Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
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The year is 1973. In the dead of night, a sluggish Philip Marlowe descends from his stucco apartment tucked snugly into a California hillside. Despite the thick blanket of humidity, the private eye is on the hunt — not for a murderer or jewel-encrusted statue, but a particular brand of cat food. Just two years later, a beloved country singer is shot beneath the shadow of the Nashville Parthenon; as she’s whisked away, drenched in blood, echoes of a jubilant crowd ring from the stage, “It don’t worry me.”
With its no-nonsense tagline, “Getting Straight A’s. Giving Zero F’s,” a double dose of comedic cockiness and cinematic audaciousness collide rather vividly in Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart.” Despite a cliche premise involving teenagers and the costly efforts to touch the cusp of social popularity, “Booksmart” utilizes its self-awareness in a post-Superbad world to take the generic tropes fronted by its predecessors and carves an identity that not only defies mediocrity but generates an entirely new nuance altogether.
Is it possible to stare too hard at something?
“Well ... that ain’t good,” the shooter proclaims of the bullet holes in his hat — and his forehead. Such morose writing would, in any other instance, draw breathless moviegoers to the edge of their seat; consistent to the directors’ natural flair, though, we need only laugh at the existential gag’s matter-of-fact delivery. Yes, Joel and Ethan Coen return to the big screen in Netflix’s (medium screen?) release of their newest film, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Tracing the independent anthologies of six vignettes in the American West with grit, irony, tongue-in-cheek humor and a varied cast of peculiar, well-spoken souls doomed to wander the duo’s gifted minds, the two-hour film demands multiple rewatches.
This week's episode is all about video games. Our columnists Marty Forbeck and Kyle Engels discuss recent titles they've reviewed, while we also touch on games that are closing out the 2018 schedule, including "Battlefield V" and "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate."
Well, folks, fall has reached its peak seasonal swing. The leaves have shifted from the lush greens to a deciduous melting pot of auburns, oranges and yellows; humidity recedes into memory as the overwhelming musk of the overcast, rainy woodland sweeps into Madison’s concrete jungle; pumpkins, gourds and an infinity of novelty lattes and doughnuts flood the coffee shops and bakeries of State Street, and so much more.
The Daily Cardinal Arts podcast returns! In this episode of Rock with the Flock, Sam Marz, Brandon Arbuckle, Alex Jankovich and Christian Memmo discuss all things film. From Oscar contenders to Hollywood scandals, tune in for a wide-ranging conversation on the latest movie news.
If you’re in the know to any degree on the folk-punk-rock scene, last week’s performances at The Sett was the place to be. Beneath the umbrella of a painfully niche subgenre identity and amid the first round of anxiety-inducing midterms, students and Madisonians alike congregated around the crowd-control barriers — beers and cell phones in hand — to break out into song and dance with some of the biggest names in this snippet of the musical oeuvre.
Earlier this month, John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” was released on home media. Its basic premise — a family living in taciturn paranoia among creatures who hunt via sound — was enough to pique my interest during its initial run in theaters. The film received immense critical and commercial success, reaping its budget tenfold and numerous voices calling it one of the best horror movies in years.
When we discuss the coming-of-age style of storytelling, a dominant preconception of what that entails enters our minds: typically, a vision of young adults — perhaps 18 to 21 years old — as they cross the threshold of adolescence into the larger world beyond the formulaic suburbia. Dwindling friendships, sporadic emotions and an intense pressure from the unknown are common components these stories use to empathize with us viewers, who have experienced some or all of these emotions at one point. In the American education system, the 18-21 range is prime real estate for the subgenre, as the shift from secondary to higher education is inducive to these anxieties.
The topic of familial estrangement is hardly new to the impetus of the narrative arc. In particular recency, plenty of wonderfully made films have explored this idea with a fluid blend of dramatic tension and character development: “Lady Bird,” “I, Tonya,” “Birdman” and perhaps even “Swiss Army Man,” to a degree. The respective character internalizes that emotional severance as a means of either reconciliation or maturation, offering a relatable and believable drive.
Wondering what new movies to watch? Looking for a good date night? Bored out of your mind? Don’t waste your ticket money on less-than-stellar films — here’s a list of this summer’s must-see movies.
It’s been roughly three months since I arrived in Italy, a part of the world often broken down into a few romanticized generalizations invoking adorations of pastas, wines, cheeses and pizzas. The pattern of food association with the culture is, while somewhat accurate, casting a shadow on other elements of Italian society that may be overlooked outside of their niche communities. This, too, was my experience approaching the neorealism film movement of the 20th century.
“Annihilation” is a melting pot. It’s quite difficult to compare it to a singular film that might capture its mood and personality. It carries the same cerebral, ominous tones that were signature traits in director Alex Garland’s previous hit, “Ex Machina,” and now bleeds into the increasingly horrific expedition via our protagonist crew.
In preparing for Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut in “Lady Bird,” I hads a sense of apprehension about the experience I presumed I would have. As industry costs increase and fall to the consumer, it becomes a greater gamble of financial precarity when $15 is the entry fee for the chance of an entertaining film and an enjoyable evening. Naturally, trailers yield the byway method of circumventing our concerns about this very problem, yet often find themselves under heavy critique for their own representation of the film they aim to market. With “Lady Bird,” I found an unfortunate parallel to this issue. However, it seemed to work astoundingly, and in a manner I hadn’t truly expected.
Over the weekend, various theaters on the Madison campus played a part in the sixth annual “Tales from Planet Earth” film festival, aiming to bring concepts, concerns and discussion on the environment to movies — perhaps one of the most publicly accessible mediums of the modern age. The festival covers various topics each year, shifting between interdependent themes of hope, justice, belief, futures and environmental soundings. More often than not, these films are about humanity’s connectivity with nature as opposed to its inherent capacity to fulfill these ideas.
Tom Petty, age 66, died Monday, after undergoing full cardiac arrest in his Malibu home the previous night.
Acclaimed screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has become synonymous with the art of tension in the dramatic thriller. His collaboration with Denis Villeneuve on 2015’s sleeper hit “Sicario” swiftly drew attention to his gritty, realist style that brings fans of the neo-noir flavor into contemporary, practical settings. The former “Sons of Anarchy” actor wrote and directed the recently-released crime thriller “Wind River,” in which Academy Award-nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker,” “Arrival”) portrays a skilled tracker who discovers the murdered body of a young woman on an American Indian reservation. Elizabeth Olsen (“Age of Ultron,” “Ingrid Goes West”) co-stars as the sole FBI agent who is sent out to investigate the supposed homicide. The narrative swiftly follows the pair as they delve deeper into the trail leading back to the perpetrators in a fiery blend of classical Hollywood tonality and Sheridan’s own inflections of intensity in a gut-wrenching story.