Archive for the Timothy Parfitt Category

Thoughts on the Aurora Century 16 Shooting

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications, Timothy Parfitt on July 23, 2012 by Timothy Parfitt

This past Friday, a gunman burst into a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises and shot and killed over a dozen people, wounding close to sixty. As much as rational thinking tells me to separate the incident from the movie showing that night, I can’t. Before the massacre, advanced reviews described the film as grim and mentally punishing. Why would I want to spend my hard earned money on violent, bad vibes superhero movie, especially one with the stink of tragedy to it?

Like many others, I was swept up by The Dark Knight, the previous chapter of Nolan’s reboot. Heath Ledger’s Joker transcended villain clichés to suggest something closer to a god of destruction, a Shiva born out of the American subconscious. So luminous was the performance that people like James Holmes get obsessed with it, the charismatic nihilism of it.

Ten years ago I was adamant that American movies weren’t dark enough. And while I still enjoy dark and violent movies and books, something about the new Batman sequel repels me. The events of this past weekend felt like the snake catching up with its tail, a horrific conflation of our society’s obsessions with violence, escapism, celebrity, guns and hype. I’m sure many very talented people worked incredibly hard to make The Dark Knight Rises, and that it’s a powerful and well-made film. I for one, though, will be leafing through the listings looking for a purer distraction, preferably something full of singing animals.

Even Odds: 50/50

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 22, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Based on writer Jonathan Levine real life experiences, 50/50 is a bro-comedy that blends tender moments and doesn’t feel chained to established Hollywood rhythms.  Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Adam, a late twenty something who discovers he has cancer. Seth Rogen plays Kyle, his foul-mouthed best friend. Together they confront their new realities and try to translate Adam’s sickness into effective pick-up lines. Continue reading

Foie Gras and Michael Caine Impressions: The Trip

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

A little film that cuts surprisingly deep, The Trip follows two comedians playing themselves as they traverse north England on a gastronomic tour. Steve Coogan gets an assignment from Esquire magazine to try all these fancy restaurants in the moors, but his girlfriend flakes, which leaves him no choice but to bring his best friend/annoyance Rob Bryndon. The movie plays off the pairs great chemistry and comedic chops, but the frequent moments of levity stand in relief against themes of loneliness, art, and death. Continue reading

Catch Up: Sin Nombre (2009)

Posted in Catch-up, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , , on July 4, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

On this, America’s Independence Day, I’ll take a few moments to speak about Sin Nombre, the debut film by director Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre). It’s a story of a Honduran family and a teenage gang member whose paths cross as they cling to the roof of a train headed for the US border. While the film itself is beautiful, it paints a clear picture of the stifling existence these immigrants are trying to leave behind. Continue reading

Summer of Sequels: Cars 2

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , , on July 4, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Betting that I would be able to follow the plot, I ventured out and saw Cars 2 without seeing the original. True to form, Pixar has created another lush and vibrant digital universe, albeit one dominated by Larry the Cable Guy (playing Mater the tow truck). While Cars 2 putts along amicably enough for the first hour, the film’s charm and drama deficit turns the last half hour into a long drive with nothing to talk about. Continue reading

The Gangster of Khinshasa: Viva Riva!

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , on June 22, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

A fairly conventional gangster movie set in an unconventional locale, VIva Riva! is a tale of two halves. The first half of the film, set in Khinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, moves briskly and feels fresh. The audience is introduced to Riva, a freewheeling and fun-loving gangster who delivers a truckload of petrol to the city. Since gasoline is in such short supply in the capital, his load lands Riva a windfall of cash, which he promptly spends on bubbly at the club.

Hot on his tail is Cesar, a gangster from Angola with a loping gait that screams “evil”, is hellbent on locating Riva and the truckload of petrol, which Riva apparently secured in a less than honorable fashion. Continue reading

Midtown Malaise: The Art of Getting By

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , on June 19, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Last Thursday I attended a free preview screening of The Art of Getting By. The film, written and directed by Gavin Wiesen, follows George (Freddy Highmore), a talented but nihilistic high school senior who is dangerously close to flunking out of school. We see him walk around Manhattan in his gray overcoat, reading The Stranger in the cafeteria, and falling for a classmate who may or may not be just a friend.

Nothing about this film is horrible, per se, but nothing really stands out either. It’s a coming of age story about how hard it can be to sit down and do your homework, and how you should never introduce your love interest (Emma Roberts) to your twenty-something Brooklynite painter mentor. Continue reading