Sunday, April 20th | CinemaSpartan.com

The Railway Man

A Train Called War

Starring: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman
Review written by Tom Bevis
“I have a small problem,” Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) tells his veteran cohorts in the crisp shade of a Veteran’s Club, “which I suspect this small gathering might find interesting.” Thus are the first spoken words of The Railway Man and many of [...]

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The Railway Man

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Red, White and Bruise

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Review written by Tom Bevis
At this point, the films coming out of Marvel Studios need no introduction. Thanks to the irresistible and insatiable curiosity of the masses and the infinitely long reach of this wonderfully infamous machine we call the Internet, it seems all details of the [...]

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sabotage

One Man Arnie

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington
Review written by Tom Bevis
When The Last Stand struck theaters nearly a year ago with gallons of cantankerous nostalgia and high-octane grit, many folks on the streets were speculating whether or not Arnold Schwarzenegger would be pitching his tent in Hollywood and focusing on reestablishing his acting career full-time. [...]

The Whole Scoop
Sabotage
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 [...]

20:20

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 [...]


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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (0)

Published on Fri, 11/04/14 | Comedy, Crime, Written By: Robert Patrick

Talk Dupe

alan_partridge_tim_key_steve_coogan_1

Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

Steve Coogan’s dry, acerbic humor gnashes down on everything in director Declan Lowney’s rabid, unbound Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Starring as the title character, Coogan, whose tongue is given free range to lash at whatever it wants, gives his most inspired film performance since 2002’s 24 Hour Party People. Since then, it’s been a Cracker Jack guess as to what version of the British comedian we’re going to get. Flashes of the morally mired, barbed tempered, and clever actor have appeared in A Cock and Bull Story, The Trip, and last year’s Philomena, but they all had muzzled his wit to some finite degree. Here, Coogan strafes every scene with laughs.

Coogan plays Alan Partridge, a radio show host with the hubris of Icarus and the humility of a machine gun. For our narcissistic hero, it’s just another day at the office until fellow DJ, Pat (Colm Meaney), gets the ax from the radio station’s new owners. From then on out, it’s a riotous plunge into whirring bullets and barbed observational humor. Movies such as Air Heads, Talk Radio, and Pontypool have dealt with the idea of tangible danger in the belly of a broadcast system, but all of them, at some point during their running time,  junked out. The Alan Partridge character isn’t a helium-headed lug but an irascible, intelligent brat – and the film that bears his name benefits from the adroit quips he lays down at each acute turn.

Colm Meaney plays the meek, somewhat slovenly DJ given the boot by the executives at the newly re-branded radio station. Hellbent on revenge, the oafish host with the milquetoast personality begins taking hostages and cracking jaws.  The Irish actor hasn’t been this funny since John Crawley’s Intermission, way back in 2003. Meaney tightrope walks between gentle and incendiary during his screen time, and the mercurial dichotomy he employs makes for some ridiculously effective moments. The comic timing here – concise and with confident authority – is the real marquee star of Lowney’s hilarious opus. Coogan and Meaney work so well off of each other that their manic shtick rarely misfires. With all of the tracing paper dreck that has been released in theaters recently, it’s nice to see such a deft cocktail of physical humor and clever dialogue.

A

5 Hour Friends (0)

Published on Thu, 27/03/14 | Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
5 Hour Friends

Sand Trap City

Starring: Tom Sizemore, Kimberlin Brown
Review written by Robert D. Patrick
Foppish attire and the plunking of piano keys, an ethereal hum of ambient noise that coils around cocktail glasses and crestfallen necks. Director Theo Davies wants you to feel the buzz of spirits and the vapid nature of carnal encounters. He also wants you [...]


Bad Words (0)

Published on Thu, 20/03/14 | Comedy, Written By: Tom Bevis
Bad Words

Alphabet Dupe

Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn
Review written by Tom Bevis
If you’re a fan of Arrested Development, chances are you have already seen the single episode directed by series star Jason Bateman. Now, Bad Words provides the public a chance to see Bateman try his hand at the big screen in his feature directorial debut. [...]


Le Week-End (0)

Published on Thu, 20/03/14 | Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
Le Week-End

Paris, City of Fights

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan
Review written by Robert D. Patrick
It’s possible. If you’re together with someone long enough, the sound of your beating heart will become the crack of locked horns. The coddling turns into passive-aggressive teeth baring, and the dinner utensils become primers for a joust. Shouting can be a sonic [...]


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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 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’ [...]

The Goldberg Sisters Interview

Adam Goldberg’s Rolodex of films is so vast that if you flipped through it you would hear the sound of a hummingbird’s wings. The forty-year-old thespian, producer, director, musician and general jack of all trades is the entertainment version of a Swiss army knife. But Goldberg does them all well. From rocking a creaking, battle [...]

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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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