Film

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Interview hits the big screen in Spokane tonight, N. Idaho already had it

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 11:01 AM

theinterview.jpeg
The Interview ... the film that launched a few million hacked Sony emails into the public view ... the film that then caused Sony to freak the hell out and pull the movie from theaters ... the film that North Korea was really, really pissed off about and made all of the aforementioned things happen... is finally coming to a big screen in Spokane today.

You'll remember that Sony caved to threats from the allegedly North Korean hackers who said they'd wreak havoc on any theater that showed the film and so the production company behind the Seth Rogen-powered film pulled its December 25 release.

Now, that film is set to open at the Garland Theater tonight. The film has been appearing in small theaters throughout the country, while the megaplexes have continued to shy away from the tale of Rogen and James Franco as the TV producers tasked by the CIA to kill North Korean demigod/porkchop/dictator Kim Jung Un.

You wouldn't think Spokanites would give in to the North Koreans, did you? After all, we already conquered them in a remake of Red Dawn a few years ago.

Surprisingly, the brave patriots of North Idaho, who ain't afraid of shit, have already had The Interview in theaters for a while now. The Bonner Mall Cinemas outside of Sandpoint has had the film since Christmas Day. And the Hayden Discount Cinemas is also screening the film, which apparently isn't really that great. 

As you likely know, The Interview is available from the comfort of your own home. It's streaming on every platform you can think of, even your cable provider's Video on Demand menu. And Sony has already raked in $31 million from this avenue alone. Still, Kim Jong Un probably gets super, super fussy when you watch it with a bunch of strangers in a theater. Be a patriot and head to the movies.
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Psycho performance with the Spokane Symphony

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 12:04 PM


You’d recognize those shrieking strings anywhere.

“Er, er, er, er, er, er!”

The soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror movie Psycho is some of the most terrifying music ever set to film. Imagine Janet Leigh’s immortal shower scene without the bone-chilling musical theme to accompany her screams. On February 12 (in time for a pre-Valentine’s date), the Spokane Symphony boldly takes on the Bernard Herrmann-penned score as the film rolls behind them on stage at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.  

The symphony has performed other film soundtracks, like Casablanca last season, but Psycho was practically made for this format. 

Assistant conductor Jorge Luis Uzcategui makes his Spokane Symphony debut with this exciting performance.

Show up early as a character from the film (Mrs. Bates anyone?) and win prizes in the costume contest. The show starts at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are $28 - $49 and can be purchased at TicketsWest.com beginning Friday. Do note the film is rated R (even though it was made in 1960 and was filmed black and white, do not underestimate its fright factor). 


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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Royal Tenenbaums, Iron Goat Brewing star in our next Suds and Cinema

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 2:51 PM

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In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we at the Inlander held a grand experiment in democracy when we allowed you, our faithful, well-groomed readers, to select the film for our January 21 edition of Suds and Cinema.

It was a heated race that featured a virtual tie between The Royal Tenenbaums and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. We then proceeded to a run-off, per the rigidly enforced Suds and Cinema voting protocol, and in the end, it was Tenebaums that came out on top.

Joining this excellent piece of cinema from genius director Wes Anderson is the equally genius beer of Iron Goat Brewery, which will be serving up their Garbage Pale Ale and the Belsnickel Winter Beer. Allow Dwight Shrute to remind you about Belsnickel.

We'll be conducting a costume contest for those who want to win prizes. So find your matching red track suit, fur coat, tennis head band, faux-cowboy getup or whatever Bill Murray's character wears and get out to the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday, January 21. Please, no live falcons.

We'll start pouring beers at 6:30 pm and will roll the movie at 7:30 pm. Here's the official Facebook invite.

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Spokane-made Knights of Badassdom now on Netflix Instant; Z Nation to come

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Peter Dinklage filmed in Spokane before his days of Game of Thrones acclaim.
  • Peter Dinklage filmed in Spokane before his days of Game of Thrones acclaim.

Nearly a year after it hit local theater screens, the Spokane-made, nerd culture comedy/horror Knights of Badassdom is now available to stream on Netflix Instant.

While the film has been available on other video-on-demand platforms for some time at a fee, Netflix subscribers can now watch the fantastical LARP-ing adventures of its all-star cast of characters — played by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Zahn (Treme), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Danny Pudi (Community) and Summer Glau (Firefly) — as part of their subscription package. 

Knights was shot in and around Spokane by the local production studio North by Northwest back in summer 2010, and before major, breakthrough roles for some of the aforementioned actors. Due to delays in production and distribution, the film wasn't publicly released until January 2014.

Speaking of other locally filmed sci-fi adventures, Z Nation is set to release on Netflix Instant this Friday, Jan. 9. Looks like we all have some weekend binge-watching to look forward to. 


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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Boyhood hits video; Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney among anticipated albums of 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 1:01 PM


Every week we delve into the (mostly) steaming pile of new music and home video releases to help readers spend their money on the most worthy of entertainment options. It's a new year, we have the same job. Let's do this. 

MUSIC
The Decemberists' new album arrives in two weeks.
  • The Decemberists' new album arrives in two weeks.
The music biz is still coasting on holiday sales of Pentatonix and taking a break from releasing anything of note this week. Instead, here are some of the albums I'm most anticipating in the first few months of 2015: 
The Decemberists, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Jan. 20). It's been four years since the strong The King is Dead album from the Portland folk-rockers led by Colin Meloy. 
Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love (Jan. 20). Nine years after Sleater-Kinney released The Woods and then split up, America's best band (ya heard me!) is back with one of the most anticipated albums and tours of the year — and the tour starts right here in Spokane on Feb. 8 with a sold-out show at the Knitting Factory. 
Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear (Feb. 10). His 2012 debut, Fear Fun, was excellent. Here's hoping the concept album he's releasing for his sophomore effort holds up as well. 
Modest Mouse, Stranger to Ourselves (March 3). It's been eight years since Issaquah's finest put out an album. That's way too long for a band that always has something interesting going thanks to leader Isaac Brock. 
Faith No More, title tba (April). Younger readers probably won't know or care about the Bay Area experimental rockers — it's been 18 years since their last release! — but Mike Patton has one of the best voices in rock. 
My Morning Jacket, title tba (April). Speaking of great voices, MMJ's Jim James has one, too, and the band has reportedly recorded enough songs for two full-length releases. Huzzah!

MOVIES & TV
This week's video releases include some of the worst movies of 2014 — hello, Left Behind remake starring Nicolas Cage — but some of the Oscar favorites are out as well. 

Boyhood has topped a slew of year-end "Best Movies of 2014" lists, and is generating serious Oscar buzz for director Richard Linklater, as well as Patricia Arquette. If the near-three-hour running time was too daunting for you to see it in theaters, now's your chance to buy it and watch on your own time. 
Dinosaur 13 is a remarkable documentary about the discovery of the T-rex named Sue (you might have seen a cast replica of her at the Mobius recently), and the battle for control of her fossil. Here's a look: 
Get On Up got a frustratingly short release in theaters, so a chance to see the James Brown bio-pic is a welcome one. It stars Chadwick Boseman, hot on the heels of his strong Jackie Robinson portrayal in 47

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Denzel still one bad man; Kevin Smith's Tusk has teeth

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM


Each Tuesday we clue you in on the best new music and home video releases, and even though we're two days from 2015 and the music biz has basically shut down for the moment, there are a couple of vids potentially worth your time on New Year's Eve or for viewing during a break in New Year's Day football. Check 'em out: 

MOVIES & TV

Even though he doesn't crank out the flicks at the same pace as in his earlier days, Denzel Washington remains one bad man, and capable of starring in an action flick like The Equalizer, the big-screen adaptation of a much-beloved '80s TV series. Antoine Fuqua, who teamed with Washington for Training Day, directs this one, too, although it wasn't as well-received as that Oscar-winner. Here's a look: 
Tusk is director Kevin Smith's latest effort, and stars Justin Long as a podcaster who is captured, enslaved and experimented on by a wily old coot with a thing for walruses. Or something like that. Check the trailer: 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: A second Trip and Funkadelic comeback

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM


Even during the week of Christmas the entertainment biz is trying to find its way into your wallet with new music and DVD releases, and we're here to help you separate the good from the bad every Tuesday. 

MUSIC
Not much in the way of new music this week, with one notable exception. You got the funk? Funkadelic is releasing its first new music in 33 years on CD Tuesday (it came out digitally a couple weeks back), and First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate has all the usual suspects you want from a Parliament/Funkadelic release—George Clinton leading the charge, contributions from Sly Stone and a slew of bad mofos. Here's a tune called "Ain't That Funkin' Kind of Hard on You:"


MOVIES & TV
Remarkably, there are two worthy indie flicks newly released this week that you should consider for some holiday viewing. 

The Trip to Italy is the follow-up to The Trip, in which British actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play exaggerated versions of themselves, bouncing through travel hotspots, exploring fine cuisine and lodgings while delivering their best Michael Caine impressions (among others). The original took them through their native Britain, while the follow-up leads them to, yes, Italy for visits to Pompeii and Sicily. 
Pride stars some seriously great actors (Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine) in a true story about a group of gay and lesbian activists who join forces with some rough-and-tumble striking miners in mid-80s England. Pride was nominated for a Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe. 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watch "Elf" tonight with us and be a good person

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

How about some more uplifting movie news, rather than read more about this confounding display of cowardice

And that good news is that tonight we're hosting a screening of Elf, a movie starring Will Ferrell as a man-sized elf who says nothing inflammatory about any dictator, foreign or otherwise. It's a totally safe movie and good for the whole family!

The screening benefits Catholic Charities Spokane and also features raffle prizes, a photo booth and a special appearance by Buddy the Elf! The party film is tonight at the Bing Crosby Theater at 7 pm. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

For the $5 entry, you'll also be treated to scenes like this, when Buddy the Elf gets super pumped about meeting Santa:
Or when Buddy the Elf finds the world's best cup of coffee.Or when Buddy the Elf says "Son of a Nutcracker!"
Or when Buddy the Elf unleashes an earth-rattling burp.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Washington filmmakers plan to ask Olympia to boost tax incentive program

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Z Nation was the first episodic series in Washington to receive funding from the state's film incentive program. - JENNA MULLIGAN
  • Jenna Mulligan
  • Z Nation was the first episodic series in Washington to receive funding from the state's film incentive program.

As the 2015 Washington state legislative session approaches, convening in Olympia on Jan. 12, interest groups all around are getting ready to make their cases for increased or maintained state funding. One of those is Washington Filmworks, the nonprofit tasked with managing the state's film production incentive program.

At an annual industry update last week at Nectar Tasting Room in downtown Spokane, Washington Filmworks' Director Amy Lillard, and Board of Directors Chair Don Jensen, shared successes of the year, and the organization's goals for the upcoming session.

Throughout this year, Washington Filmworks provided funding assistance for 13 TV episode (Z Nation), seven commercials, three projects at its Innovation Lab and one feature film (Captain Fantastic). That funding assistance was split roughly in half between projects in Eastern (51 percent) and Western Washington (49 percent).

Combined, projects in 2014 resulted in an estimated $33 million in economic impact for the state. 

However, Lillard pointed out that even with those notable successes, Washington Filmworks was forced to turn away five big projects that would have generated an additional $55 million into the state economy. That's because Washington Filmworks' annual $3.5 million film industry incentive cap was spent by May.

Washington's film incentive program works like a cash rebate for qualifying productions made in-state. Funded by a portion of the state's business and occupation tax liabilities (corporations/individuals can choose to contribute to this fund, getting a dollar for dollar tax credit, up to $1 million), qualifying productions can apply to get 30 percent of what they spent here back from the state. 

Washington's program to encourage filmmakers to work here is the fifth smallest in the nation, but interest in making films here is growing, Lillard told the group of about three dozen at the presentation last Thursday.

"We spent the summer looking to what we can do during the [legislative] session because it's hard to come up with the money," Lillard says. 

While Washington Filmworks plans to ask state lawmakers to increase its incentive budget, Lillard says no official request has been determined at this point. However, if the state were able to take advantage of all the projects interested in shooting here, an estimated $24.3 million in funding assistance would be needed. 

Anticipating the challenges ahead of legislators as they work to balance the 2015-17 biennium budget during the 2015 session, it's going to be a tough battle for everyone. The biggest priorities on the table are education, mental health services and the voter-approved class size reduction initiative.    

Still, Lillard and Jensen urged attendees last week to reach out to their legislators, and to ask them to fight for increased funding for the film incentives.  

"We know it's made a difference in employment," she adds. "We're committed to being transparent, and $24.3 million — is that feasible? I don't know."


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TUESDAY TASTE: Sample new D'Angelo and old Kinks; Stefon makes a movie

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM


You might be tempted to buy your friends or loved ones some new music or videos just in time for the holidays. Before you do, let us help you separate the worthy from the waste of money with our Tuesday Taste. 

MUSIC

D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah. With a gap between albums that would make Axl Rose blush, D'Angelo is finally back on the scene with new music, and people are pretty excited about it. At one point — around 1995 when his debut Voodoo took the world by storm — he was considered the baddest man in R&B and neo-soul. Will people still care about him in 2014? They probably should, judging by the sound of this one called "Really Love." I recommend you skip the first 1:30 of intro to get to the goods: 

The Kinks, The Anthology 1964-1971. The Brit-pop pioneers are criminally under-appreciated, and this five-disc set of their early years is a great introduction to a band who should be held in the same esteem of the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. They wrote "You Really Got Me," dammit! And this great tune: 

Charli XCX, Sucker.  The British star's sophomore album brings a bit of rock riffage to the mix that matches well with her snotty attitude, a nice contrast to the princess-like propriety of Ms. Swift's brand of pop. If you're looking for something for a young pop music fan, this can work: 

MOVIES & TV

The mainstream releases that will garner most of the attention of less-discerning film fans this week include the latest Woody Allen flick, Magic in the Moonlight, which got raked over pretty good by critics for its hard to believe chemistry (or lack thereof) between the 54-year-old Colin Firth and 26-year-old Emma Stone. Bad Woody can be very bad. The Maze Runner is another wannabe dystopian-future teen flick, so if you haven't had your fill of those yet, go to town. And, of course, there's the reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles out on vid today, but the less said about that, the better. 

If you're looking for something with a bit more to offer, though, consider these flicks: 

The Skeleton Twins features long-time Saturday Night Live co-stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, but this story of estranged twins forced into a reunion offers more drama than you might expect, along with some laughs. You might never look at Hader as merely "Stefon" anymore. Here's the trailer: 

This Is Where I Leave You is a slam-dunk on paper. Based on a best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper, it stars an unbelievable cast including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Adam Driver. The actual film isn't all that it could have been, often leaving its cast with too little to do, but there are moments when it lives up to its potential — particularly when Driver is on screen. Here's a look: 


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