My Trekkie officemate Joel is flipping out right now: To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture,Philadelphia Film Society just announced it is teaming with, who else, Geekadelphia, to screen all six of the original films on six consecutive nights at The Roxy. “Star Trek–35 Years on 35mm: A Retrospective” begins on December 5th, with each night hosted by an array of local cinephiles, like Phil Nobile Jr of Badass Digest and Dan Tabor of Geekadelphia. There will also be a string of pre- and post-screening events, like Q&As, a Star Trek-themed wine night, a William Shatner impersonation contest, and a screening of fan-made Star Trek Web Series Starship Farragut.
There are a variety of ways to purchase tickets—individually, a full series pass, or a four pack—but I’d hurry. If Joel’s glee is any indication, these suckers are going to go fast. For more information and purchase tickets, go here. I’ve pasted the full schedule below:
Just in time for Halloween, born-and-raised Philadelphia filmmaker Joe Kramer has released his latest project. “Running the Gammatar” is a comedy that follows a group of navel-gazing millennials (ugh, you know the type) as they try to find love in a big city that just so happens to be under attack by a giant, fire-breathing monster that kind of looks like Jabba the Hut.
Kramer’s short used an all-Philly cast and crew, as well as some highly recognizable locations in and around the city. See if you can spot Rittenhouse Square and the Midtown II Diner. After you watch the film below, be sure to vote for it to win an Awardeo Video Award.
Damien Chazelle (center) with the cast of “Whiplash.” | Photo: Shutterstock
Twenty-nine-year-old writer/director Damien Chazelle has found himself in career overdrive. He made quite a splash at this year’s Sundance festival with Whiplash, his latest work about a maniacally hard-driving jazz teacher and his equally obsessed drum student. (The film took home both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize.) The film, which offers star-making turns for both leads J.K. Simmons and Downingtown native Miles Teller, is an uncompromising exploration of true artistic attainment, and the heavy price of achieving it. It is also a brilliantly executed and savage back-and-forth between pupil and student that leaves the film’s audience shifting allegiances and sympathies—not unlike so many time-signature changes in a Thelonious Monk composition.
Ticket spoke with Chazelle over the phone the evening before his film finally opened outside the festival circuit.
Ticket film critic Piers Marchant calls “Two Days, One Night” the best film he’s seen all year. You can catch it during the 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival.
Ticket film critic Piers Marchant combed through the around-100 films playing at this year’s Philadelphia Film Festival to come up with 10 that you absolutely must get a ticket for. His choices comprise flicks he saw at the Toronto International Film Festival, and ones that have generated buzz on the year’s film festival circuit.
Even for a company whose business model involves catering to the widest possible range of viewer, Netflix has outdone itself this month with a crazy-quilt panoply of choices, from faulty-but-beloved TV shows (Gilmore Girls) to crappy ’80s comedies (Three Fugitives) to an early film from one of this country’s greatest auteurs, they have you covered. It’s an insanely schizophrenic lineup, but here are some of our choices for the best of the lot.
A Summer’s Tale:You lucky people get to watch a veritable masterpiece from famed French auteur Eric Rohmer, originally from 1996, but finally being released now for the first time on American screens. The film, the third installment of his “Four Seasons” quadrilogy, is both extremely light on its feet and utterly captivating. The story concerns a young man (Melvil Poupaud) on the eve of his first professional job, who takes a seaside vacation and gets caught up in a complicated romantic triangle with his off-again/on-again girlfriend (Aurélia Nolin) and a young woman (Gwenaëlle Simon) he meets on the shore. Francophile cinema freaks are literally bouncing off the walls in ecstasy for a chance to finally see this treat on the big screen. Rotten Tomatoes Score:98%
Guardians of the Galaxy: Consider the summer movie season saved. What sounds like an unlikely sort of superhero action flick—seriously, two of the heroes in question are a giant, walking plant, and a feisty, weapons-expert raccoon (voiced by Philly’s Bradley Cooper)—in the hands of director James Gunn becomes more fun than you might believe. It’s equal parts funny, touching, and exhilarating in a most unexpected way. Scoff if you must, but you’ll be hearing a great deal about this one in the next couple weeks. A summer blockbuster triumph. Rotten Tomatoes Score:91%
Get On Up: The Godfather of Soul gets the full bio-pic treatment at last, but can you imagine the number of auditions they had to go through to find a suitable James Brown? In the end, director Tate Taylor went with Chadwick Boseman (fresh off his turn as Jackie Robinson in 42), who has the unenviable task of trying to bring the energy and fearsome showmanship of the hardest-working man in show business. From the sound of things, the producers have gotten a lot of things right. Expect great things from Boseman amidst an absolutely devastating soundtrack. Rotten Tomatoes Score:80%
Code Black: You want a breathlessly interesting way to access the health care debate in this country? Ryan McGarry’s enthralling documentary about L.A. County’s fabled emergency room—one of the first in the country to utilize what would now be considered standard emergency care—follows the trials and tribulations of the dedicated doctors and interns of the hospital’s trauma bay, having to make life-saving decisions on the fly on a regular basis, even as their badly injured patients, by nature of their immediate need, bypass the existing health-care system in order to get care. Rotten Tomatoes Score:96%
WAIT FOR DVD
Alive Inside: A documentary about the power of music to overcome mental deterioration, this Sundance audience winner from director Michael Rossato-Bennett sounds like it crams a good deal of uplift in its short-running time (the film clocks in at 75 minutes.) It follows Dan Cohen, a social worker, as he criss-crosses the country speaking the gospel of music as a healing restorer of identity, memory and self to those afflicted souls in need of some kind of cognitive therapy. Rotten Tomatoes Score:65%
Magic in the Moonlight: A colossal misfire from Woody Allen, and a crashing bore to boot. Allen has assembled yet another top-notch cast—including Colin Firth and Emma Stone—and shoots in yet another picturesque part of Western Europe (this being the South of France.) But his script is so half-finished and shoddy, the whole enterprise collapses. The story involves a magician (Firth), who loves debunking self-described soothsayers and oracles as frauds, until he meets a fetching young woman (Stone), whom, to his shock, actually seems legit. I actually feel sorry for Firth, who is given the impossible task of trying to make his boorish character seem believable; and Stone, for having to fall in love as a result. Rotten Tomatoes Score:
For your Pride month viewing pleasures, I’ve rounded up all the best new gay movies on Netflix streaming. I see big gay movie marathons in your future, with the release of the entire “Eating Out” series and Orange is the New Black. There’s also Alain Guiraudie’s captivating French thriller Stranger By the Lake, which follows a dangerous tryst between two fellas on the shores of a popular cruising spot. And, while it’s not particularly gay, documentary Unhung Hero deals with a subject I think most gay dudes will find particularly interesting. Check out all 16 selections below.