Monday, August 10, 2020

Now Stream This: It's About Time the Go-Go's Got a Documentary!

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM

I’ve been bitching about the Go-Go’s not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for years. They, along with Pete Townshend solo, Smashing Pumpkins and Tommy James and the Shondells should’ve been first-ballot inductees, but nope, Bon Jovi is in there instead.

Now that I’ve ranted, let me tell you about The Go-Go’s, a super fine documentary from director Alison Ellwood that covers the band from their punk rock days up until the present. Yes, the group only had four albums, but when you are talking about trailblazers, you have to put the Go-Go's at the forefront of rock and roll history.

The first all-girl band that played their own instruments to have a number one album (the classic Beauty and the Beat) started from the L.A. punk rock scene, and they were one sloppy band. Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey started in the original group, with bassist Kathy Valentine and drummer Gina Schock starting soon thereafter. After witnessing a totally shitty Sex Pistols show, the girls decided that they should tighten up their act, and the pristine pop sounds of “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat” soon arrived.

Ellwood, with full participation from the band, culls together great archival audio and video, along with fun interviews, to tell their stories. Caffey’s drug addiction, Schock’s health scare, and Wiedlin pulling a Pete Townshend and temporarily leaving the band did a lot to stall their momentum, but they have reformed many times over the years. They had a Broadway show before the pandemic, and current plans for more touring and music, so they have not called it quits.

And, as this film proves over and over again, it’s time the band gets their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if that institution wants to be regarded as anything close to relevant. They were the first, they were one of the best, and their music is timeless. Long live the Go-Go's!

Currently Streaming on Showtime Anytime

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Now Stream This: A Rock Magazine Documentary and a Big Dumb Dog Highlight Latest at The Loft

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 11:30 AM

This week at the Loft Cinema, four new streaming options to go with the many fine films currently available on their site.

During the pandemic, you can assist The Loft by not only streaming films, but donating while their physical doors remain closed. Click Here for more details on how you can help.

For a full listing of the current streaming selections, Click Here.

New this week at The Loft:

A Thousand Cuts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is kind of a nut, and this documentary details his supposed war on drugs and his definite war on the press.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Now Stream This: The Muppets are Back—AGAIN!

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 12:30 PM

The umpteenth incarnation of the Muppets proves to be a good one, with Kermit and pals assimilating into the world of Zoom and cooking competition shows.

The premise is simple: Kermit now presides over a different kind of show, one in which he remains the emcee, and Scooter continues as a stage manager of sorts. But this time Kermit is hosting things on a Zoom-like meeting, while Scooter labors away trying to upload show elements on time and to the satisfaction of Miss Piggy, Gonzo, etc.

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Now Stream This: Gordon Lightfoot and a Crazy Lake Monster Highlight New Films in The Loft's Stream At Home Series

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM

The Loft's streaming series continues this week with a wide range of cinematic treats for you to enjoy at home. No doubt, this week's offerings are some of the most eclectic, interesting, and entertaining looking films of the series so far.

Here are the six new films now available for streaming...visit their website for details on how to order:

Lake Michigan Monster

This one looks nuts. Absolutely nuts. Made with a an oddly retro look, it looks like a hallucinatory cousin to the recent The Lighthouse, a movie that already made you feel like you were on acid when you were watching it.

The Cuban

Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr., having a nice recent comeback (sweet appearance in The Watchmen) stars as an aging musician with dementia.

The Fight

A new documentary from the makers of Weiner and RBG chronicling the court fights involving your dopey President's many attacks on your civil rights. For more info on The Loft's screening for this film, see Jeff Gardner's write-up here.

Rebuilding Paradise

A couple of years ago, I drove through the wonderful Paradise, California on a quick trip to the west coast. Beautiful place. A week later, it had all burned to the ground. Director Ron Howard's documentary tells the story of the community's recovery efforts.

Days of the Whale

Two graffiti artists create a tagged art collective in Medellin in this drama from director Catalina Arroyave Restrepo.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Holy cow, somebody has finally made a documentary about Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot! I've been on a Lightfoot kick recently (I often command Alexa to provide me with his tunes when I'm in dire need of settling down). Artists (Including members of Rush!) reflect on the now 80-year old's contributions to musical history. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Loft Virtually Screening ACLU Documentary

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 3:00 PM

The latest film in The Loft Cinema's virtual screening series follows the work of the attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union. The Fight examines the struggle for civil rights when "a migrant mother is separated from her child, when a transgender soldier is at risk to lose his career, when reproductive rights and basic voting rights are under attack" and more. The Fight releases digitally July 31.

Immediately following the film, there will be a pre-recorded discussion between producer Kerry Washington and the ACLU lawyers featured in the film. This conversation is exclusive to Virtual Cinema engagements.

The Loft's streaming releases series splits the revenue with the film’s distributor 50/50 and helps support The Loft in a time of mass theater closure. You can watch The Fight for 48 hours after you purchase an e-ticket, and can watch on your mobile device, computer, and other streaming devices.

Directed by Eli B. Despres, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, The Fight comes from the same cinema team behind 2016's political documentary about Anthony Weiner’s campaign for Mayor of New York City.

For more information, visit The Loft's website.

Now Stream This: The Other Franco Makes His Directorial Debut with 'The Rental'

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Dave Franco, brother of James, makes his directorial debut, based on a screenplay he co-wrote, with The Rental, a serviceable slasher film that shows the novice director can do a solid job creating a creepy vibe.

The film isn’t anything all that original, and you won’t feel any major sense of surprise when the story ends. You might, however, refrain from ever renting a vacation home on the Oregon coast anytime soon.

Charlie and Michelle (Dan Stevens and Alison Brie) are looking to get away for the weekend. They rent a fancy house and bring along Charlie’s brother, Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and girlfriend, Mina (Sheila Vand) for company. After an awkward meeting with the caretaker (Toby Huss, who is amassing a decent horror film resume with this and last year’s Halloween), the weekend gets off to a pleasant enough start. Then the drugs come out, and bad things happen. When Mina discovers a camera in the shower, justified paranoia reigns, followed by bodies piling up.

Credit Franco for keeping you guessing as to who is creating the bloody mayhem. The resolution i
irked me at first, but it’s growing on me. The performances put the film over the top, as does the effective score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurrians. They definitely use sound to keep you on edge.

It’s a promising debut for Franco that, while owing a lot to past film’s like Luke Wilson’s Vacancy, manages enough coolness to warrant a rental if you are a horror aficionado.

Available for rental on iTunes, Amazon Prime, etc.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

UA Showcasing Student Films Online

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 11:00 AM


The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television’s 15th annual I Dream In Widescreen student film festival faced several challenges this year due to COVID-19. However, these complications turned the showcase into an online festival, allowing more viewers to see the student films than ever before.


Originally planned to be hosted at the Fox Theatre, I Dream In Widescreen will be held on Aug. 8th and 9th on Youtube live.


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Friday, July 24, 2020

The Screening Room starts GoFundMe to Survive COVID

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM

  • Courtesy The Screening Room

For more than 30 years the Screening Room brought the Tucson community together through independent film festivals and events – the Arizona International Film Festival, Arizona Underground Film Festival, Terrorfest and Keep Tucson Sketchy comedy show to name a few. Now suffering from the pandemic like many others, the downtown theater is facing the struggle to survive.

The Screening Room’s current operator David Pike recently created a GoFundMe page to “Save The Screening Room,” reaching out for the community’s support.

“It’s paying the bills. It’s paying on loans, electricity, water and the rent that is due,” Pike said.

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