film

Commentary
5:30 am
Thu December 4, 2014

'Theory Of Everything' Feels Incomplete

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything'

Much as I admire The Theory of Everything, the supposedly true movie of the life of scientific genius Stephen Hawking, I can't quite go along with the two women I talked with in the lobby, one of whom said she loved it and intended to see it again, and the other who said it was the best movie she'd ever seen and she wanted to see it several more times.

I'd certainly give it high marks for what it intends to be, but the material itself (especially when we learn in the closing credits that it is based on a memoir by the wife) properly precludes a complete story.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Thu November 27, 2014

'Mockingjay' Is Vivid And Effective

It is a hard thing to have to review Part Three of a four-part series without having seen Parts One and Two. There is bound to be a certain unclarity as to what has happened before and how the characters relate to each other, because the beginning setups are not there, and since the movie ends when it is only three-quarters done, there can be no satisfactory closure. Even those who thought The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the Star Wars trilogy had to admit that.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Thu November 20, 2014

'Whiplash' Is A Riveting Look At Musical Obsession

Whiplash is one of the strangest and most gripping movies about showbusiness I've ever seen, in its exclusive concentration on two psychological studies-- one of character actor J.K. Simmons as a drill-instructor-type jazz trainer, and the other Miles Teller as a 19-year-old who is maniacally obsessed with becoming the greatest jazz drummer in the world.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Performances Elevate 'St. Vincent'

Bill Murray in 'St. Vincent'

St. Vincent is a rather quiet little movie made remarkable mostly, but not exclusively, by Bill Murray's performance in a basically non-comic role, as a man scraping by on the fringes of society who is suddenly confronted with situations requiring him to do the right thing, whether he feels like it or not.

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Commentary
7:57 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Time For Scary (?) Movies!

Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in 'Young Frankenstein'

 

Each week, Fletcher Powell finds the independent and non-commercial films showing in Wichita and the surrounding areas and brings them to you in this handy guide.

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Young Frankenstein

October 23, 7:00 p.m.

Orpheum Theatre

 

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

'Messenger' Is Fascinating But Hardly Balanced

Kill the Messenger is a pretty good political movie about what happened to a reporter who revealed illicit dealings of the CIA in Los Angeles, especially the bitter revenged imposed on him with--at the very minimum--the full acquiescence of the U.S. government. Its biggest flaw is that it's so utterly one-sided, but the facts it is based on are apparently undeniable now.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 9, 2014

'Gone Girl' Is First-Rate, If Not Totally Believable

Ben Affleck's new movie, Gone Girl, is two-and-a-half hours long, but has plot enough for two-and-a-half miniseries. And wonder of Hollywood wonders, it all hangs together, albeit in a rather incredible series of stories. It relies on coincidences and does not obsess about believability, but it's certainly not boring or predictable. The two people I discussed it with and I all rated it three-and-a-half stars or a maximum four, and I shared with one of them a desire to read the book.

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Commentary
10:29 am
Wed October 8, 2014

The October Festival Circuit

Toshiro Mifune (right) as Sanjuro the samurai in 'Yojimbo', playing at the Tallgrass Film Festival

  The Tallgrass Film Festival runs from October 15th - 19th, but there's also a horror movie festival running throughout the month. Details on both below!

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Tallgrass Film Festival

Full Festival Guide

Festival lineup by showtime

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

It's Hard To Connect With 'Skeleton Twins'

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in 'The Skeleton Twins'

The Skeleton Twins resembles The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby in being about a pair of people who simply cannot adjust to problems a lot of people face. Except that the Skeleton twins (I'm not going to explain that title), Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, are positively, literally suicidal from the very start, and there is a clear, though unsatisfactory, suggestion as to how their problems could be faced.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

'Eleanor Rigby' Could Use Some Actual Momentum

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, in the version currently circulating, is a cut down two-hour combination of a three-hour double feature that will go into limited release next year, and which I hope we get to see, because the present version left me rather unsatisfied.

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