Showing posts from October, 2016

Rewind: Warren Beatty and "The Parallax View" (1974)

November of this year will mark the return of Warren Beatty to the silver screen, starring as Howard Hughes in Rules Don't Apply, a project he also wrote, produced and directed. It marks Beatty's most ambitious project in almost 20 years, following 1998's Bulworth, the zany political dark comedy that was perhaps most notable at the time for the big radio hit off its soundtrack, "Ghetto Superstar."

The climate of Beatty's bent Senator Bulworth, who starts a firestorm by calling out the rigged system, resonates strongly with the circus show that is Decision 2016, as Bulworth was a hip-hop mash-up of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Beatty's foresight is undeniable and it's a shame Bulworth has not been restored on Blu-ray for a reevaluation in lieu of recent events.

Bulworth placed its protagonist in constant fear of assassination and it's a subject casting a darker shadow in Alan J. Pakula's 1974 political thriller The Parallax View where Beatt…

FilmMuse: Mick Jackson's "Denial" (2016)

2016 seems to be a watershed year for bio-pics with such high profiles releases as Snowden, Queen of Katwe, Sully, Race, Eddie the Eagle,Florence Foster Jenkins among many others. Currently in theaters is the Nat Turner slavery period piece The Birth of a Nation and the Rachel Weisz starring Holocaust courtroom drama Denial. Films about slavery and Nazis are nothing new, however with the current state of events and our political climate these subjects couldn't be more timely.

Director Mick Jackson, with a resume rich in British television adaptions, takes a swift procedural approach to Denial, with a tone that is Masterpiece Theatre meets John Grisham. Weisz plays historian Deborah Lipstadt, an academic with a newly published book called Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. Lipstadt lectures on this denial phenomenon at Emory University and is eager to have book signings; only to have one of the subjects of her book, David Irving, crash her speaking enga…

FilmMuse: "Steve Jobs," "Snowden" and the bio-pic

Steve Jobs was a movie I had no interest in watching at the time of its release last year. Perhaps I had grown fatigued over all of the "Nerd Jesus" hero worship since Jobs passing and had enough in terms of hearing about his life. The film is currently airing on HBO and I had the opportunity to sit down and digest it recently and came away liking it much more than I had anticipated.

A few years ago, I did read Walter Isaacson's masterful book on which Boyle's film is based, and I was surprised that Boyle does not take very much from the book in terms of scenes or major plot points.

There are unfortunately no references to Jobs' stinky hippy days or the times his skin would change colors from his bazaar eating habits. I think the primary theme Boyle took from Isaacson's book is how much of an asshole Jobs could be to just about anyone, especially those who he is most close to.

The film presents itself more in the lines of a play in three acts, each revolving…