Gordon Elgart

Film Review: St. Vincent

by Gordon Elgart on October 17, 2014

Evidently, a movie can be both completely predictable and completely enjoyable at the same time.

Melissa McCarthy sets up Bill Murray for the best line of the entire movie.

Melissa McCarthy sets up Bill Murray for the best line of the entire movie.

Before seeing St. Vincent, the debut feature from Theodore Melfi, I knew very little about it. I knew that Bill Murray plays a cranky old man who lives next door to a single mother, and he develops a relationship with this woman’s young son. That’s it. I knew it was an indie movie, so I predicted to anyone who’d listen that the movie would definitely have a scene featuring an indie rock song punctuating an important uplifting moment. About this, I was wrong. The song by The National, “Start a War,” is used to punctuate an emotionally sad moment. How predictable was the rest of the film, you ask?

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A Treasure Island sunset, courtesy of Kelly Hoffer

A Treasure Island sunset, courtesy of Kelly Hoffer

This weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival has quickly become my favorite musical event of the year. There are no conflicting set times, so you can see everyone on the bill. The size of the festival is fairly small, so it’s easy to get around. The setting in the middle of San Francisco Bay is absolutely stunning. And something about all of these combine to keep the people going in a relaxed, pleasant mood that makes being there all the more enjoyable.

Now, you might think going to this festival is as easy as hopping in your car and going to the festival to enjoy some music, but you’d be wrong. Read on, and I’ll teach you how to avoid rookie mistakes.

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All Photos by Michelle Viray

All Photos by Michelle Viray

A few songs into Beck’s opening night performance at the remodeled SF Masonic, he asked the crowd “How does it sound out there? Does it sound good?” A resounding chorus of yes and yes equivalents was heard back. Yes, the SF Masonic sounds good.  It also looks good. Was the first show a promise of many glorious nights to come?
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The best talking tree movie since Lord of the Rings is also the most fun Marvel movie yet.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are here to make your summer more fun.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are here to make your summer more fun.

The Guardians of the Galaxy, the superhero team, was an odd choice for a Marvel movie. They’re not famous, which should make them a hard sell to the mainstream audiences that these movies are expected to attract. It could have gone really wrong, but because they’re oddballs operating out in space where they can’t interact with our earthbound heroes, the movie Guardians of the Galaxy is a delightful throwback romp. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Boyhood

by Gordon Elgart on July 18, 2014

Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater in Boyhood.

Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater in Boyhood.

There are two types of people who are going to see director Richard Linklater’s newest film, Boyhood. There are those who will not know anything about, or perhaps not even care about the history of the making of the film. They may wonder what all the fuss is about. And then there are people like me who know the whole backstory, and will marvel at how this was all done, and realize that what they’re watching is an impossible movie, one that can’t exist. Yet it does, and it’s wonderful. [read the whole post]

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None of this makes any sense, but damn it looks fantastic!

 

Did he say "you're entering a world of pain?" He should have.

Did he say “you’re entering a world of pain?” He should have.

Transformers Age of Extinction, aka Transformers 4, is basically a tech demo for the IMAX 3D format. Only seconds into the nearly 3-hour movie, many in the audience were gasping with awe. Are movies supposed to look this amazing? And when they do, can we forgive basically everything else about them? Follow along as I “live blog” Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. (I’ve left out spoilers, and made up most of the times since I didn’t actually write this in the movie.) [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Under the Electric Sky

June 27, 2014

Peace Love Unity Respect Advertising Propaganda The first time you see the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is jawdropping. You walk out to the top of the grandstands, and you look out over a sea of lights and motion that’s larger than you could have possibly imagined. The new film, Under the […]

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Concert Review: Ben Folds and the San Francisco Symphony, 5/19/2014

May 20, 2014

There was a moment during “Steven’s Last Night in Town” when Ben Folds, letting the San Francisco Symphony do its thing, turned toward the audience, put his hands on his knees and flashed a huge smile. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen him, and who can blame him?  Here he was, on stage with […]

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Film Review: Neighbors

May 9, 2014
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL5c2szf3E4

It’s a very funny movie. What more do you need to know? Comedy is subjective. What’s funny to you isn’t necessarily funny to me. There’s absolutely no way I can tell you that a movie is hilarious, and a must-see, and have it necessarily be the case for you. All that said, if you don’t […]

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Film Review: Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 2, 2014
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTUvX_pYNBM”

The attempt to add meaning to a meaningless story drags down what could have been a fun movie. When you make a summer movie, the one thing you don’t want to do is find the middle ground between mindless popcorn flick and a well-scripted quality film. This is what Mark Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 does, and because […]

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