Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace after years of secrets and denials was ripe for telling on the silver screen. When the complicated web of performance-enhancing drugs collapsed, his career lay in ruins.
On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign and documentary film critics share their reviews of the latest films to hit area screens and talk about their favorites of this year.
It's that time of year again, and Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics have picked their favorite films of the year. Drumroll, please, for Cynthia Haines, Steve Walker and Bob Butler's choices.
Here are their favorites (in no particular order):
The documentary Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney started to make in 2009 about Lance Armstrong ended up being something else entirely. Called The Armstrong Lie, the film contains footage that was shot as recently as May 2013, including the minutes following Armstrong’s confessional but smug and non-contrite interview with Oprah Winfrey.
From a manufactured media circus, to a desperate game of cat-and-mouse with a serial killer, Hollywood sure knows how to romanticize journalism.
On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to talk about some of their favorite films that feature reporters. We'll dive into some thrilling vampire conspiracies, reports gone wrong, and others that are sure to set off the investigator in everyone.
In Stephen Frears' heartfelt and moving Philomena, the most effective shots are among the simplest a filmmaker can employ: tight close-ups. In this case, the camera’s focus is on the furrowed, and inspiringly lived-in face of the great Judi Dench. Playing a woman who longs to discover the whereabouts of the son taken from her when she was a teenager, Dench gives the title character a strength and resolve that has gotten her through the fifty years since she last saw her son.
In 1985, just a handful of years into the AIDS epidemic, if someone appeared gaunt, splotchy, and paper-thin, it was suspected that they had contracted HIV. Though gay men made up a large percentage of those infected, the virus was transmitted via body fluids like blood and semen - with no regards to sexual orientation. Still, any man who contracted HIV during that Age of Ignorance was branded a contagious homosexual. As was Ron Woodroof, the profligately heterosexual rodeo cowboy robustly played by Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club.
Blue is the Warmest Color, the winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is a frank and honest examination of a relationship from a heated first glance to its dying embers. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film rides waves of passion, bliss and anger in such truthful ways that anyone who’s been madly in love will identify with the couple, even if the parties happen to be two women. And to boot, the movie is wonderfully alive.
The silently haunting images of the Zapruder film captured the moment John F. Kennedy was shot during that famous Dallas parade in 1963. Those images have become part of the mythology that surrounds the event, both for the conspiracy theorists and others.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Max Holland, who has analyzed the effect of the film on how the American people understand the 50-year-old assassination.
In director Steve McQueen’s thematically brutal yet beautifully composed film 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an astonishing performance as Solomon Northup, a black musician whose trusting nature leads to the ultimate betrayal when he goes from a free man to a slave. That both director and actor are British and black isn’t an anomaly but rather an obtuse argument that perhaps American filmmakers are too close to the story of slavery in this country to do it justice.
A young girl in Saudi Arabia searches for a way to make her life better, and a free man finds himself shackled and enslaved for 12 years on a Louisiana plantation.
On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics return to review the latest films showing on area screens. We’ll also take a look at some local theaters’ switch from film to digital projectors.
With two kids, a mini-van and a lull in their love life, Abby and Kate are not much different from their suburban neighbors. The fact that they’re a married lesbian couple is beside the point – it is less important than their domestic apathy - yet still central to Stacie Passon’s assured, candid and clever film Concussion.
That chill in the air isn’t the only thing that will give you goosebumps. With the approach of Halloween, all kinds of spooky stuff is coming your way.
On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to share their favorite horror films. We’ll follow the creepy tale of a pair of hands with minds of their own, cower from an invisible demon and duck a mad man’s sharp axe. They’ll leave you wanting to check under the bed before you go to sleep tonight.
The fall movie season is upon us, which means more movies aimed at adult audiences and those held back for awards consideration. That's great news for movie buffs, but is it great news for the theater operators. Will these movies be good enough to draw audiences like the Summer blockbusters?
It was a balmy 55 degrees in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 when the world imploded. In Peter Landesman’s electric docudrama Parkland, President Kennedy’s assassination and the 48 hours just after are handled with care and candor, and it puts viewers into parts of the story that have been historically recorded yet previously out-of-sight.
A playboy weighs his expectations of love against his relationship to pornography, a voice coach competes to make it big doing voice-overs, plus a hospital staff endures the chaotic hours at Dallas' Parkland Hospital the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign and documentary film critics take a look at the films playing on the silver screen in Kansas City this week.
Films critics Steve Walker and Bob Butler join us to review the latest movies to hit local screens.
In Nicole Holofcener’s smart and engaging comedy Enough Said, two single parents on the verge of becoming empty nesters meet and fall hard in like. Wonderfully played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini, they’re captured in the foundling stage of a potential companionship and their efforts to make it work are infinitely pleasurable to watch.
For a movie about addiction to work, it needs to get its hands dirty. Even if it ends with the sunniest sobriety imaginable, it has to earn it; it has to show a protagonist hitting rock bottom. Thanks for Sharing is such a movie.