there is singing, and when the characters are allowed to belt out songs in full rather than snippets, "Sing," which is written and directed by Garth Jennings, is great. Mostly this occurs in the movie's finale, and it is a great finale. It is a finale so good I applauded the film when it ended despite having been distressed by everything that came before it.

To set it all up, the film follows the tale of Buster Moon (Matthew McConnaughey). Buster has harbored a dream of running a theater (stage, not film) since he was but a wee Koala and he's had his opportunity. His dad bought him the place (via his father's carwash job) and in the intervening years, Buster has run the theater into the ground. He has staged bad productions and/or staged productions badly. His last ditch effort to try to save his theater is a singing contest that goes horribly awry (this would be the contest around which the film is focused). And so the movie follows the contest's finalists as things go from bad to worse for all participating.

Rather than giving us a single involved story for any one of the individual finalists, be it the overworked pig mom (Reese Witherspoon), the gambling mouse crooner (Seth MacFarlane), the punk teen porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) who is getting over a breakup, the gorilla son of a thief (Taron Egerton) who just wants to sing rather than commit crimes, or the elephant (Tori Kelly) who is too embarrassed to actually be in the contest, "Sing" chooses to offer up skin deep tales of them all. Where this year's "Zootopia" thrilled with the mechanics of how a world populated by so many different size and shape creatures might actually work, "Sing" just has the audience go with it. These are different movies from different studios and not some sort of combined world, but it still feels as though "Sing" is building off of "Zootopia."

And, it isn't. It isn't the fault of "Sing" that "Zootopia" hit theaters earlier this year and spent time brilliantly explaining the logistics of such a world. It also isn't the fault of "Sing" that Leonard Cohen just died and that the version of "Hallelujah" sung by Kate McKinnon on "Saturday Night Live" in November was so much more poignant and powerful than the one offered up in a major moment in "Sing." The filmmakers could not have known as they were planning the movie that they were going to be late to the party.

But, guess what, those things happened and, unfortunately, they make "Sing" weaker in comparison. It's that thing from the "Lass is More" podcast again about movies and television not existing in a vacuum but rather in conversation with the world.

This, combined with the weak stories, and dearth of full songs make "Sing" feel like a pale iteration of what it is so close to being. It is a shame because "Sing" is brilliantly animated. Early in the goings-on, to introduce our finalists, the movie offers these incredible, fast, traveling shots taking us from one portion of the city to the next. It is fantastic, a brilliantly high energy, clever, way to start things off. It just doesn't keep going in that manner.

In its most jubilant moments, "Sing" is absolutely everything you want it to be… absolutely everything I want it to be. But, those moments are too few, too far between, and too short-lived to make "Sing" a crashing success. I still want to buy the soundtrack because the track list is amazing, I'll just keep my fingers crossed that what it gives are the full songs and not the snippets that are in the movie.

photo credit:  Universal/Illumination Entertainment

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Movie Review: "Why Him?"

The James Franco-Bryan Cranston-Zoey Deutch comedy, "Why Him?" is not entirely devoid of laughs. That isn't particularly high praise, but the movie isn't particularly funny and it never feels like it's trying terribly hard.

I know I regularly bring up the fact that many movies have generic plots, but if I'm going to talk about "Why Him?" it's impossible not to do so again. Bear with me.

Directed by John Hamburg, the story finds Ned Fleming (Cranston) learning that his only daughter/eldest child, Stephanie (Deutch), has been lying to him about her relationship status (apparently she didn't post it on Facebook). Yes, rather than not being terribly serious with anyone, she has been dating tech millionaire Laird (Franco) for months on end. What is there then for Ned and company to do but fly from Michigan to California for the holidays and for the Fleming family—which also includes Ned's wife, Barb (Megan Mullally), and their son, Scotty (Griffin Gluck)—to meet this boyfriend.

As the trailers make obvious (particularly the red band ones), Laird is something of a spacey guy who uses four letter words as punctuation. The Flemings don't particularly enjoy that sort of thing, nor the rowdy parties he throws, nor the 'suped-up version of Siri Laird has in the house (voiced by Kaley Cuoco, because Laird has enough money to hire Cuoco to record her voice), nor just about anything else about the guy. It doesn't get better when Laird tells Ned that he wants Ned's permission to marry Stephanie.

It is an absolutely typical dad-doesn't-like-the-guy-his-daughter-is-dating movie from beginning to end with one exception – this particular version can never sell any great reason for Stephanie to like Laird either. We understand why he would like her (she's smart and inquisitive and attractive), but we don't get the flipside of the equation.

We must presume that Stephanie's attraction has to do with Laird being a good guy deep down, but just not someone who can express his affection appropriately. However, it very much feels as though the movie is arguing that Stephanie is choosing Laird as a fixer-upper, trying to turn him into the man of her dreams rather than searching for said man. Laird's inner goodness softens our attitude towards him, but Stephanie trying to change him adds an oddness to her character.

Actually, that oddness is probably there anyway. Both Ned and the movie sell us on Stephanie and Ned having the closest of relationships but that runs counter to her hiding Laird for as long as she does.

The supporting characters don't fare much better. Stephanie; Scotty; Barb; Laird's butler-type guy, Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key); and really everyone who isn't either Laird or Ned take a backseat in this movie. Their characters exist so as to amp up the difficulties Ned has with Laird and Laird's semi-obliviousness to it all.

These two men are the only thing approaching fully-rounded characters in the movie and even they lack a sense of realness. Ned is lying about his business (which, perhaps, is a parallel to how Stephanie is lying to him, but doesn't play out as one) and Laird can't truly be as utterly dumb as he regularly acts. The latter may have hit it rich at a young age, but he can't be so far gone that he doesn't recognize that he has an absurdly sheltered world. And yet, he seemingly is that far gone.

Despite these problems, there are moments that cause laughs. These are few and far between and the movie overstays its welcome by at least 10 or 15 minutes, meandering on its way to the final credits, but some bits are funny… mostly the scatological ones.

photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Movie Review: "Office Christmas Party"

The more I watch Kate McKinnon on television and in movies, the more convinced I am that she is going to be here making people laugh for years to come (and the happier I am about that fact, too). She seems to throw herself into her roles with a singular devotion, committing to every part no matter how ridiculous it might seem. This is certainly the case with the otherwise completely forgettable "Office Christmas Party."

Directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon, "Office Christmas Party" is the tale of the members of the Chicago branch of Zenotek, a company that sells servers to other businesses. Run by Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), the Chicago branch is visited just before Christmas by interim CEO and Clay's sister, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston). A holiday movie, Carol is the Scrooge of this affair (she's the Christmas Carol, get it!). The branch is successful, but not as successful as she wants it to be and so she's going to lay off tons of staff and/or close the place entirely.

It makes little sense, but not necessarily less sense than the plan of the Chicago team, which is less led by Clay than Clay's right-hand man, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), to sign one big client. Said client's representative, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), is about to leave town but Zenotek is determined to get him onboard. And how will they sign Davis? By having the Christmas Party to end all Christmas parties. Naturally.

Okay, it's a ridiculous premise, but the whole thing is really just an excuse to showcase the amusing-because-it-isn't-you behavior that could happen at a drinking and drug fueled Christmas party. There are office hook-ups; lies about model girlfriends; cocaine; prostitutes; trips to the hospital; potential love for Josh in the form of tech guru Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn); McKinnon's HR manager, Mary Winetoss finally loosening up; and more.

The jokes that land tend to be of two sorts. First, there's the "they didn't really say that" variety, and then there is McKinnon. Whether it's dancing, becoming vexed about people not reading memos on appropriate workplace attire, reminding people that they are at an office even though there's a party, dancing, or offering thoughts on her car, Mary is the unquestionable highlight of the film. McKinnon's cleverness lies not just with her ability to offer a great line reading, but also the facial expressions and body language that go with such a reading. Whether it's a wink or a nod or a wide-eyed stare or something else entirely, even when she's in the background, McKinnon is able to get a reaction from the audience.

As for the "they didn't really say that" humor, some of it lands, particularly bits from Miller and Aniston, but some of it is just uncomfortable to watch. This last is exemplified in an almost hook-up between Vanessa Bayer's secretary and Randall Park's new guy, where his sexual fantasies are vocalized. Bayer and Park are funny people and they almost make it work, but not quite.

In fact, that seems to be the theme of the movie – almost, but not quite. It is a great cast of very funny people and there are some laughs, but it just is never enough. The jokes are almost there, the situation is almost dumb enough to be believable, the inevitable character arcs are nearly compelling enough to keep the audience from fidgeting. Just not quite.

You could do worse than "Office Christmas Party" if you're looking for an R-rated holiday romp, but you could do better. I would say it's inoffensive except that it's pretty offensive which is the point of it.

 But, yes, it's just not offensive enough.  On the other hand, Kate McKinnon shines.

photo credit: Paramount

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Movie Review: "La La Land"

There are fewer musicals produced by Hollywood than there used to be. Well, I say that there are but I haven't run the numbers, I assume that there are… it certainly feels like there are. When they come along though, they feel special. They feel different, and it makes one wonder exactly why Hollywood doesn't do them more often.

On the other hand, if Hollywood produced more musicals, perhaps they wouldn't feel as special, and the Damien Chazelle written and produced "La La Land" should feel special. It is special. It is wonderful.

And now I feel like gotten diverted, sidetracked, sent down a little cul de sac of my own mind. I have, fleetingly, wondered about something tangential (the power and regularity of the Hollywood musical). Important, but perhaps not entirely germane to the topic at hand.

Except that, maybe it is. "La La Land" is about dreams and interludes and wonder. It is about making those fanciful diversions into something real. It is about happiness and love and sadness and romance and movies and jazz.

Cards on the table, the movie feels like it's meant specifically for me. It isn't just that I enjoy musicals, I also love movies about Hollywood and enjoy watching Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling. Check, check, and double-check.

So, what exactly is "La La Land." If I stop beating around the bush and stop using too many words to talk around the movie, what exactly is it?

Well, there are these two people who fall in love over the period of several months and we watch it unfold. First, there's Emma Stone's Mia – a barista who wants to be a famous actress. Then there's Gosling's Sebastian, a jazz pianist who wants to own his own place but is instead forced to play an approved list of holiday songs at a restaurant.

The brilliance of the movie doesn't lie within the story's structure. "La La Land" is about the problems of two people and a legendary Hollywood movie once explained that the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans.

Still, this is a great hill of beans love story, a hill of beans love story delivered with the incredible music, beautiful dances, and the utter devotion of the two stars at the film's center. Ah, and then there's the fact that so much of the key to the movie exists in the few moments when it does deviate from the traditional love story and, just when the audience needs it most, the story does indeed make a left turn.

But, that's just story and the story isn't the reason to go so "La La Land" (in case I've been remotely unclear, you should go see "La La Land"). Truly, it's the music and performances that make it work.

Stone and Gosling are showing themselves to be two of the finest, most interesting, actors of their age group (groups? If IMDb is to be believed, there is an eight year age difference between the two and I don't know how we divide these things into groups). I don't like every movie that each actor does, but there's always something there to think about, to examine, to sink one's teeth into. It certainly helps that they are amazingly charismatic as well.

And so, in "La La Land" it's their singing that is front and center, it is entirely their charisma on display. In that regard it is a throwback to a different era of star power, particularly as it's a singing-and-dancing affair. I am sure that there are reviews out there that compare Stone and Gosling to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and the reasons for that are obvious and I would love to see them reteamed for another singing-and-dancing love story. Who wouldn't?

In an era when so many movies feel overly weighty and too dramatic, "La La Land" is something lighter, more airy. If you want to see a fantastic movie that doesn't demand tissues (not that there is no sadness) or an extended examination of where our world stands and how we destroy all that we touch, go see "La La Land."

Honestly, even if that isn't what you're looking for, go see it anyway. Gosling and Stone are great. The music is great. It's just great.

photo credit: Summit

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

"Lass is More" Goes Political with "Florence Foster Jenkins"

The description for "Lass is More" states that the movies and television shows which we watch are not created in a vacuum.  No, these things exist in a dialogue with the real world.  So, today, even if I would rather avoid it, I enter into a discussion about politics and the power--and evils--of delusion.

So, sit back, relax, and listen as I discuss two upcoming Blu-ray/DVD releases: "Southside with You" and "Florence Foster Jenkins."  Pay attention because you may be able to hear the exact moment when the blood vessel in my forehead starts throbbing at a relentless pace.

photo credit: Paramount/Miramax and Roadside Attractions