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October 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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FILM!

Joker

Joker hits theaters Oct 4 (Starring Joaquin Phoenix)

Joker

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

What’s a comic book movie without a hero? Better yet (or worse, depending on who you ask), what’s a comic book movie with a violent villain as the sympathetic protagonist? On paper it might not sound so bright, but Joker, having its anticipated theatrical release this month, promises to subvert our expectations, even if it means alienating us.

Starring as the clown prince of crime is Joaquin Phoenix in what is his most bold and audacious role yet. Though the film is of course an adaptation of the DC Comics character, the film is not a part of the DC Cinematic Universe, but a stand alone film. Set in the early 1980s, the film, set in Gotham City, puts Phoenix (here named Arthur Fleck) as a failed stand up comedian who puts matters into his own, promising to make the world laugh — in his own twisted, maniacal way. The Gotham City in the film resembles New York City of the era, where punk rock and Son of Sam ruled the city. Although set in 1981, no doubt Joker will have more to say about our society than it does that of its time period.

The film was written by John Silver (8 Mile) and comedy veteran Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover), who directed the film. After premiering at the Venice Film Festival, the film was awarded the Golden Lion.

Joker” hits theaters October 4.

Lucy In The Sky

Lucy in the Sky hits theaters October 4 (Starring Jon Hamm and Natalie Portman) (Photo Hilary B. Gayle © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film)

Lucy In The Sky

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo By Hilary B. Gayle

Have you ever had a transcendent experience, one where you seem to find all the answers to life’s problems, and you think to yourself: how can I ever go back to my normal life? After feeling so big and strong, how can you manage to go back to feeling so small and trivial?

In Lucy in the Sky, premiering in theaters this month, Natalie Portman gives her all as astronaut Lucy Cola, who navigates NASA’s boy’s club and achieves her dream of flying to space. While there, she’s exposed to a perspective on life that she retains long after she’s brought down back to Earth. But the problem is: she doesn’t want to be on Earth. The concept is one of existential dread that Portman aptly delivers, as she has several times, including in her Academy Award-winning role in Black Swan. Also starring are Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals), and Dan Stevens (Legion), and Zazie Beetz (Atlanta).

The screenplay, which was inspired by the real life events of female astronaut Lisa Nowak, was written by childhood friends Elliott DiGuiseppi and Brian C. Brown (About a Boy). Noah Hawley, who has had tremendous television success with series like Fargo and Legion (both on FX), directed the film in his fearer debut.

Lucy in the Sky” hits theaters October 4.

GEMINI MAN

Gemini Man hits theaters October 11 (Starring Will Smith)

GEMINI MAN

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of PARAMOUNT

Director Ang Lee (Life of Pi) delivers his signature stunning visuals to capture the most beautifully choreographed action for his latest flick Gemini Man. This film is an actor’s dream, boasting a bevy of cutting-edge 3D and CG effects as the story impossibly pits Will Smith against a younger Will Smith.

The actor plays Henry Brogan, a secret assassin for the government with exceptional skill that is unmatched and a dark streak that’s proven uncontrollable. The only way to retire him is to take him down, so his superior Clay Verris sends a hitman after Henry who is able to keep up and combat his every move. Amidst the impressive mayhem of flying bullets and flipping motorcycles, Henry finally comes face to face with Junior, a younger, faster clone blessed with all of his skill but free from his lifetime of pain. Henry convinces Junior that he’s just a pawn in a larger conspiracy, so they must work together in order to destroy the corrupt program weaponizing Henry’s DNA to build an army of assassins.

With a stellar cast that also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Fargo), Clive Owen (The Informer), Douglas Hodge (Lost in Space), Benedict Wong (Deadly Class), Ralph Brown (Final Score), Linda Emond (Lodge 49), and Theodora Miranne (The Blacklist), Gemini Man is double the action and double the fun.

Gemini Man” hits theaters on October 11.

MALEFICENT 2

Maleficent 2 hits theaters October 18 (Starring Angelina Jolie)

MALEFICENT 2

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of DISNEY

Her striking performance may have earned Angelina Jolie (By the Sea) a second chance to don the indomitable fairy wings of Maleficent, but for this sequel, she’s going head to head and horns to crown with a queen. And the only actress with enough beauty and bluster to bear that crown is the singular Michelle Pfeiffer (Murder on the Orient Express).

It was Maleficent’s own kiss that broke the curse upon her sleeping beauty Aurora, the sure mark of a mother’s unconditional love. That bond becomes threatened when Aurora agrees to marry her beau Prince Phillip, and she is welcomed with open arms by Queen Ingrith, who vows to gift Aurora with something she’s never had before — a real mother. Enraged by this, Maleficent forbids such a marriage, but the union that becomes forever broken is between her and Aurora. As the queen fights to defeat Maleficent once and for all, she will have to square off against an army of fairy folk and a Mistress of Evil.

With an outstanding cast that also stars Elle Fanning (A Rainy Day in New York), Harris Dickinson (Trust), David Gyasi (Carnival Row), Juno Temple (Lost Transmissions), Ed Skrein (Born a King), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Imelda Staunton (A Confession), and Robert Lindsay (Bounty Hunters), this is one fairy tale that delivers pure magic.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” hits theaters on October 18.

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