May 082013

By Colleen Glenn

 Ellis (Tye Sheridan), Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) strike an unlikely friendship with a wanted man, Mud (Matthew McConaughey).

Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) strike an unlikely friendship with a wanted man, Mud (Matthew McConaughey).

Every now and then, a film comes along that feels authentic and startlingly fresh. This rarity happened twice this spring, as two such films graced the screen at the Kentucky Theatre during April/May: Mud (dir: Jeff Nichols) and The Place Beyond the Pines (dir: Derek Cianfrance).

Although the Kentucky Theatre had to cancel its special premiere of Mud when Oscar-nominated, Lexington native actor Michael Shannon’s shooting schedule on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” changed, you should  still get down to the Kentucky to see the film. The theatre, currently in the expensive process of converting to digital projection, still needs funds to support this transition, and Mud will not disappoint.  Continue reading »

Jun 222011

By Colleen Glenn

Fantasy and nostalgia have long been prominent themes in Woody Allen’s work, but perhaps nowhere are the two entwined so tangibly as in his most recent film, Midnight in Paris.

Released at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2011, Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy that thrives upon the gap between reality and illusion through which Allen’s protagonists often wander. Not unlike Alice (1990) or The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Allen’s latest work features a “lost” hero who learns lessons not through facing the hard facts of life, but rather the opposite: through surrendering—at least temporarily—to the fantastic. Continue reading »

Aug 252010

By Colleen Glenn

Spoiler alert!: read at your own risk.

Romantic comedies often get a bad wrap. They’re described as “chick flicks,” their loyal viewers considered to be occupying the space just below Jane Austen fans on the ladder of art and literature. But a romantic comedy, like a comedy of manners (that’s Austen’s genre, for all of you haters out there), can teach us quite a bit about society’s customs concerning love, marriage and sex.

Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who brought us Blades of Glory in 2007, teamed up again to bring us The Switch (2010), a comedy that deals squarely with our current society’s changing customs concerning love, marriage, sex and children. No longer does our heroine seek a marriage contract that will bring her financial security and sweet companionship. Financially secure, independent, and not in love, the 2010 heroine is seeking to do it all herself.

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston pair up in this feel-good flick about two long-time friends who’ve put each other so squarely into the “friend zone” that any chance of romance is too weird to consider. But when Cassie (Aniston) declares that she’s looking for a sperm donor, Wally (Bateman) feels surprisingly jealous and protective, objecting to her plan to become a mother without a man in the picture.

Wally, an endearing neurotic, worries about everything, especially Cassie’s bold decision to inseminate herself. “What if you meet someone 6 months from now and fall in love?,” Wally questions, launching protestation after protestation to her plan. Fed up, Cassie calls for a time-out in their friendship, and doesn’t see him again until the night of her insemination party.

What follows is hilarious. Suffice to say that several drinks and one “herbal supplement” later, Wally switches his semen for the donor’s. But so intoxicated is he that he has absolutely no memory of making the switch.

Seven years later, when Cassie returns to New York City with her six year-old son, Sebastian, the similarities between Wally and Sebastian seem uncanny…That is, until Wally begins to remember what he did at Cassie’s party seven years ago.

Bateman shines in this film as a charmingly phobic “man-boy,” a role not too far from the adorable Michael Bluth that Bateman played in Arrested Development. Aniston delivers a genuine performance as a woman who lets go of the “First comes marriage…” fairytale and takes matters into her own hands. Bateman and Aniston have great comic timing, and good chemistry to boot.

A solid cast of supporting actors, including Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis, round out the film. Goldblum, in particular, steals the spotlight with his captivating charisma and comical wit.

Thomas Robinson, the child who plays Sebastian (Cassie’s son) is engaging and not as annoying as most other child actors. The film could stand to trim a few of Robinson’s scenes (when did it become “cute” to give children overly sophisticated dialogue? Was it in 1990 with Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone?) as it is really the story between Cassie and Wally that we wish to see unfold. Overall, however, the movie does a nice job of developing its characters while focusing on the primary tension of the plot.

The Switch is not bad. Not fantastic, mind you, but pretty good. The Switch might even encourage you to stop waiting for life to happen and make it happen for yourself.

Now, who says rom-coms aren’t important?

The Switch is currently playing at several theatres in Lexington.

Jun 232010

Move over ladies: the bromance is where it’s at

By Colleen Glenn

This summer’s bromance is Get Him to the Greek. Following the trend of The Hangover, I Love You, Man, and Superbad (to name just a few of the recent bromances to hit the big screen), Get Him to the Greek is a buddy film about dude love in which two men find themselves after finding each other. You’ve seen the films; you know the score.

But don’t get me wrong…I liked it. Continue reading »

Jun 092010

Mighty Wurlitzer also a part of KY Theatre experience

After reading Colleen Glenn’s informative article (“Kentucky Theatre Summer Classic Movies Series returns May 26,” May 19) about nearly all aspects of the 2010 Kentucky Theatre’s Summer Series—including the anticipation of the series, assemblage of the movies, people involved, Flash Gordon Series, and a synopsis of each feature film—were covered. However, there was no mention of one very essential item which is experienced before each matinee and evening feature picture, and has been a part of the Classic Series Film Series since 2001!

Kentucky’s Mighty Wurlitzer-Theatre Organ Project, Inc continues each Series with pre-show mini-concerts on the 2-Manual Conn Theatre Organ (a 1959 tube model), which recreates the movie patron’s experience of the “Golden Age of the movie palace,and at no cost to the Kentucky Theatre Group, Inc or movie patrons. Continue reading »

May 202010

By Colleen Glenn

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back and as charming and sardonic as ever in the next installment of the Iron Man Marvel comic series, Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 2 picks up a few months after where the first film left off, with Stark having caused a tremendous media frenzy by revealing himself to be the Iron Man, the international peace-keeping/ass-whooping superhero in a suit. Stark has, by now, news coverage shows us, made several successful interventions around the globe and has used his armor to pressure the major superpowers of the world into negotiating a peace treaty. He has essentially become a one-man nuclear deterrent. As Stark himself puts it at the Senate Hearing, he has “successfully privatized world peace,” and refuses to relinquish his invention to the U.S. government. Continue reading »

May 202010

Heavy on the Monty and Flash Gordon

By Colleen Glenn

Every spring, starting as early as March, Kentucky Theatre General Manager Fred Mills is asked time and time again, “What films are going to be on the schedule for the Summer Classic Movie Series?”

Well, the anticipation is finally over. The Kentucky Theatre is kicking off its eighth season of its popular summer series on Wednesday, May 26th.

“I think everybody looks forward to the series,” says Mills. Every year, patrons start giving suggestions for movie titles for the next year’s series before the current one has even finished. “People like to have input,” Mills relates. “We send hundreds and hundreds of suggestions to Larry Thomas, our film booker.” Continue reading »

Apr 222010

By Colleen Glenn

In That Evening Sun, currently playing at The Kentucky Theatre downtown, director and screenwriter Scott Teems delivers a poignant tale about aging, independence, familial relations and the importance of place. Like Gran Torino before it, That Evening Sun portrays an elderly curmudgeon struggling to live his last years on his own terms. And, like the crusty Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook’s character is treated by those around him as a burden to his family who should, well, cooperate and die already.

The 84-year-old Holbrook turns in a fantastic performance, one that will surely be remembered as one of the best of his prolific film and stage career. Playing Abner Meecham, an elderly man reluctant to leave his life-long home for a nursing home, Holbrook turns in a complex and developed character study that makes human what might otherwise have been a flat caricature. Continue reading »