AFFLUENZA’s Strengths Outweigh Its Weaknesses

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Redhead Review: Affluenza Affluenza, the newest feature from Holy Rollers (2010) director Kevin Asch, is a fairly predictable, formulaic glimpse into the lives of entitled teens and their absent, equally spoiled parents living in Great Neck, Long Island during the summer preceding the 2008 financial crisis. The film centers specifically on middle-class teen Fischer Miller (Ben Rosenfield) who spends the summer there with his rich cousin Kate (Nicola Peltz) and her friends, selling weed to them and expertly photographing their partying exploits with an inherited vintage camera. The film is an allegedly loose, teen-centric adaptation of The Great Gatsby but I found it to be so unwavering from this narrative and those character types that, on the whole, the film fell a little flat. But it’s just good enough still for you to wish it had been better. There...

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HOMEMAKERS Lacks Direction But Speaks To Lost Souls

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Readhead Review: Homemakers Homemakers finds part-time Austin-based punk singer Irene McCabey, played by Rachel McKeon, off to claim her inheritance in Pittsburgh—after her grandfather passes away, she is left with an abandoned and dilapidated three-story house. She runs into a long-lost cousin (turned drinking partner) named Cam, and they attempt to restore the house together, or demolish it—it is, at least initially, troublingly unclear which, or what Irene really even wants. She says she wants to sell it, but she grows to enjoy the kind of domesticity she finds in the forgotten home. This film may be a diamond in the rough, but it is too rough to ever truly shine to its fullest potential, not to mention that it requires quite a bit of patience and effort from the audience—so concerned with the act and angst of private destruction...

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A COFFEE IN BERLIN: An Eccentric, Enlightening Journey

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Redhead Review: A Coffee in Berlin This German language film, originally titled Oh Boy, won 6 German Film Academy awards last year, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Feature Film. It follows a day in the life of Niko Fischer, played by Tom Schilling. Niko is a slacker—directionless and unmotivated, but still likable and endearing despite his sometimes frustrating passivity. But, on this particular day that the film chronicles, he has a series of encounters that are in equal parts awkward, funny, poignant, and bizarre—endlessly entertaining, albeit sometimes uncomfortable, each event illuminates aspects of Niko’s mundane existence, knocking him down in the hopes of eventually waking him up and propelling him forward. I loved A Coffee In Berlin and found it deeply satisfying on a number of different levels. Shot in dreamy black and white with a sometimes...

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Hot Guy/Funny Guy: A New Comedy Dynamic?

Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Big News, Movie Comment | 0 comments

With this month’s hilarious comedy Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, and next month’s 22 Jump Street (the sequel to 2012’s hit, 21 Jump Street), starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, my friends and I began to notice a kind of trend emerging. The duos at the forefront of these films exhibit a kind of hot guy/goofy guy dichotomy— a sort of binary between a traditionally funny actor and an actor who is, traditionally, considered eye candy. I wanted to explore this dynamic a little further, but I found it difficult to think of films besides these recent ones that truly fit. In the past, I think it was more common to see a straight man/silly man dichotomy, more generally: Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) might be a good example of this...

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The Foreign Mainstream: Why Cinema’s Biggest Oxymoron Deserves More

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Big News, Movie Comment, The Pictures | 0 comments

When I was in Berlin, Germany for a few months last spring, I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to movies, despite my understanding that Berlin has always been, to varying degrees over time, a major European film hub. I was there for the Berlinale International Film Festival, and there were art house cinemas all over the city as well, showing everything you’d expect an art house movie theater to show regardless of location, really. I saw a couple foreign films being shown at the festival, and they were good, don’t get me wrong, and I was expecting them to be good. But besides the art house, and the festival fair, and the American films dubbed into German (which played at every larger multiplex in the city), what did German audiences really watch, anyway? The question didn’t...

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Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Big News, On Further Review | 0 comments

Everyone has that one movie that changed their life first. Even if many films thereafter astound, mesmerize and enchant you, you’ll always remember the first that made you capable of even seeing other films in those kinds of ways. For me, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, released in March of 2004, is that very film. When I first saw it, I didn’t necessarily get it—I understood it to some degree, but I didn’t get it, and yes, there is a difference. But, it hooked me somehow; it hypnotized me in a way that no other film had up until that point. It begged me to watch it again, and again, and again. Ten years later, and I still watch it, with fresh eyes and a sense of wonder, of whimsy, and of intense admiration. But, I have never...

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