Tuesday, July 29th | CinemaSpartan.com

10 Great Dark Movies: Vacations or Traveling

A disgusting volley of unforgivable deeds and molar grinding abandon. Tire screeching, bone-jarring, guttural madness. My list for the Ten Great Dark Movies About Vacations or Traveling expunges weirdness. Bad drug trips, villains with halitosis, the eradication of childhood optimism – it’s all here! Fasten your seat belt and get ready for the spinout.

Spring [...]

The Whole Scoop
10 Great Dark Movies: Vacations or Traveling

Life Itself

All Things Once and Forever

Review written by Robert D. Patrick
It’s the most labored, arduous, sometimes portentous profession. Bereft of pity – “you watch movies? that cant be hard” – and pockmarked with confusion. The film critic is irascible and snooty; a divisive force with cloven hooves. A film critic, to the public’s eye, is often [...]

The Whole Scoop
Life Itself

Interview with TV Girl

‘I’m fascinated by beautiful women & not in a (strictly) prurient sense’

TV Girl’s hushed, ethereal hymns aren’t as docile or playful as they may seem. Flecked with emotional carnage and fanged observations, the Los Angeles based band has carved out a living making heart-masticating songs that deal with the pangs of acceptance. Brad Petering, the [...]

The Whole Scoop
Interview with TV Girl
20:06

Interview with TV Girl

‘I’m fascinated by beautiful women & not in a (strictly) prurient sense’

TV Girl’s hushed, ethereal hymns aren’t as docile or playful as they may seem. Flecked with emotional carnage and fanged observations, the Los Angeles based band has carved out a living making heart-masticating songs that deal with the pangs of acceptance. Brad Petering, the [...]

19:40

Interview with Colleen Green

Cool, ethereal, and blistering. Colleen Green’s fuzz-laden punk-rock is a carbonated minefield of guitar riffs and drum machines. It’s a sort of sonic hush that emblazons every fiber of her music. “Sock it to Me,” the newest opus by Green, has been heralded by critics and adored by fans. Cinema Spartan managed to catch up [...]


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Mood Indigo (0)

Published on Wed, 23/07/14 | Comedy, Drama, Romance, Written By: Robert Patrick

Watercolors and Wild Flowers

mood-indigo10

Starring: Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

From the hallucinatory hopscotch of Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind to the wonky fabric of Be Kind Rewind, French director Michel Gondry is known for dipping his paintbrush in clouds. The animated aesthetic of the auteur is on display in his newest opus, Mood Indigo. Adapted from Boris Vian’s book, Froth on the Daydream, Gondry fuels up his kaleidoscopic palette and lets the colors burst.

Colin (Romain Duris) is a wealthy bachelor that consumes decadent meals created by his charismatic cook, Nicolas (Omar Sy). When our dapper protagonist isn’t ravenously eating pastel-colored cakes, he longs for romance. This, of course, is where the doe-eyed Chloé (Audrey Tautou) enters the scene. Vibrantly dressed, somewhat coy, and typically Tautou, Chloé lassos the attention of the doting Colin. As advertised, breezy visuals wash over the film. Wistful melodies bounce and concuss the two lovers until they marry one another. Romantic as it may be, Chloé, in a dash of bad luck, becomes ill when a flower begins to sprout in her lungs, causing her to grow sick and weary.

Visually, director Michel Gondry is floating somewhere between the construction paper landscape of Spike Jonze and the bulbous eccentricities of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Mood Indigo is affluent in style, there is no question, but the set design never gets in the way of the storytelling. No movie has been this emotionally authentic, while maintaining its abstract compass, since Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York. A particularly jaunty spectacle, early in the film, involves an irreverent use of Duke Ellington and some spectacularly nimble dance moves (worth the admission alone).

Expect shoes, food, plates, and even bodies to move around like Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” music video. And while it’s all fun and relentlessly odd, Mood Indigo is an unparalleled mosaic of sweetness and cyanide that only Gondry could have tightrope walked.

B-

Mood Indigo opens Friday, July 25th at Landmark’s Ken Cinema.

Le Chef (0)

Published on Thu, 10/07/14 | Comedy, Romance, Written By: Robert Patrick
Le Chef

Pots and Panned?

Starring: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn
Review written by Robert D. Patrick
Ah, flippant movies about virtuous chefs and serpentine critics. Exorbitant portions are subdued in favor of strategic plating and multi-tiered flavor profiles. And how about those plates that flourish with primary colors? Daniel Cohen, the director behind Le Chef, sets his movie in the eccentric [...]


The Double (0)

Published on Sun, 18/05/14 | Drama, Science Fiction, Suspense, Written By: Robert Patrick
The Double

Birds of a Feather

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska
Review written by Robert D. Patrick
James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) is working in a cubicle the size of a kennel. Those around him, decrepit and methodical, type away endlessly. Plumes of wild, uncombed hair envelope their ears. They have been in this office a long, long time. And, from [...]


Godzilla (0)

Published on Thu, 15/05/14 | Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Written By: Tom Bevis
Godzilla

Pacific Commotion

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Review written by Tom Bevis
In the last sixty years, Godzilla has become a cultural phenomenon widely cherished by fans worldwide. Following the release of Gojira in 1954, the King of Monsters has spun off into dozen of films, television shows, video games, and comic books (including a series of [...]


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Pootie Tang: Revisited

I wanted to confirm my suspicions that Pootie Tang was indeed relegated to hatred and disgust prior to writing this column.  Yes, I am that delusional about this film… according to others.  I browsed to a certain spoiled produce aggregator and saw a resounding 26% approval, lauded as dismal, and completely admonished by various critics.  [...]

Critical Failures: Coming Soon…

A new column written by Kyle Henke that argues against critical viewpoints shared by many.  Was the movie really awful or actually great?  Is the actor playing the role amazingly while being shamed for the script?  Lets find out.

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Interview with TV Girl

‘I’m fascinated by beautiful women & not in a (strictly) prurient sense’

TV Girl’s hushed, ethereal hymns aren’t as docile or playful as they may seem. Flecked with emotional carnage and fanged observations, the Los Angeles based band has carved out a living making heart-masticating songs that deal with the pangs of acceptance. Brad Petering, the [...]

Interview with Colleen Green

Cool, ethereal, and blistering. Colleen Green’s fuzz-laden punk-rock is a carbonated minefield of guitar riffs and drum machines. It’s a sort of sonic hush that emblazons every fiber of her music. “Sock it to Me,” the newest opus by Green, has been heralded by critics and adored by fans. Cinema Spartan managed to catch up [...]

Interview with Chastity Belt

‘We Don’t Have to Hide Behind Anything Now’

The rowdy, carbonated, guitar tenderizing music of Chastity Belt hails from Walla Walla, Washington. Through a cocktail of venomous riffs and feet stomping snark that bruises amps, the band released one of the best records of 2013. Lead singer Julia Shapiro’s sonic, booming vocals soar over the proceedings [...]

Q&A w/ Julie Klausner

Julie Klausner’s anecdotal, razor-sharp wit has branded everything from television shows to an autobiographical memoir.  Bubble wrap snark and cultural observations stirred by cocktail swords, Klausner always has something new in her book bag. Her show, How Was Your Week?, was earmarked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top [...]

From the Vault: The Fiery Furnaces Interview

In 2008, I interviewed the mercurial, outspoken, often times wonky Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces for The East County Herald newspaper. Here, in its entirety, is the clunky, humorous, sometimes incendiary transcript of the exchange I had with Matthew. Known for their staccato production, esoteric lyrics, plunking pianos and rarely middling subject matter, The [...]

Medium to Medium with Colleen Green

Fuzzy, dirty, rollicking guitar riffs that feel like you’re being bludgeoned with a pillowcase full of Pop Rocks and fireworks. Ethereal and airy vocals that perforate the buzzing instruments. Lou Reed sunglasses and some jagged abandon define the mercurial, sonic, who-gives-a-fuck offerings of Colleen Green. With her newest record, Milo Goes to Compton, the barbed [...]

Medium to Medium: The Wooden Birds

Andrew Kenny’s achingly ethereal voice whittles away your preconceptions about what a band, emotionally, is capable of doing. The singer-songwriter has been a workhorse when it comes to traveling coast-to-coast – he has done it practically nonstop – throughout his career; if you tracked the flight lines across the United States it would look like [...]

Medium to Medium: Freezepop

Listening to Freezepop is akin to watching a rainbow perform harakiri; neon colors jut out everywhere. The band’s sound is a dichotomy of saccharine and cyanide, a swandive into a pool of glitter and reverb. Freezepop’s lead singer, the multitalented Liz Enthusiasm, pulls back snarky syllables with the bowstrings of her lips as she feathers [...]

Medium to Medium: Motopony

Motopony’s frontman, Daniel Blue, lulls out achingly barrel-aged vocals on the band’s self-titled record. The airy and yet splintered delivery of Blue is reminiscent of Neil Young’s rasp and Bon Iver’s maimed whispers. The salted-emotions of Blue and company aren’t epigenuous as they seem, and, by merit of their minimalist compositions, crawl and brood under [...]

Medium to Medium: Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts’ lyrics aren’t stymied by cloyingly banal word choices, instead they are aplomb with unique textures and colorful petals. And while the band’s lyrics can be pleasantly barbed, the delivery of the words, sung with aloof playfulness and sometimes even carnaptious snark, come off as fascinating as they are multilayered and rich. Wild Beasts’ [...]

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The Best of Arnold

I was a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and as a result I was weaned on action movies, particularly the glorious works of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and, OF COURSE, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Watching these films still imbues me with a sort of visceral delight, an upsurge of joy and contentment within the universe.
I [...]

Ultraman: Episodes 1&2

I was thrilled this weekend when I glanced through a $3.99 movie bin at Albertson’s and pulled out the most random inclusion I could find: Volume One of the 1966-7 Japanese TV show ULTRAMAN: A SPECIAL EFFECTS FANTASY SERIES.  One look at the cover art and I knew I’d be in for a treat.
A quick glance [...]

Sam’s Cosmic Movie Peeves

We’ve all got our little pet peeves when it comes to movies and television. Sometimes it stems from our areas of expertise (“Well I’M a fighter pilot and there’s no way I’d do it like that”) or sometimes we just learn some trivia and can never look at those troublesome scenes the same way [...]

B-Movie: Rock N Roll Nightmare

Review by Sam Wood
Jon Mikl Thor, the Legendary Rock Warrior, has had an expansive career spanning back to 1973 and continuing on in the present day. According to his VERY self-aggrandizing website, “THOR first made waves in the bodybuilding world, becoming Mr. Canada and Mr. USA, always using heavy music as an intensive training [...]

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story

My little column turns twenty posts old today, and what better way to celebrate than by reviewing the most ridiculously sleazy Hong Kong exploitation film I have ever seen?
“A Chinese Torture Chamber Story” exemplifies the concept of a guilty pleasure film. It is as hilarious as it is disgusting. The first time I watched it [...]

Presidents in Film

I was puttering around the Box Office Mojo website recently and came across an interesting comparison: the domestic box office gross of films about U.S. presidents. This includes documentaries, fictionalized accounts, and accounts that are entirely fictional in the first place.
Here are the fifteen top-performing presidential films (rounded to the nearest million):

Independence Day – 300 [...]

Holiday Cards

In lieu of an article this week I thought I’d provide something special for all the procrastinators out there.
If you haven’t sent out Christmas cards this year, but you vaguely intended to do so, and now you’re looking at the calendar and realizing there is no way in hell they would arrive in time: [...]

Solarbabies

From the moment the title screen flew at my face, I knew I was in for something special. And I was right! “Solarbabies” is not just special, it is exceptional, mind-blowing, earth-shattering (sometimes literally). The movie has a whopping 0% approval rating on Rottentomatoes (though in its defense there are only 10 [...]

My Favorite Aliens

Guys, I have a confession to make. I am really excited about the upcoming “Cowboys and Aliens.” Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell? Um, cowboys fighting aliens?
I’m a little nervous though, because often when Hollywood raises my expectations with a fun concept they are planning some prank to dash it all away [...]

Old School Movie Review: The Hobbit

I was initially planning to do another B-Movie review this week, but decide to do an old-school movie review instead. There’s a fine distinction between them sometimes, but in this case I couldn’t classify the film in question as B-grade material. Mostly it’s just… horrible. Plain horrible. Just not due to [...]

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