Friday, December 5, 2014

Low Down

Indiefest: Low Down (2014)  R   Joe (John Hawkes) is one of the best bebop pianists alive. Unfortunately, Joe is a heroin addict and is frequently in jail. His daughter, Amy (Elle Fanning), struggles to keep her dad alive in a seedy Hollywood hotel with the help of her aging grandmother (Glenn Close). I liked the performances in the film and feel that Elle Fanning gives the best performance of her career. Unfortunately, the cast is let down by the script that stops and starts way too many times. It’s a continuous loop of Joe trying to stay clean but can’t and his daughter hoping he will stay clean but knows he won’t. I wish the director had listened to the sound track (which is marvelous) and let the film flow like the jazz standards that Joe plays.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Low Down Website 
IndiefestForce Majeure (2014)   A family of four is on a ski vacation at a resort. A traumatic event happens that changes the dynamic of the family, and a once happy marriage becomes broken. This film is part comedy, part drama as the film explores the dynamics of a family coming apart. The film is filled with gorgeous cinematography and is full of long shots that let the film play out over time. It’s an enjoyable film that makes you wonder how you would handle the situation that the family found themselves in.   My Rating: Full Price  Force Majeure Website
Indiefest:  Point and Shoot (2014) Matthew Vandyke, the child of single mom, never really had any friends and spent hours watching adventure movies and playing video games. Even after getting his Masters Degree, he was still  in his mother's basement wondering what to do with his life. Inspired by the films of an Australian documentary filmmaker, Matthew decides to buy a bike and a camera.  He takes both to Africa where he spends two years traveling across the upper continent, including many of the hot spots in the middle east. In his travels, he meets a man from Libya who invites Matthew to visit him. Matthew sneaks into Libya and falls in love with the culture and the people. While  in the US, the Libyan revolt to overthrow Gaddafi starts, and Jerry goes to Libya to fight for freedom. In what sounds like a work of fiction, this fascinating documentary follows Jerry on his trip to "find his manhood."  What makes this film even more interesting is that Matthew has OCD, with compulsions like constantly stopping to check that the bump in the road wasn't a person he had run over. Most of the footage was shot by Matthew, himself, and it looks like a world that most of us will never experience first-hand. At least we have this captivating documentary to enjoy.  My Rating: Full Price  Point and Shoot Website

Forgotten Film: Frenzy (1972)    A serial killer (Barry Foster) is murdering women with a necktie in London. The police have a suspect (Jon Finch), but it’s the wrong one. The suspect goes on the run to try and prove his innocence. This film has a couple of scenes that only its director; Alfred Hitchcock could do. One is a scene in an office where the camera pulls back and tracks down the hallway, down a flight of stairs and then goes out into the busy streets of London. Beware that this film was given an R rating, and there is a bit of nudity and language (unlike most of Hitchcock’s films).    By Rating: Full Price  Frenzy Info 
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): Focus (2015) R  I have seen this trailer twice and still don’t have any desire to see this film about a con man (Will Smith) who takes a rookie grifter (Margot Robbie) under his wing. It looks so boring and I plan on yelling "focus" in the theatre throughout the film.  Focus Website
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blue Ray): The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) I liked the start of this film about an immigrant family opening a restaurant right across the street of a fancy French restaurant. But the film doesn’t finish well, and I never felt any passion for the food they were preparing. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  The 100-Foot Journey Website 

Weird Credits: From the credits of Low Down: driver: honeywagon

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Mr. Turner (2014) There is a lot of Oscar buzz around the performance of Timothy Spall in the title role of the eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner.   Mr. Turner Facebook page 
Until Next Time!

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