While “Rock School” was one of my favorite documentaries of 2005, it was a missed opportunity. Arne Johnson and Shane King’s “Girls Rock!” almost get the love of music and rock and roll it right. Almost. What the directing duo of Johnson and King explore is this collective ability of these different women to create music in the confines of this limited space and show how they can sometimes fall apart at the seams due to typically creative conflicts and arguments about band names.
David Mamet and James Foley’s adaptation of the stage drama is a remarkable and intense look at a room full of men in various stages of a job where the clock is consistently ticking down. As a salesman, you begin as Al Pacino’s Richard Roma, a slick and swift salesman who is absolutely cut throat. Then the time begins running out and you invariably turn in to Shelley Levene, a man who is desperately trying to keep his job, clinging to one big deal that may or may not save his job.
It’s apropos and yet somewhat inexplicable that Hayao Miyazaki would end his career on one what is easily his most divisive film. Miyazaki has spent so much of his career delivering masterpieces of animation that discuss the horrible fall out of war, destruction of the environment, and war machines. So it’s absolutely confounding that Miyazaki takes a more objective approach to Jirô Horikoshi and his creation of what would become certified weapons of war.
Director/Writer Chad Faust really knows what he’s doing in “Girl,” as he places a lot of the film’s weight on star Bella Thorne. Thorne is an underrated actress that’s been stuck in a lot of terrible movies, but when she’s paired with the right director, she gives performances like the one we see in “Girl.” Star Thorne carries what’s just an okay movie that feels like it aspires too eagerly to be held in the class of other backwoods dramas like 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.”
In the 1930’s, India was under British rule and tradition rules all, including young women and their options in getting married. With her decisions made for her, a young woman wrestles with her feelings for her potential husband and another, showing the life of women in a male dominated world.
Where as a lot of teen movies focus much on the coming of age and rites of passage for young men through their sexuality, “Cuties” is ballsy enough to be cut from the same cloth. It’s a film that explores almost the same themes but in a more complex arena that’s based around femininity and growing up. While the silly ballyhoo around “Cuties” has been much ado about nothing, “Cuties” is a bold, important drama comedy. It’s ultimately about a young girl who is trying to figure out what kind of woman she wants to be, and never realizing that either route she chooses in life is going to be filled with obstacles, tough questions, and ultimately living with the path she’s chosen.
A germaphobe meets the girl of his dreams who he follows to a supermarket as she steals chocolate while wearing a similar protection outfit as his. Together, they attempt to make their life better, or at least perfect for them as a couple, that is until something unexpected happens and changes one of them.