Film Review: Life

by Marie Carney on March 24, 2017

Life shows us how a few complacent space people can endanger our entire existence

Maybe Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) should take growing Martians more seriously.

When I first found out I was reviewing Life, I was super excited. I love big budget space movies! I love sci-fi! Then I remembered that I am terrified of aliens. Whoops. Soon the question became — will I actually be able to watch the movie without having a panic attack? Much like everything to do with this movie, that answer is unclear. I sat in my chair nervously twitching, waiting to be terrified and got my shoulder muscles knotted up, but I never had to cover my eyes and had no trouble falling asleep when I got home. It was an intense thriller, but maybe just too predictable to actually be scary. [read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Even with a few stumbles, this is an ultimately fun return of a classic franchise.

Saban's new Power Rangers

Saban’s new Power Rangers

Remaking a story like that of Power Rangers requires a great deal of care on two fronts. On the one hand, preserving the world, the characters, and the essential plotlines, is important in order to make the new film appeal in the first place (brand new characters, names, etc., simply wouldn’t fly), but also requires being modernized to fit the sheen and shine of big-budget motion pictures. However, there’s also the concern of keeping a lot of the original charm — which isn’t without its strong sense of extreme camp and over-the-top flashiness — and not having that clash strongly with a modern sense of acting and drama. Thankfully, Lionsgate’s new attempt at rebooting the Power Rangers franchise is ultimately a very fun effort, despite its occasional awkward moments that stumble slightly before the big, explosive finishes arrive. [read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

This movie shouldn’t exist. It shouldn’t work. It’s great.

                         Exciting jolts of visual flair abound in Danny Boyle’s new film.

 

There’s a type of movie that internet film nerds refer to as a “legacyquel”. This term applies to a sequel that is released many years after the original, in which the original actors play their original roles. When this idea fails, like the recent Independence Day movie, which brought back a dead character with a flimsy explanation, it can fail spectacularly, but when it succeeds, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens does, we can celebrate the return of our favorite characters in an entirely new story line. T2: Trainspotting is one of the latter instances.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Photo by Piper Ferguson

Monique Powell of Save Ferris hasn’t performed live in San Francisco since her ill-fated solo show at Bottom Of The Hill in 2003, where the upper deck caught fire, causing that show and a few more shows at the venue to cancel. Spinning Platters had a chance to talk with her about what she’s done in her downtime, how that show affected her as a performer, and about the rise of Incubus and Maroon 5.

Save Ferris will be playing at The Independent in SF on March 23rd, and their new EP, Checkered Past, is available wherever you can find music.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

(Films #11-#20 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th)

Our preview coverage of the 60th SFFILM Festival continues! Be sure to get your tickets now — visit http://www.sffilm.org/festival for tickets and info. Also, be sure to check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie Kahn- @CKCinephile / Chad Liffmann- @chadcarsten). And now, time for 10 more spotlights:

Heaven Sent
(France/Lebanon 2016, 70 min; in Lebanese with English subtitles)

A scene from HEAVEN SENT, playing at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5-19, 2017.

Uproariously absurd and twistedly entertaining, Heaven Sent is a rewarding dark comedy from the Middle East. It features a tight script and talented actors with superb comedic timing. The story revolves around a celebrity’s bodyguard, Omar, whose life is turned upside down when his presumed dead soldier brother returns out-of-the-blue. Even with some political jabs, director Wissam Charaf still invites the audience to laugh with solid slapstick and visual gags. Much of the film’s biting satire stems from the audience’s pre-existing knowledge of the ongoing war in the Middle East, and thus to contrast that knowledge with the hilariously trivial annoyances of Omar’s life become more and more comedically pronounced as the film unfolds. Definitely see Heaven Sent with a full house, since laughter is infectious!

Screenings:
(click here for tickets)

  • Thursday, April 13th, 9:00 pm, YBCA Screening Room
  • Friday, April 14th, 6:00 pm, Alamo Drafthouse
  • Tuesday, April 18th, 6:30 pm, Alamo Drafthouse

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

A passionate, spellbinding set at the final leg of the duo’s North American tour

Brian King of Japandroids

Brian King of Japandroids

If you can believe it, five long years have passed since the last time that Japandroids came to San Francisco and took over The Fillmore, and it’s been far too long of a wait. Their 2012 work Celebration Rock marked a pivotal shift from their laden-with-chaos-and-noise debut tunes to the triumphant, thundering anthems that their singles are now gleaming with, and 2017’s Near To The Wild Heart Of Life continues in this fashion, offering up a slab of pieces full of vitality and potency — this time with the extra sheen of studio magic. Lest you be concerned that the slick sounds of overdubs have marred the energy level that the Vancouver duo are famous for possessing, worry not: if anything, their chemistry has reached an all-time high, their precise delivery pairing magnificently with the massive walls of sound they can tirelessly deliver. If Japandroids were tired at the end of the tour, there was no sign of such weariness at this performance.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Festival Preview: DRILL Los Angeles

March 21, 2017

WIRE brings DRILL back to the West Coast for the first time in 4 years! When I was seventeen I went to “The Warped Tour” in San Francisco. I had never been to a festival and it was definitely a bit mind blowing. The concept of walking from stage to stage strategically placed in a […]

Read the full article →

SFFILM Festival Spotlights #1

March 17, 2017
vimeo.com/20852777

(Films #1-#10 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th) The SF Film Festival is back and celebrating its 60th year! It’ll be taking place at venues in San Francisco and the East Bay from April 5-19. Once again, Spinning Platters is thrilled to provide you extensive coverage of the films, […]

Read the full article →

Film Review: Beauty and the Beast

March 17, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvW_L8sTu5E

Still magical. Yet, there’s something there that wasn’t there before, and that something is meh. If you’ve seen the 1991 Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast as much as I have, you’re probably just as nervously excited for the live-action version as I was. The 1991 film was the first animated feature to ever be […]

Read the full article →

Spinning Platters Picks Six: Road to SXSW: Six Acts That Time Forgot Playing SXSW 2017

March 13, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpbQ4I3Eidg”>Bad

SXSW is the first significant music festival of the year. It’s sort of a teaser for what music is going to take over for the rest of the year. It’s primarily young bands fighting to get heard by the right people, alongside bigger bands there to entice you to check out the little bands. There […]

Read the full article →