Saturday, October 25th | CinemaSpartan.com

Annabelle

Guise and Dolls Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton Review written by Robert D. Patrick Dummies, dolls, and plastic fortune tellers make up the axis of evil in the land of possessed inanimate objects. Their lifeless orb-like eyes, stare, without motive, as their frozen lips curl into a macabre smile. A perfect conduit for demons, to […]

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Annabelle

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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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]

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Interview with Journalist
21:35

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 […]

9:41

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]


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The Last Temptation of Christ (0)

Published on Fri, 3/10/14 | Commentary, Drama, Film Reviews, Written By: Tom Bevis

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The desert swarms on the brink of a holy war as the people struggle against the unstoppable force of the Roman Empire, waiting for the day a messiah, a supreme profit will arrive to protect them, unite them, and deliver them to salvation, both on earth and in the afterlife. Martin Scorsese arrives, determined to deliver this hero of the people in this narrative of the formative years of one of our planet’s most prominent religions.

What sets this film apart – the story of Jesus Christ leaving Nazareth to collect his apostles and ultimately begin the chain of events that will lead to his crucifixion – is that it presents itself as a narrative instead of a gospel. The ultimate purpose of this film is not to preach a sermon in the name of Jesus Christ or the god he represents, but rather to portray an intriguing presentation of one of the world’s most known prophets. With this separation of story from sermon, the narrative of the film is opened to a nearly unlimited potential audience pool.

Of all the film adaptations of the biblical narrative, never before has it seemed more like a story than a sermon than it does in Scorsese’s film. With the freedom the liberation of the strict interpretation, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader are able to craft a new presentation of Jesus Christ. In this film, we see a flawed and frightened young man, struggling to understand his purpose in the grand scheme of existence and, once the details of his purpose are presented, his struggle to accept the destiny that has been laid out to him.

While this vision of Jesus Christ can be controversial and infuriating to fundamentalists, it is refreshing and somewhat sobering to see the messiah presented as something more human than god. To believers, such a portrayal ought to be inspirational: even the central figure of your religion struggled with the everyday aspects of faith in the face of a myriad of temptations. To nonbelievers, this creates a character with more depth than the traditionally portrayed all-seeing and almighty Jesus. This adjustment immediately makes the character more relatable and realistic as the protagonist of a narrative.

Willem Dafoe tackles the role of this impressionable and fearful messiah with nothing but tact and grace. His performance is utterly reliable and believable, from intense scenes of duress and terror to the blissful awareness of divine revelation. Dafoe emotes his lines with neither pride nor hubris, allowing his presence to pain a canvas entirely becoming of the fledgling prophet we follow throughout the film. While Dafoe consistently hits his mark, though, the rest of the roles could have been cast by exactly anyone. Harvey Keitel, in particular, as tough-guy warrior priest Judas Iscariot is almost laughable in his snide-and-sneer approach to the betrayer.

In this film, unlike much of Scorsese’s catalog, the director completely sheds every semblance of his own personal style like the skin of a tempting snake. In its place, he employs a system of rigorously researched historical accuracy, ranging from the scene setting, the costuming, and acceptable diction. The result is a near-perfect motion picture, tinged in the flavor of biblical accuracy. Despite this fact, The Last Temptation of Christ is also possibly the only instance in Scorsese’s catalog where he actively attempts to create art. Unlike most attempts to make art, though (which often turn out similar to Jackson Pollock-smeared turds), Scorsese manages to come out with his picture unscathed.

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Kelly & Cal (0)

Published on Thu, 2/10/14 | Drama, Romance, Written By: Robert Patrick
Kelly & Cal

Sheena is a Punk Mocker Starring: Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston Review written by Robert D. Patrick Middling, downtrodden, clawing out of a heap of emotional malaise. Kelly (Juliette Lewis) is steeped in repressed fears, admonishment, tides of doubt. Having just had a baby, she is in the throes of despondency and existentialism. Her husband, Josh (Josh Hopkins), is […]


My Old Lady (0)

Published on Sat, 20/09/14 | Comedy, Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
My Old Lady

Where There’s a Will There’s a Nay Starring: Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith Review written by Robert D. Patrick Isreal Horovitz, the writer and director of My Old Lady, creates a color wheel of incendiary black humor and repressed ire in his opus about a rascally opportunist named Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline). Adapted from the stage play of […]


A Letter to Momo (0)

Published on Thu, 4/09/14 | Animated, Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
A Letter to Momo

Fun for the Whole – – – What Is That?! Review written by Robert D. Patrick Hiroyuki Okiura’s pastel swept yarn is an eccentric, emotionally debilitating dive into self-doubt, skewed modality, and grief induced psychosis – the perfect kids movie! In A Letter to Momo, an eleven-year-old girl moves to an island, soon after her father’s […]


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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.  Share on Tumblr

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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 […]

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]

From the Vault: Interview w/ Wolf Parade

  Working as an editor of a small weekly in the aughts, I fought to perforate the innocuous milquetoast sheen of community articles by bringing in band interviews. The experiment didn’t last long, and pictures of pumpkin patches prevailed. I was in my early twenties, I was barking up the wrong tree. Though violently abridged, this […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 ten comedy podcasts of […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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 again. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 accumulated reviews, and […]

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 again. The […]

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 budgetary reasons. Purportedly this […]

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