Whiplash is One of the Year’s Best

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“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.”

Jazz drumming at an elite conservatory didn’t puncture my curiosity initially, but Whiplash has more to offer than a tremendous jazz score. The film shares a dynamic duo whose relationship heavily blurs the line between right and wrong. Miles Teller rips through this film with an elevated level of dedicated ferocity that I haven’t seen from a young actor recently, while J.K. Simmons is both electrifying and terrifying to glimpse on screen. Whiplash is knocking on Oscar’s door, and I think the Academy may listen to what Whiplash has to offer.

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A lot of people seem to be shrugging off Whiplash as a “music movie” or a movie about a kid who’s got a real knack for playing the drums, but Whiplash is one of the best-reviewed films of 2014 for a reason. It has the strength to get under your skin and challenge you–should you settle at mediocrity or strive to be the best? A question both relative to the film as it is relative to our present day culture who perpetually settles at the margin. The film pushes the envelope with this question combining the driving force of Black Swan dedication under the severe command-style of Full Metal Jacket. This tour de force is not one to miss and certainly one to learn from this year.

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“The Past is a Grotesque Animal- a Film About Of Montreal” An Endearing Glam Rock Odyssey

The Past is a Grotesque Animal

Evolving over time from a fairly pretentious Beatles inspired pop rock act to a theatrical mixed genre masterpiece, Of Montreal is one of the most prolific musical acts of the past twenty years. Since 1997 frontman Kevin Barnes and his menagerie of collaborators have produced an impressive discography of twelve studio albums as diverse as they are elaborate as well as a handful of EPs and compilations. Directed by Jason Miller, The Past is a Grotesque Animal – a Film About Of Montreal was well overdue but, like anything Of Montreal, perfectly timed. Their last few albums have been what many have come to know them by, and still you would be lucky to come across a song of theirs on your car radio. This is a wonderful opportunity to look into the mind of the enigmatic genius who wrote, produced and often played every instrument.

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Now Playing On The Silver Stream: Halloween 2014

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Who doesn’t love a good Halloween Horror Marathon? One of my favorite activities in the fall is perching on the edge of the couch and finding new horror movies to watch. There is always some old exploitation film, and something that changes the rules of classic monsters, and every once in a while I want to know about the evolution of the genre. In the history of film, no genre has changed so dramatically and so constantly as horror. This season I will suggest three interesting films you may be missing on Netflix.

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5 Reasons to See Gone Girl

Gone Girl Gif 4star-2“I will practice believing my husband loves me, but I could be wrong.”

There are two sides to every story, and director David Fincher does his damnest to make sure you’re fully engrossed in both sides.Gone Girl Gif Gone Girl Gif
Whether or not you’ve read Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl (I haven’t), fans of the novel attest that the film adaptation doesn’t stray far from it’s source material. When Amy Dunne mysteriously goes missing, her husband becomes the central focus of her disappearance during a media blitz covering her story.
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There’s a lot of meat to the core of the story as well as debate–is this a misogynist film, does it have a misanthropic view on marriage? Gone Girl may have sparked questions and raised a few eyebrows, but it has unanimously garnered praise from moviegoers; I haven’t really heard a single complaint on the Internet about this film. While it’s not my favorite Fincher flick, it’s strengths outweigh it’s weaknesses. This is a smart film that’s going to make you think, have you talking about it for a while and leave you fully unsettled with what you just watched. Here are my top reasons to see Gone Girl.

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SPOILERS

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Revisiting David Fincher’s Alien 3

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“I hope someone goes to see this movie.” David Fincher while filming

Before director David Fincher became a household name with Se7en, Zodiac and The Social Network, his questionable directorial debut with Alien 3 has been dismissed by critics and audiences alike, but more greatly misunderstood as the third installment of the Alien franchise.

As a fan of this franchise, I too can attest that Alien 3 is an absolute mess of a film. From it’s famously documented turbulent shooting with an unfinished script to an even more complicated post-production process, Alien 3 was fighting a losing battle in one of the greatest franchises of it’s era.

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In Memory of Robin Williams

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“Boy, why are you crying?”
“I don’t know. A tear for every happy thought.”
Wendy and Peter in Hook

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Hilarity and Adventure Ensue With “Guardians of the Galaxy”

cast of Guardians of the Galaxy

Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Rocket voiced by Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, and Groot voiced by Vin Diesel

4star-2“So here we are: a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac. But we’re not going to stand by as evil wipes out the galaxy. I guess we’re stuck together, partners.”

After two years of anticipation following San Diego Comic Con 2012 where Guardians of the Galaxy was announced, it is finally here. After a summer of lackluster blockbusters, this science fiction action farce is guaranteed to restore your faith in the season. Set in Marvel Studios’s newly carved movie universe there are definitely ties to the other films, most notably the appearance of Thanos and his terrifying alien army from The Avengers. Do not let the brand fool you though, Guardians of the Galaxy is not your standard comic book adaptation.
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The Aesthetics of Mood Indigo

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3star“If we screw up this moment, we try the next. And if we fail the next, we have our whole lives to get it right.”

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The whimsical, fantastical and surreal tale of Mood Indigo left me with one conclusion–someone was on a cocktail of drugs when they crafted this alternate reality together. But that’s what makes Mood Indigo a visual feast to experience  on screen from the pages of the “unfilmable” novel it’s based upon.

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Now Playing On The Silver Stream

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We’ve all been there, aimlessly scrolling through heinously named genres trying to find the perfect movie to fill that moment. In the mood for comedy we scroll past obscure independents and unrecognizable titles from the 70’s and 80’s only to settle on that stand-up special you’ve seen a million times. Here at On The Screen Reviews we would like to extend a helping hand. Now Playing On The Silver Stream is an article series where we do that aimless scrolling for you. At least once a month we will bring you a smattering of streaming films you may just be missing out on. So without further ado, let’s take a look at three such films.

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Obvious Child, an Unconventional Romantic Comedy

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“One thing I think our movie fights for, and I will fight for as a person, is that it’s a woman’s right not just to choose but to have complex feelings about that choice.”
 

Do a little dance, make a little love and getting down tonight sometimes results in one of the most common accidents women face today–pregnancy. It also results in one of the most glaring movie slogans of the year: “This is a romantic comedy…about abortion.”

Do I have your attention yet? Production company A24 (Under the Skin, Spring Breakers, The Spectacular Now) made a risque decision to splatter a quote containing the phrase “abortion comedy” on the poster. In response A24 founder David Fenkel said, “That’s in a quote on our poster. But it’s just one of the quotes. We didn’t shy away from the word ‘abortion,’ but we didn’t want to wear it on our sleeve either.”

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Sure it’s a funny movie, with a strong female cast and revolves around the unapologetic decision of abortion, but Obvious Child has more layers worth investing your time in than dismissing it by it’s slogan. The film explores the “dark side” of the road less traveled and does so with grace and raw emotion.

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