Posts Tagged ‘BAM’

As everyone prepares to evacuate the city in the next couple of days to go home, see family and drink their own body weight in red wine (or is that just my family?), here are several good excuses to get out of the house for two hours and hang out in a dark (and hangover-friendly) room. All of these movies, with the exception of Starting Out in the Evening, start tomorrow.

The Mist: Remember that movie The Fog? And the remake of the movie The Fog? I’m struggling to see how this is any different. Between these movies, Stephen King’s Storm of the Century, and (to some extent) The Day After Tomorrow, perhaps the term “meteorological horror” is not far off. We’ll get movies like Murder Puddle, Gust of Death and Put on a Jacket or You’ll Die. In any case, this is directed by Frank Darabont, who has already directed two more serious Stephen King projects (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile). It’s actually getting decent reviews so far, and stars Tom Jane and Marcia Gay Harden. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

Hitman: I’ve never played this video game before, but I can say that the trailer for this adaptation, which features a bald Tim Olyphant shooting everything in the entire world, does not really inspire a whole lot of confidence. To be honest, I don’t really understand why they’re still adapting video games. Has there ever been a good one? Ever? And has it ever helped an actor’s career? Did Christopher Lambert win an Academy Award for his potrayal of Raiden in Mortal Kombat? Was Raul Julia showered with praise for his role in Street Fighter? Honestly, it says a lot about the video game adaptation genre that the best in the bunch had Dennis Hopper starring as King Koopa. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

King Koopa

August Rush: I was okay with this movie until about half way through the trailer. This is when a cowboy Robin Williams shows up, complete with dyed hair, sideburns, and a soul patch. Honestly, he looks so ridiculous that Mrs. Doubtfire might have inspired less laughter from the audience. The film also stars Keri Russell, Freddie Highmore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who I believe learned to act by starring at himself provocatively in the mirror. This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Enchanted: There is a kid inside me who still loves Disney. Although I haven’t been as impressed with them lately, this movie looks cute. Amy Adams stars as a cartoon princess who is cursed by a witch and ends up in real life New York City. It’s the kind of movie that you tell people your younger cousins made you see, even though they actually wanted to see Michael Clayton and kept calling you immature. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

This Christmas: Another prematurely released Christmas movie. This one stars Regina King and Delroy Lindo, which is already an improvement on Vince Vaughn and a bunch of creepy looking elves. There will probably be a Christmas movie released every weekend until December 25th, so I guess we should all get used to them. This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

Starting Out in the Evening: Someone needs to give Frank Langella an Oscar. He consistently plays assholes, but he’s always happy to do it. Here he plays an aging, grumpy writer who starts a friendship with a young writer (played by Lauren Ambrose). This does not open until Friday, and the showtimes are not up yet.

I’m Not There: Despite the gimmick (multiple actors portraying Bob Dylan), this is my pick of the week. Director Todd Haynes has an incredible career behind him (and ahead of him) featuring films like Safe, Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven. While I’m not normally a fan of biopics (I’m the guy who hated Walk the Line), this looks like it is told in a less linear and more interesting fashion. While I’m excited to see how the different actors take on Dylan, I’m especially excited to see David Cross as Allen Ginsberg. This is playing at Cobble Hill Cinemas.

Margot at the Wedding starts tomorrow at BAM. Also, the Big Lebowski is the midnight movie at the Sunshine on Friday, and everyone’s favorite psychopath, Crispin Glover, has invited everyone to spend Thanksgiving with him at the IFC Centre, where he is premiering his new film called It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. It also starts tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Love in the Time of Cholera: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s award-winning novel has been adapted into a film by director Mike Newell, and stars Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt. Thus far, the movie is getting pretty terrible reviews, shocking both because of the subject matter and talented director. Garcia Marquez (who is now eighty years old) apparently asked pop singer Shakira to provide two songs for the film. This explains the one new scene in which Fermina tells Fiorentino “you’re lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains” before ripping off her corset to expose a wet leather bra and tight pants. This is playing at the Pavilion.


Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: Did the title of this movie really have to rhyme? And an emporium? When I hear the word emporium, I don’t think of an FAO Schwartz style toy store, I think of a large warehouse that sells discount furniture. All the rhyming does is add to the cutesiness, which star Nathalie “if I keep talking with a baby voice I’ll be young forever!” Portman already supplies. Dustin Hoffman stars as the titular store owner who decides to retire, making the magical toys throw temper tantrums. Jason Bateman, who thus far has not gotten the post-Arrested Development career he deserves, stars as an accountant. The only way this movie could look more annoying would be if Robin Williams provided the voices of all the toys. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

Beowulf: While some people think this is going to be a huge hit, I’m (Brooklyn) skeptical. You’ve probably heard of the epic poem Beowulf, either by browsing through passages in a translation or having some douchey English major hit on you by saying they enjoy reading the whole thing in Old English. Either way, you might have thought it strange as well when Robert Zemeckis decided to adapt it to his Polar Express-style of animation, where the characters look so similar to real life that you wonder why they didn’t just film it in live action. While it’s garnering some decent reviews so far, I might still wait for DVD. It’s playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

Redacted: Brian De Palma’s new film about the Iraq war is already causing an uproar with the conservative right, especially with talk show host Bill O’Reilly. The film is described as a “fictional story inspired by true events,” but also contains documentary footage. Whether you want to stand outside and picket the film as Mr. O’Reilly suggests, or you have the good sense to watch the film before protesting, it is playing at the Landmark Sunshine.

Margot at the Wedding: Filmed in Long Island this time instead of Baumbach’s native Brooklyn, Margot at the Wedding is the story of a writer who decides to attend her younger sister’s wedding to an oafish, unemployed artist. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Baumbach’s actual wife, Jennifer Jason Leigh. While it is so far not getting the same praise that The Squid and the Whale received, I’m going to make this my pick of the week. Also recommended: Baumbach’s Mr. Jealousy and Kicking and Screaming, which does not star Will Ferrell as a soccer coach. This is playing at the Angelika starting tomorrow, and BAM starting Wednesday, November 21st.

Southland Tales: Because I saw this on Wednesday I can officially say that it is definitely worth the price of admission. While you may be confused, frustrated and maybe a bit exasperated by the end, you will never be bored. Director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) tries to stuff far too much into this Los Angeles apocalypse sci-fi/action/comedy/drama/musical/clusterfuck but he does it will style and a giddy excitement that is refreshing. Any movie that features messianic figures, time travel, Jon Lovitz as a homicidal cop with bleached white hair, a floating ice cream truck, Christopher Lambert and Sarah Michelle Gellar as a porn star with a reality show is okay in my book. This is opening at the Angelika, but is also playing at the AMC on 19th and Broadway and the AMC on 84th Street.

Southland Tales

No Country for Old Men begins at BAM tomorrow, and Bottle Rocket is the midnight movie at the Landmark Sunshine tomorrow night. Also, several films from the After Dark Horrorfest are playing at the AMC Loews Village 7. Tickets can be purchased on Fandango. Enjoy!

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After being coldly turned away from the overcrowded Takeover BAM last weekend, I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder regarding the beloved art-hole. But I’m a forgiving person and I am going to open my heart again. What could make me feel ready to love after that debacle? The follow up to an awesomely Brooklyn movie, The Squid and the Whale.

Yes, that’s right. Noah Baumbach will host a sneak preview of his new film Margot at the Wedding on Saturday, November 10 at 6:50 PM. You can buy tickets for it online. I would suggest you do that or you assuredly will be left out in the dark, cold, sinister streets of Fort Greene just like me last weekend. Don’t do that to yourself.

Sorry for blowing up your Weekend at the Movies spot, PCM.

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Half of the awesome things that are going on this weekend in Brooklyn are happening at BAM, the hottest cultural institution this side of Flatbush.

Awesome Thing #1: The BQE, composed and performed by Sujan Stevens

We talked about this earlier, and it remains pretty sweet looking. Mooseknuckle, Pizappas, Plainclothesman and someone else went last night. Imaginarydomain and I are going tonight. So, if it’s not obvious, all the cool kids are doing it. If you don’t have tickets already, you may be SOL because I hear all the smarmy Craigslisters are really reaming people on the scalped tickets.

It’s a three night engagement that began last night and will finish up tomorrow (Saturday) at BAM.

Awesome Thing #2: Takeover BAM!

BAM invites you to party artistically on Saturday night…all night. They have a bunch of bands, DJs, artists, movies and (apparently) burlesque performers. It sounds classy and fun! You’ll find me watching the Lindsay Lohan Mid Career Retrospective while sniffing paint thinner from a rag.

Awesome Thing #3: Pig Roast at Cherry Tree

Though you wouldn’t know it from their painfully un-updated website, The Cherry Tree is hosting its monthly pig roast this Saturday. I’m a vegetarian and this sounds horrendous to me, but the way my carnivorous friends talk about it, you’d think it was the second coming or something. So, go eat something that once loved. Go on. You brutes.

Awesome Thing #4: NYC Marathon

The Marathon is going right up 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, so I may try to roll out of bed and look at the people doing something productive with their lives on Sunday morning. Probably not though. More importantly, you can catch what seems to be miles of live music performances all along the course. But again, if you’re hip, 4th Avenue is where you’ll be. Lazy Brooklyners represent!

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There are only two movies in wide release this weekend, as no one wants to go up against Saw IV. I honestly don’t know anyone that watches these anymore, but someone must be because they always seem to make a killing (and a torturous one at that).

Saw IV: Television has informed me that this weekend “is Saw weekend.” I had no idea. I saw the first Saw movie several Halloween’s ago, and wow did it suck. I mean, it SUCKED. And naturally, my expectations weren’t particularly high for a poorly reviewed Cary Elwes torture movie. Yet here we are, four movies deep, and the franchise is still going strong. In this installment, a guy decides to torture his victims by making them watch the rest of the Saw films over and over again until they go insane and kill themselves. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

Cary Elwes

Must…call…agent and get myself cast in better…movie.

Dan In Real Life: From writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April) comes this new dysfunctional family comedy starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, John Mahoney, Dianne Wiest and Dane Cook. After watching the trailer, I can’t say it looks very good. For starters, it didn’t make me laugh, which isn’t good for a comedy. Secondly, Dane Cook is in it. Is he trying to be a legitimate actor? Because that makes me scared. And thirdly, how many fucking movies (and movie trailers) must we endure that use the song “Let My Love Open the Door” by Pete Townshend? There have been many songs since the eighties that could probably convey as much or even more emotion than this one. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Park Slope Pavilion.

Then, in limited release we have:

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: This is my pick of the week. Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon) directs this heist film about two brothers (Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman) who decide to rob their parents’ jewelry store. Sidney Lumet is a fantastic director, and he could use a hit after his last box office failure: Find Me Guilty. Luckily this film doesn’t star Vin Diesel. In fact, we’re lucky that most films these days don’t star Vin Diesel. This is playing at the Angelika.

Music Within: Ron Livingston stars as a hearing impaired Vietnam veteran who starts working with disabled Americans. It’s based on a true story, and the trailer looks good enough. As far as I can remember, Ron Livingston hasn’t really had much of a starring role since Office Space, so I guess we’ll see how he does here. This is playing at the AMC Loews on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.

Bella: I hadn’t heard of this, but so far it seems to be getting really bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a waitress who is fired right after she finds out she is pregnant. The father is an international soccer star. Romance ensues. This is playing at Union Square.

Rails and Ties: Kevin Bacon stars in this drama about a train conductor who orphans a kid by running over his mother with a train. Unfortunately, the plot seems far too serious and somber to make a Footloose joke here. Also worth noting, the film is directed by Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Alison. This is playing at the Angelika.

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains: This documentary follows Jimmy Carter while on tour for his new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. I’m pretty sure the film also talks about his Presidential term, his foreign policy accomplishments, his educational programs, Habitat for Humanity, his destruction of the Death Star, his ability to bench press eight hundred pounds and the fact that he speaks Portuguese fluently. It was directed by Jonathan Demme. This is playing at the Angelika.

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains

Meanwhile BAM Rose Cinemas continues playing Into the Wild, Lust, Caution and The Darjeeling Limited.

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Would you pay $15 to see a 4-film Lindsay Lohan “mid-career retrospective”? I definitely would.

Would you pay $15 to see 5 bands? (Antibalas, The Exit, Be Your Own Pet, Dirty on Purpose and the Heartless Bstards) … I definitely would.

How about $15 for both, plus DJs spinning all night, $3 beers and tons of other amazing crap going on following the last Sufjan Stevens performance at BAM on November 3rd…the only answer is YES, motherfucker. YES.


for real.

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We here at Brooklyn Skeptic see a lot of movies, whether they collect our eleven dollars or not. More specifically however, we see a lot of movies in Brooklyn. Brooklyn may not have the number of movie theaters that Manhattan is boasting, but I’ve been to a few gems. In the Bococa/Park Slope/Downtown/Brooklyn Heights region, there are several fun places where you can go to see everything from Bruckheimer to Buñuel. These are four that I frequent probably a little too often.

Park Slope Pavilion: While this theater wins in its proximity to most Brooklyn Skeptics, it loses in many other ways. It has the exterior aesthetic of a classic movie house with a bright shining marquis, but the featured films rarely do it justice. Basically these are the run of the mill flicks that can be seen pretty much anywhere. If you’re hankering to see the new “Eddie Murphy plays eighteen characters” movie or perhaps the new “Holy Shit Bruce Willis blows shit up real good” movie, then you will easily find it here. However, several other things come along with the price of admission. These things are hordes of crying children, seating that has been vomited upon, and small screens. I have wandered over here for several blockbusters on hungover Saturdays and Sundays (and Tuesdays) and have been met with a screen smaller than my grandmother’s television, babies screaming in my ear and what I can only assume was toxic waste on my seat (I now have gills – thanks Pavilion). So basically, if you’ve been looking for a place to see Norbit while squinting, cradling a random child and getting gum stuck on your shoe, there you go. Grade: D

United Artists on Court Street: This theater is similar to a typical Manhattan cineplex. I say this because it also plays commercial movies, has intimidating crowds outside all of the time and often requires an oxygen tank to reach some of the incredible levels one has to climb to view their desired movie. When approaching there is always a line going out the door for the ticket counter. If you have a credit card or have pre-ordered your tickets, you can bypass this and go to their automated ticket machines. These, like Union Square, often don’t work. Once you finally get your ticket and enter the theater, the guy ripping your ticket will usually say something like “Theater 18, take the escalator until your vertigo kicks in.” Once inside however, it should be said that these theaters are comfortable and relaxed. The screens are all of a decent size and the chairs recline. And as Pizappas has noted, the hysteria often provides wonderful movie-hopping opportunities. For your average blockbuster, skip the Pavilion and come here. Grade: C+

BAM Rose Cinemas: The first thing that one notices upon walking into the BAM theaters is the decor. Tall ceilings and beautiful architecture only compliment the wonderful collection of independent films both new and old that are shown here. They have four averaged sized screens that are perfectly suited for an elegant and comfortable movie experience (perfect for dates). In addition to their first run features, they are currently hosting events such as the New York Korean Film Festival, The New Decade: Hong Kong Film and a series of films that Paul Giamatti has chosen called Paul Giamatti Selects (which features an eclectic group of picks including The Big Clock and Invasion of the Body Snatchers). If one is looking for a classy and romantic evening of Brooklyn cinema, look no further. Grade: A

Cobble Hill Cinemas: This is a great theater. They play an interesting collection of films and have a very friendly staff. It is also a cheaper theater, as they offer matinee prices and a reduced regular rate (I believe it’s $9). The walls are painted with screen shots from Frankenstein and Casablanca, and the concession stand isn’t too bad either. The theater itself is apparently quite historic as well, and has been around since the sixties. That being said, they also have smaller screens, some gum on the ground and less leg room. But whether you’re feeling like seeing a popcorn movie or more arthouse fare, you can usually find what you want here. Grade: B+

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I make fun, but on the inside I’m actually superdeeduper excited about this upcoming event…

Indie folk dreamboat Sufjan Stevens, composer of the incredible albums “Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State” and “Come on Feel the Illinoise,” (who says he plans to write an album about each of the 50 states, which at the unrealistic pace of an album per year is a project that should be complete by the time he’s 80) is scheduled to perform his newest opus, “The BQE” in November at Emeril Lagasse’s favorite venue, the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

hubba hubba

Sufjan Stevens reveals the epic in the everyday in songs infusing the vernacular of Midwestern folk with a distinctly orchestral grandeur. Stevens pairs orchestrated selections of both new and old material with the 25th Next Wave Festival commission/world premiere of The BQE—a symphonic and cinematic exploration of one of New York’s least celebrated monuments: the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

“Robert Moses’ controversial 11.7-mile roadway tears through neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with the brute force of modern urban planning, and in Stevens’ hands becomes an evocation of the intersection of intimate experience and the American Dream. Merging a virtual road trip shot on film with a live band and orchestral ensemble, The BQE discovers abstract patterns and stories in the snaking traffic, potholed pavement, billboards, badly marked exits, and beautiful city views, revealing what happens when Manifest Destiny converges with urban blight.


Anyway, while I pitch my tent tonight to wait in a ticket line that will eventually wrap around Fort Greene (tix go on sale September 4th), I’ll start guessing song titles.

Track 1: Neverending (A)stori(a)
Track 4: Baby on Board! (Dear Park Slope, The Gowanus Canal Needs its Diaper Changed)
Track 8: Williamsburg (Where Crazy Hipsters Are Actually Naming Their Babies “Sufjan”)

P.S. – I really want to see this 50 states project get done, but I’m afraid I won’t live to see it, so I propose Sufeepoo contract some states out to other Americana acts…I reckon he should finish the midwest himself, give Iron & Wine the deep south, Calexico the southwest, Bonnie “Prince” Billy the Northwest, Brown Bird New England…and let Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi fight over the Tri-State area.

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Not too long ago I spotted my (one of many) arch nemesis, Constantine Maroulis, in Manhattan. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this man, he was a contestant on American Idol IV. Aka the Bo Bice era. (Love the Bice.) Nway, at the time of airing there probably wasn’t, in my opinion, anyone more self involved or annoying(/gross) than Maroulils. If you watched this particular season of American Idol, you know why. If you didn’t watch this season, well, your loss. As you won’t be able to appreciate this entry for the sparkling blog diamond it is. (A part of me worries that if Maroulis ever reads this his feelings will be hurt. So, if you’re reading this, ‘stantine, this isn’t a direct personal attack on you as a person, per se. It’s an attack on your facial expressions and conceit.)


Moving forward, this spotting of Maroulis (on 5th Ave. b/w 14th and 15th) is significant for it was my second time bumping into the former Idoler. It’s as though God wanted me to say something to him this time around. Let him know my true feelings. But as I stared straight into my dear hated’s aviator’s sunglasses, making sure it was Maroulis I was seeing, and not some look alike, I found myself tongue tied. (I’m such a failure.)

After we passed one another, I awoke from the Maroulis trance, and rotated my head 180 degrees to, once again, make sure my eyes did not deceive me. However, as my head spun around, so did Maroulis‘. 3-2-1 eye contact was made. Normally this would not be a big deal, but I am convinced Maroulis believed that I was turning around for him. Now some may say that was exactly what I was doing, and those people may be correct in their assumptions. But that’s not the point. The point is, Maroulis thinks I am a fan. Which, in reality, could not be further from the truth. And I would like Maroulis to be aware. Aware of the fact that whenever his face graced my 19 inch TV, I wanted to throw tomatoes at the screen.

But the reason I feel so compelled to (online) journal this encounter, readers, is because earlier in the day a friend of mine informed me that Maroulis is joining the cast of the “Bold and the Beautiful.” Total. Anarchy. I don’t know about you, but I will definitely not (not) be dvring his soap opera debut.

*Note: Author was under the influence of four Benadryl tablets while writing this entry. Therefore, she can not be held accountable for any….of it.

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Grindhouse + BAM = Very Hot.

Last Friday evening, 4/6/07, Team Brooklyn Skeptic & Friends screened the Rodriguez/Tarantino double feature “Grindhouse” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, aka BAM. Aka, the best joint stage/movie theater in town. BAM’s presented stadium seating is fit for a King. Or I guess a more suitable comparison would be, it is fit for a really short person. Like, really short. Like a baby.

I would suggest going to BAM for your movie viewing pleasures, not just for the stadium seating but because watching films at a performing arts arena makes one seem/feel more cultured. This is true. Do not deny. And if you’re anything like me, you could use all the culture points you can get. Which, judging by the fact that you’re reading this right now, you probably do….need those culture points.

Moving along, let’s discuss “Grindhouse” and its awesomeness, shall we? We shall. Both Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” are total achievements in the art of Grindhouse filmmaking. Good fun, good gore, great casting. Now, it’s not to say Rose McGowan, who acts in both “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof,” is the best actress, or even a really decent actress for that matter, but boy does she play her “Planet Terror” role well. I believe the whole point of Grindhouse films is their lack of “quality,” meaning the film itself isn’t supposed to be A-material. Or so that’s what I hear. So McGowan’s questionable acting skills work in her favor here. Like Piper Perabo in “Coyote Ugly.” However Freddy Rogriguez, the lead in “Planet Terror” is, in my opinion, actually talented. Who knew the little guy from “Six Feet Under” could pull off such a heroic badass role? Way to go Federico Diaz.

Now, I do not want to give any details away, so my review will end here. But take it from me, “Grindhouse” is….the shit.

PS I heard Rose McGowan was the impetus behind Robert Rodriguez and his now estranged wife’s separation. Therefore all theories of McGowan being somewhat of a home wrecker have been confirmed. Although, in everyone (except for Rodriguez’s ex-wife’s) defense, McGowan is insanely hot. I reckon that in the past year or two, the former “Charmed” cast mate has had a few nips and/or tucks performed, if you get my drift.

(I think she’s had some plastic surgery done.)

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