Monday, April 27th | CinemaSpartan.com

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Panic at the Mythos Starring: Rinko Kikuchi, David Zellner Review written by Robert D. Patrick The first image that emblazons the screen is that of a woman, wearing a red sweater. The heat radiates like a crimson-hot coal streaking over an unknown shoreline. Imagine a lipstick smudge or a shock of red paint. The figure’s feet […]

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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Deli Man

Love in the Time of Challah, Bruh Review by Robert D. Patrick A salvo of empirically pleasing images wash over the screen. Suddenly there is buttery meat, fine mustard, top shelf rye, and an honest serving of choleric wit. The Jewish deli, an institution for food lovers. You need an affable level of hubris and […]

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Deli Man

The Top Ten Best Songs of 2014

Helado Negro by Eve Sussman Written by Robert D. Patrick After crushing my skull with thousands of songs in 2014, I came up with my top 100 tracks, only to chisel them down to an electric ten. Chromeo had the best dance song of the year (“Jealous”), and Caribou had one of the best pure […]

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The Top Ten Best Songs of 2014
18:46

Musicians on Pitchfork

When I began the process of interviewing musicians, sometime in 2008, I hadn’t really thought of online journalists – specifically those of whom were devoted to acerbic album reviews. In the aughts, the juggernaut of esoteric references and irreverent snark, Pitchfork Media, had been widening their net over independent music. Practicing my brand of unfocused paper shuffling, […]

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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]


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Adult Beginners (0)

Published on Fri, 24/04/15 | Comedy, Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick

Kroll Over, Play Dead

Starring: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

A thirty-something has an existential crisis, burrows into depression, and has some snarky, impertinent bile to spew against the walls of their loved ones’ home. This is an insipid, burgeoning genre that began with the tired eyelids of Owen Wilson in the aughts, and just hasn’t slowed down since. Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Happy Christmas, and, most recently, The Skeleton Twins have all approached the transformation comedy of what it takes to be an adult when you’re just not ready, bro.

Can we stop drawing from this well? Can we just demolish the thing? Throw a stick of TNT down into it?

Newly unemployed Jake (Nick Kroll) slinks back to his childhood home, carrying only a crestfallen gaze and a mussed lid of hair. Seeking refuge, he intends to bore himself into the nearest mattress and hibernate there. Justine (Rose Byrne), Jake’s sister, allows him to stay with her family under certain “comedic” concessions – he has to look after her son! How is this bedraggled, monotone, self-effacing manchild going to look after an energetic kid if he cant even look after himself?!

The groaning commences.

Clearly, screenwriters Liz Flahive and Jeff Cox have seen Mr. Mom, School of Rock, True Adolescents, or any other number of schlep-meets-his-match comedies. This kind of tired banana peel humor lifts its wary head throughout director Ross Katz’s meandering film. The soggy one liners rain down, glibly, as if any of the random non sequiturs are even remotely funny. “Oh, leaf babies,” Kroll cries out, when seeing his nephew’s art, “that makes perfect sense!” Is this supposed to be hilarious because it’s random? How does this work?

Even though she’s given little to do, Rose Byrne has an inherent likability that elevates this film, ever so mildly, over its sluggish ninety-minute running time. Byrne’s character seems relieved of texture: Justine is a mother, so she is tired. Justine is a sister, so she begrudgingly loves her brother. Justine eats, because she is a living person. There’s not much going on here to make her more than a prop. The characters can be confused, but should the screenwriters be?

Kroll can be snide and erudite, when he has the right material, but here he is playing a lo-fi version of Mark Duplass (which seems apropos, since both Duplass brothers produced Adult Beginners). Strangely, there’s not one line of interesting dialogue here. Not one funny thought. Not one clever observation or interesting interplay between characters. This is a placid, moss filled lake of nothing. With so many similar films being released lately, there’s absolutely no reason to encourage this “dude, what do I do now?” genre to continue – as of now, the laziness of its characters has officially seeped over to the filmmaking process itself.

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True Story (0)

Published on Fri, 17/04/15 | Crime, Drama, Reality Based, Written By: Robert Patrick
True Story

Close-Ups: The Movie Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco Review written by Robert D. Patrick The gossamer web that director Rupert Goold weaves is more of the plastic bag, Halloween variety. Fake, difficult to pull apart, and without a genuine aesthetic. True Story is a film about two desperate men interrogating one another by spitting venom through […]


Serena (0)

Published on Fri, 27/03/15 | Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
Serena

Love In a Time of Bore Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper Review written by Robert D. Patrick Dust-licked North Carolina aches and trembles under the oppressive weight of the depression. In the shadow of a land dipped in sadness comes an irascible, headstrong businessman with his eyes set on timbre. His employees are lacquered in sweat and […]


What We Do In The Shadows (0)

Published on Fri, 20/02/15 | Comedy, Horror, Written By: Robert Patrick
What We Do In The Shadows

In the Land of Blood and Funny Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi Review written by Robert D. Patrick Vampires, again? When drawing from an empty, moss-encased well, you would expect your rusty bucket to hit the sludge at the bottom. We’ve had empirically attractive, virile blood suckers. Well quaffed, Victorian vampires. Apathetic, vinyl hoarding shapeshifters. Grotesquely moribund […]


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Top Ten Movies of 2014

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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

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The Best of Arnold

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B-Movie: Rock N Roll Nightmare

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