REVIEW: Maps to the Stars [2014]

“… Liberty” There are many versions of Hollywood I would never wish to live within—including the real one—but it appears those crafted by Bruce Wagner might be the most nightmarishly hedonistic, vile, and depressingly pathetic. A man who grew up in Los Angeles via Wisconsin and probably experienced many of the selfish acts of depravity he cynically puts to paper first hand, it says something about his artistic merits that he was able to write and direct two films (both based on what must be a sprawling novel I’m Losing…

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REVIEW: The Bling Ring [2013]

“Let’s go shopping” After years of stuffy, standoffish dramas about excess and the psychological turmoil of the rich in hopes audiences will feel pity for their woe-is-me First World Problems, writer/director Sofia Coppola finally finds her way inside the joke with The Bling Ring. This tale of vanity, celebrity idolization, and the entitlement of today’s youth—based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales describing the infamous Hollywood Hills Burglaries from October 2008 to August 2009—finds the satirical bite necessary for its success. Because honestly,…

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INTERVIEW: Timothy J. Cox, star of Simple Mind, Choosing Sides, and more

Becoming a working actor is hardly an easy career path chosen lightly. For character actor Timothy J. Cox the journey towards independent film began by accident in 8th grade yet became a calling it would seem he was born to follow. Still, it took him almost a decade of living in New York City before making the decision to focus his professional efforts onto the film set above the theatrical stage. Whether performing in student thesis projects, indie shorts, contests, or features, Cox has made a name for himself through…

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REVIEW: Machete [2010]

“No amnesty for parasites” What better way to go political and make a statement about American border patrol vigilantes, corrupt State Senators, and the plight of the illegal alien doing whatever it takes for a chance at freedom from tyranny and squalor than with a Grindhouse-esque, exploitation flick? Robert Rodriguez, co-writer Álvaro Rodriguez, and co-director Ethan Maniquis don’t think there is one, so they expanded Robert’s faux-trailer meant to titillate and excite the adrenal glands for high-octane action into the feature length Machete. Reusing footage and fleshing out the story,…

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REVIEW: Bobby [2006]

“The once and future king” Emilio Estevez has thrust himself back into the limelight this year with his passion project about the day of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. While doing maybe four or so acting roles in the past seven years, Estevez has honed his directorial skills with tv shows and I’m sure tweaked his script and signed a wishlist of actors. I’m sure it was the storyline parallel between RFK’s Vietnam messiah with the hope for one today in Iraq by the Hollywood Democrats that drew many to the…

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REVIEW: A Prairie Home Companion [2006]

Being a huge fan of the movie whose name I stole for this post’s title and his more recent Gosford Park, I was ecstatic to see that Robert Altman had gone back to his layered dialogue and fly on the wall storytelling style with the new A Prairie Home Companion, (I haven’t seen The Company but it just didn’t strike me as the Altman I love). The film is a nice, poignant tale about the final show from Garrison Keillor’s ragtag band of misfits. What a crew they were: Keillor…

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