Aug 25 2017

Patti Cake$

Straight outta Jeresy, a rubenesque and unlikely Patti Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald), a.k.a Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, is an aspiring rapper skilled in the art of word sorcery and spit, laying down the freshest of the fresh tracks upon the dopiest of dope stacks of wax….ahem, that is to say Patti and her friends Jerry and Bob (Siddharh Dhananjay and Mamoudou Athie) are three twenty something kids looking to dig their way out of Jersey, with music as their weapon of choice they might just stand a chance.Written and Directed by Geremy Jasper, this off beat but par excellence indie flick has the heart of a lion, the mouth of a drunken sailor, two fists of iron, and it comes out swinging– smashing the walls of the gallery while hanging it’s own quirky masterpiece. Expectedly rough around the edges for first time Director Jasper but an overwhelmingly strong performance from MacDonald keeps the momentum driving forward even when the film lurches with typical underdog tropes. Worth at least your matinee dollar, Patti Cake$ is rated R.

Aug 11 2017

Wind River

Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Corey Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds himself in the hunt for whoever is responsible for the mysterious death of a young Native American girl. Paired up with green horn FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) the two have what might be an impossible task in front of them; especially considering how quickly mother nature can erase evidence and the distinct lack of firepower with the tribal police. Only the strong will survive this game of cat and mouse, will Corey and Jane have the fortitude to see their mission to the end? Written and Directed by Taylor Sheridan this dark and mysterious drama coupled with a haunting score by the hands of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis has the pedigree and markings of a well thought out piece, full of heavy heart and ripe with suspense. While not a stretch for Renner, Olsen manages to craft a believable character from what could easily go off the rails and make for a cheaper, easier out. And, while Wind River does follow a pattern/formula for Sheridan drawing many similarities to Sicario and Hell or High Water there still manages to be enough new and unexplored territory to keep things interesting and without overstaying its welcome. Worth your time, Wind River is rated R.

Aug 4 2017

The Dark Tower

In a battle for the security of the universe a powerful extraterrestrial gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba) is in search of “The Man in Black” Walter (Matthew McConaughey); meanwhile, the troubling dreams that earthling Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is sketching might prove to be of assistance in the ultimate battle between good and evil. Traveling through portals of time and space Jake and Roland must partner together in order to defend the Dark Tower. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel and based on the novels by Stephen King this Sci-Fi romp accomplishes quite a bit in its scant hour and thirty five minutes of runtime; the setup of multiple worlds, the rounding out of its main characters, and the efficient time management of action against dialogue to keep the beats of the film on pace. Seems mostly legit on paper, so what’s the catch? The catch is, in the end the audience is left with what appears to be yet another Young Adult adventure reaching for the crown of all that have come before it, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Insurgent, The Mortal Instruments, The Golden Compass, I am Number Four, etc.. And, sadly, there doesn’t appear to be enough momentum to break free of earth’s massive gravity to really soar to interstellar heights. None the less, Elba’s performance gives us meat to sink our teeth into against McConaughey’s Christopher Walken/Arch Angel Gabriel inspired villain. You could do a lot worse, but you could also do better, The Dark Tower is rated PG-13.