Cinema

What we talk about when we talk about Birdman

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 19th, 2014

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman” gives Michael Keaton the “Being John Malkovich” treatment in a messy, noisy backstage drama enamored of its own ruminations about art and artifice, celebrity worship, self-respect, narcissism and several dozen additional big ideas. In 2000, “Amores Perros,” the first installment of Inarritu’s “death trilogy,” divided audiences, a trait extending through “21 Grams,” “Babel” and “Biutiful.” Those who share the…

Read more...


Expressionist landmark restored for Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 19th, 2014

The movement in avant-garde modern art known as Expressionism began in Germany just over a century ago, shortly before and especially during and right after World War I. It employed harsh contrasts with distorted colors and angles to express an underlying psychological feeling rather than representing its subjects literally. By 1919, forward-looking German filmmakers began applying its anti-realistic ideas to movie production. The first major example and one of the most extreme is the…

Read more...


​Press record: “Nightcrawler” is wicked, gruesome fun

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 12th, 2014

One of the best films of 2014, Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” is thrilling metafiction that simultaneously wallows in and critiques the lurid relationship between violent crime and broadcast/cable/Internet news. The writer-director also thoroughly explores the insatiable hunger of the viewing public to devour stories of death and mayhem, and does so with a jet-black comic touch. Additionally, Gilroy’s movie is clearly made by a film lover for film lovers, deliciously referencing…

Read more...


Hollywood parties, actor improv, silent comedy

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 12th, 2014

Best-known for his “Pink Panther” films and other comedies loaded with carefully-timed sight gags, director Blake Edwards now has several of his notable films available on Blu-ray, including “Operation Petticoat” (1959), “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” (1961), “Experiment In Terror” (1962), “The Pink Panther” (1964), and “The Great Race” (1965). The latter film I reviewed back in September when the Warner Archive Blu-ray came out. That same month Kino released a nice…

Read more...


​Treated like Hollywood: Marcus Theatres upgrades

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 5th, 2014

Movie theater outings, now more than ever, are becoming more about the entire theatrical experience – not just the picture.

This is especially the case for Marcus Theatres customers in Fargo. West Acres Cinema and Century Cinema, the two largest movie theaters in the area, have been significantly upgraded.

General manager Rick Solarski gave HPR a rundown on what moviegoers need to know about the changes.

Reclining chairs: West Acres’ UltraScreen theater and Century Cinema’s entire…

Read more...


​Blown out on the trail: Murray rocks as “St. Vincent”

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 5th, 2014

Like Herman Blume, the wealthy industrialist in Wes Anderson’s awesome “Rushmore,” Bill Murray’s Vincent MacKenna is a prickly, disillusioned Vietnam veteran with a taste for alcohol and cigarettes. MacKenna is poor and Blume is rich, but both men reassess their lives following unexpected and unorthodox friendships with much younger boys. The formula of the weary old grump and the precocious, inexperienced cadet learning lessons from one another works better in Anderson’s…

Read more...


​Another film festival in a box

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 5th, 2014

I mentioned in last week’s column that Criterion Collection’s “Eclipse” series of box sets provides expertly-curated combinations of related films on DVD at a modest price: an instant film festival in a box for budget-minded cineastes with eclectic tastes, but without supplements except good program notes. Also the video transfers have not undergone the more careful restoration given to titles that Criterion releases on Blu-ray, but many still look amazingly good for DVDs.

Last…

Read more...


​Offline: ‘Men, Women & Children’ in the internet age

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 30th, 2014

Trading the comic complications and satirical stingers of “Thank You for Smoking” and “Juno” for the more nakedly manipulative white whine and/or bathos of “Up in the Air,” “Young Adult,” and the critically ravaged “Labor Day,” filmmaker Jason Reitman adds another entry to his list of underwhelming missteps. The director’s sixth feature, “Men, Women & Children,” is based on the novel by Chad Kultgen, and aspires to examine the dark side of our fascination with…

Read more...


​More Halloween movie fun

by Christopher P. Jacobs | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 30th, 2014

Halloween weekend is a natural time to revisit or track down horror films, with plenty of public screenings as well as numerous sales on home video editions. The prestigious Criterion Collection has several notable horror films from major directors around the world available on Blu-ray, with 13 selected titles not-so-coincidentally on sale for half-price this week at Amazon through Nov. 1. Several of these I’ve reviewed in past columns, all worth seeing.

This sale includes Lars von…

Read more...


“Plastic Galaxy” Looks at history of Star Wars toys

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 22nd, 2014

By fans, for fans, “Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys” covers the profitable marriage of George Lucas’ phenomenal movie and Kenner Products, the Cincinnati-based company that acquired the license to produce action figures, vehicles, and other playthings based on Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader and the many inhabitants of the “Star Wars” universe. Director Brian Stillman alternates between the super collectors who have devoted the majority of their spare…

Read more...


Tracker Pixel for Entry Aaland Law Firm

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…