TIFF ’14: “Whiplash”

TIFF ’14: “Whiplash” 0

Blood, sweat, and tears are as much characters in Whiplash as the toiling musicians who shed them. The film, a darling at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, certainly meets its quota of such bodily liquids dripping and flying onto drumheads and music stands. But primarily, Whiplash focuses on the teacher-student relationship (rivalry?) between Andrew Neyman […]

TIFF ’14: “Maps to the Stars”

TIFF ’14: “Maps to the Stars” 0

The rabid zombies (Rabid), blood parasites (Shivers), and talking bug buttocks (Naked Lunch) of David Cronenberg’s earlier films- all grotesque iconography belonging to the body horror genre- manifest in the innards of the Hollywood-borne narcissists in Maps to the Stars, the director’s latest work. It’s no surprise that Cronenberg, a known Hollywood detractor who has […]

TIFF ’14: “Foxcatcher”

TIFF ’14: “Foxcatcher” 0

Foxcatcher is not only the year’s best movie, but director Bennett Miller’s finest achievement and possibly one of the best films I’ve seen in the last 5 years. Miller, who specializes in stripping away the romantic qualities of American pastime (modern literature in Capote to baseball in Moneyball), takes down the American Dream imparted to […]

Wanted and Desired: “A Most Wanted Man” Review

Wanted and Desired: “A Most Wanted Man” Review 0

A Most Wanted Man opens on the still waters of a canal coming to a roil as an undisclosed boat passes by in the waking dawn of the morning. The shot is held for an extended period of time, allowing the atmosphere and meaning to naturally reveal itself. It’s an effective metaphor for the imminent […]

Top 5 Best Films of 2014 (So Far)

Top 5 Best Films of 2014 (So Far) 2

5. Palo Alto (dir. Gia Coppola) 4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves) 3. Locke (dir. Steven Knight) 2. Stranger by the Lake (dir. Alain Guiraudie) 1. A Most Wanted Man (dir. Anton Corbijn) Bomb of the Year (So Far): The Purge: Anarchy

Time Without Growth: “Boyhood” Review

Time Without Growth: “Boyhood” Review 4

It’s funny how Boyhood is considered a Perfect Movie (currently ranked 100 percent on critic aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.com) when its director Richard Linklater clearly botches one of the film’s first shots: As boy wonder Mason Jr., played over the course of 12 years by Ellar Coltrane, marvels at shapely clouds in the sky, Linklater’s […]

How NOT to Write An Email: 5 Golden Rules on E-Survival

How NOT to Write An Email: 5 Golden Rules on E-Survival 0

Whether it’s personal or business-related, a good email is a good email and a bad email is an awful one. There’s a certain art to mastering this electronic form of communication– yet it seems to privilege so few. Since emails come from a mechanical medium, they themselves are often written, well, mechanically. Grammatically strong or […]

The State of Higher Education: An Interview with Andrew Rossi

The State of Higher Education: An Interview with Andrew Rossi 0

Tom Beaver talks with Ivory Tower’s director Andrew Rossi in this interview exclusive to The Final Take. Written by Tom Beaver It wasn’t too long ago (not long enough) that George W. Bush uttered the phrase: “is our children learning?” It was a telling slip from our former commander-in-chief that signalled doubt that this man was indeed […]

Inside the Mind of a Teenager: “Palo Alto” Review

Inside the Mind of a Teenager: “Palo Alto” Review 0

Written by Tom Beaver Emma Roberts had my attention with her performance in last year’s Adult World opposite John Cusack. And here she is now in Gia Coppola’s writing and directing debut Palo Alto, which serves to solidify this young actress as a force to be watched. Roberts plays the shy, intelligent, and sensitive teen […]

The Frissons of Francois Ozon: “Young & Beautiful” Review

The Frissons of Francois Ozon: “Young & Beautiful” Review 0

If this were 1966, Young & Beautiful would star Charlotte Rampling in the lead role here played with similar wisps of mystery and elegance by newcomer Marine Vacth. Vacth has the same heavy-lidded, freckled, and inscrutable stare that has and still defines Rampling’s mystique – what actor Dirk Bogarde called “The Look” in the 2011 […]