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"The Go-Betweens – and maybe The Saints – are the only real indie music tradition we have in Australia. It's more of an AC/DC heavy rock culture."
--Elizabeth Morris (Allo Darlin')
CD Reviews
Exodus: Gods and Kings PDF Print E-mail
Written by David T. Lindsay   
ImageExodus: Gods and Kings [PG-13]: THE HITTITES ARE COMING! And as the film opens the Brooklynese Pharoah played by John Turturro is making plans for Nigel, who in this case is his son Ramses (Joel Edgerton), to lead the charge! But he has another son, discovered in the bulrushes, named Moses, played by Christian Bale as if he were headed for Arkham Asylum. My God, I felt as though I was watching reruns of Dallas set on the Nile as director Ridley Scott’s latest attempt to offend no one other than Christians falls flat! It’s the year 1300 B.C.E. – a popular academic secular designation that did matter to anyone the film was based on. And that’s important because if this account has anything to answer for, it’s what's left out of the tale: Why the kid instead of the Almighty God of Israel? Why Moses never descends from Mount Sinai smashing the tablet upon finding many have turned to idolatry, worshipping Baal who is Allah? A poor cast overwrought with beard growth makes the highlight a George Pal-like plague wherein Mars Attacks-style Egyptians are struck with boils and flies and frogs and locusts, culminating in the parting of the Red Sea. This is a film so neutral and inoffensive that it belongs in the B.C.E. where it will be seen as the Feel Good Movie for agnostic bedwetters!
Wild PDF Print E-mail
Written by David T. Lindsay   
ImageWild [R]: Reese Witherspoon commands the frame as Cheryl Strayed, a recklessly hedonistic heroin user who decides to clean up and hike the one thousand mile-plus Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada to find the woman her mother expected her to be. Sounds thrilling and ripe for feminist indoctrination, huh? Not hardly, this is a universally aware story about declining challenges faced as we grow older, losing much that make us “wild”! From cliffhangers to chrome bars, priorities are met and dependency fades with her every step as the sword of Damocles could fall at any moment. Flashbacks of her mother (Laura Dern) mirror the cuts and scrapes on the hiking trail.
The Penguins of Madagascar PDF Print E-mail
Written by David T. Lindsay   
ImageThe Penguins of Madagascar [PG]: Those cynical, wisecracking sidekicks to the zoo animals of Madagascar are given a backstory origin about their having upstaged an octopus who is determined to get revenge. There's always those few ad-libbed flip-offs that reveal the penguins as having Libertarian values, as in the second Madagascar movie when they hire monkeys to provide the labor needed to build an airplane from their plans and the monkeys threaten to unionize! This time, kidnapped, once they discover they are being taken to France, they comment, “We’re going to FRANCE with their tax rate? I don’t think so!” Part H.L. Mencken, part Marx Brothers, it’s one of the more intellectual laughs all year
Whiplash PDF Print E-mail
Written by David T. Lindsay   
ImageWhiplash [R]: Writer Nat Hentoff in his book, Jazz Is, describes it as “the bite of life.” Thelonious Monk recommended that in jazz, “you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you’re doing!" In Whiplash, J.K. Simmons is Captain Bligh to Miles Teller’s Fletcher Christian as a student drummer is faced with anonymity or mutiny during a class with an instructor known for his abusive manner. With similarities to Jack Webb’s The D.I. and Rod Serling's Patterns, it’s an absorbing comparison to a ship at low tide hitting a barrier reef as cut throat competition pits musicians against one another for prized positions at the academy showcase. Blisters burst, tears are shed and ultimately the film title refers to it all as a flogging in three quarter time.
Georgia Film News 12/15/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
ImageAn independent feature film called Sons 2 the Grave is currently filming in metro Atlanta. The drama from Canadian writer/producer Lynne Stoltz concerns how the residents of two neighborhoods deal with the aftermath of the killing of an 18-year-old rising basketball star. Singer/actor Trevor Jackson (pictured, Eureka, Let It Shine),  Darrin Dewitt Henson (Stomp the Yard, Soul Food), Atlanta’s Justin Martin (Flight, The Soloist) and Marie Howell star, with actor Mykelti Williamson (Nashville, Justified, 24, CSI: NY, Forrest Gump) stepping into a new role in the director’s chair.

The folks behind a film adaptation of Jonathan Evison’s third novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving have been looking at setting up shop in Atlanta, with production hoping to ramp up early in the new year, though nothing firm has been set as of yet. Two years ago, David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants acquired film rights to the book, and Late Show with David Letterman executive producer Rob Burnett was going to direct, but it’s unclear whether they are still involved. There’s a notice on the Film & TV Production Help Wanted Hotline page at Georgia.org that the filmmakers are accepting crew resumes.

Also eying Atlanta is indie film Folk Hero & Funny Guy. Written and directed by comedian/actor/filmmaker Jeff Grace, it’s a buddy dramedy about a struggling stand-up comic (Alex Karpovsky from Girls) who goes on tour opening shows for his friend, an attractive, successful singer/songwriter (Wyatt Russell, spawn of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn). Also in the cast are singer Liza Oppenheimer and Melanie Lynskey. Boston songman Adam Ezra is composing original music for the flick.

Ivide, an Indian crime thriller about the serial killing of IT professionals in US cities, has started filming in Atlanta. Indian filmmaker Shyamaprasad is directing, with Indian actor Prithviraj Sukumann playing an Atlanta policeman assigned to the case. Fellow Indian actors Aju Varghese, Y.G. Mahendran and Nivin Pauly also star in the Dharmik Films production, expected to continue shooting in Atlanta through January.

With Insurgent back in Atlanta briefly doing some reshoots, it looks like production on Part 1 of Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent trilogy, will kick into gear in June.

While ratings are indeed rising, local production on Constantine has ceased, for now at least, until NBC decides whether to continue with the supernatural comic book series. And the Fox network has declined to order new episodes of the acclaimed but low-rated teen hospital drama Red Band Society beyond the initial 13 episodes. As with Constantine, that’s not encouraging, but it doesn’t mean a renewal is off the table.

Eagle Rock Studios, which started out with two soundstages in a retrofitted former beer distribution warehouse in Stone Mountain, is expanding with four additional soundstages currently being constructed in Norcross in an old Kraft distribution center. Resurrection has been filming at the Stone Mountain location, and producer Gideon Amir has been openly enthusiastic about his experience there and the prospects of the Norcross expansion. The new 440,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed by the end of March.

With Oscar buzz growing and Golden Globe nominations for Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Song cementing its image as an Important Film, Selma will now be opening in Atlanta in Atlanta two weeks earlier, on Christmas Day, instead of the wide release date of Jan. 9th.

Trevor Jackson photo by Dante Marshall.
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