Tag Archives: Bob Balaban

Review: Moonrise Kingdom

It’s one thing to make a movie feel unique, but Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is almost otherworldly. While the film’s centerpiece pre-teen romance packs the power to earn a place in anyone’s heart, some readjusting is required to appreciate the film as a whole. But, if you’re willing to let loose and fall in line with Anderson’s techniques, Moonrise Kingdom proves to be an absolutely unforgettable pleasure.

The film takes place on a small island in the summer of 1965. Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) is home with family, spending her time longingly looking out the window with her binoculars while Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is out camping with his Khaki Scout troop – or so their guardians think. One morning Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and the boys of Troop 55 wake up to find that Sam has run away while Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) discover that Suzy has packed her things and left.

With a threatening storm on the horizon, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) desperately tries to track down the missing 12-year-olds with the help of Scout Master Ward and his wilderness survival savvy troops. Meanwhile Suzy and Sam enjoy some alone time out in the woods, testing the romantic waters.

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Review: Howl

Lacking an appreciation for poetry? No, I’m not talking about Shel Silverstein-type childhood favorites; I’m referring to the serious stuff, specifically, Allen Ginsberg’s work. If the answer is no, Howl certainly isn’t for you. Not that a moviegoer must like the person, the event or the subject a factual film focuses on, but Howl is so difficult to enjoy as it is that if you don’t find entertainment in slam poetry, the film is a guaranteed lost cause.

James Franco stars as Ginsberg, the author of the poem “Howl.” The poem is broken up into the three parts, the first of which Ginsberg developed using his own experiences as well as those of people he met during his younger years. In the second part, the poet introduces the reader to Moloch, a being used to represent capitalism. Part three is directed towards a man Ginsberg met during his stay at a psychiatric hospital, Carl Solomon.

Scattered through the material is a whole lot of 1950’s no-nos, profanity and sex talk. This led to the prosecution of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Andrew Rogers), the owner of City Lights Bookstore and the man who agreed to publish “Howl.” He was arrested and charged with selling obscene material. The proceedings were highly publicized and packed with literature experts on each side, but in the end, Ginsberg won out and the judge deemed his work acceptable.

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