Monarch Movie Minute: ‘Sing Street,’ ‘I Am Your Father’ and ‘Green Room’
‘Sing Street’ (2016) | PG-13 | 106 min. 🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬
Art, whether it be music, painting or writing, is something that can bring out the best in us. Art is something that gives artists a reason to keep looking forward, no matter how tough things get. This is something that the character of Connor discovers in “Sing Street,” a coming of age film that never fails to inspire its audience.
When Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is abruptly shifted from his posh private school setting to the vicious and unforgiving terrain of public school, he has to find a way to survive. That survival comes in the form of Sing Street, a band he hastily puts together to impress his crush, Raphina (Lucy Boynton). Initially a way to get Raphina to star in a music video, Connor and the other members of Sing Street begin to use the band as a means of escape from their troubles.
No stranger to dramas that use music as a theme, writer and director John Carney (“Once,” “Begin Again”), creates a story that has ‘80s nostalgia running through its veins. Much of the music that Connor and his friends make is heavily influenced by artists like Duran, Duran and David Bowie. Rather than going for empty nostalgia, Carney creates a story that uses those references to help the characters shape who they are.
While the film is able to successfully capture the heartbreaking qualities of growing up, “Sing Street” also encapsulates the joy of finding one’s self through art. While playing with the ideas of identity and the hardships of adolescents, “Sing Street” also serves as a great feel-good movie that certainly earns its place as one of the best films of the year.
This film is available on Netflix.
‘I Am Your Father’ (2015) | NR | 83 min. 🎬🎬🎬
When asked, “Who is the greatest movie villain of all time,” it’s probably no doubt that people will instantly think of the hulking figure of Darth Vader. Truly, the character is an embodiment of menace and evil that hasn’t been immortalized on the big screen in the same way. While audiences may know actor James Earl Jones for providing the voice for the character, not many people know of the actor that actually wore the mask on set.
In “I Am Your Father,” audiences are given a portrait of actor and professional bodybuilder David Prowse. Prowse has become immortalized in the nerddom community for physically playing the big bad in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. This documentary not only covers Prowse’s legacy as an actor but also the betrayal he faced from George Lucas on the set of “Return of the Jedi.”
When it came time to unmask Darth Vader and show the world what he looked like in “Jedi,” Prowse was replaced with veteran actor Sebastian Shaw. This is something that has plagued Prowse for years after the film’s release. The material the film has to work with is certainly interesting enough. However, no real answers are given by the filmmakers that would explain Lucas’s decision to cut Prowse from the final film.
Though the documentary has its flaws, “I Am Your Father” is still a fascinating look at actors who wear masks and makeup and aren’t recognized for their work. Prowse has had a long career that isn’t as well recognized as his other “Star Wars” co-stars.
Filmmakers Toni Bestard and Marcos Cabota show a passion for wanting to showcase Prowse’s years of work in a way not many take the time to.
This film is available on Netflix.
‘Green Room’ (2016) | R | 95 min. 🎬🎬🎬🎬
In writer/director Jeremy Saulnier’s “Green Room,” he explores the dynamic of punk music without really focusing on the music itself. The main character Pat (Anton Yelchin) explains early in the movie that you have to attend the show in order to get the full effect, otherwise the music is lost to its audience. Saulnier uses his character’s advice and gives audience’s a siege film that tries to embody the nature of punk rock without using the music.
After a failed tour, Pat and his bandmates manage to finagle their way into one last gig that will finance their way home. There is only one problem: the gig is located at a militant neo Nazi-owned bar in the middle of nowhere. Knowing that it’s either this or nothing, the band grits their teeth and unwillingly plays their set.
Just as his band is finished up and leaving, Pat inadvertently witnesses a murder and the owners of the bar aren’t too keen on letting them walk free. After locking Pat and his crew into the bar’s green room, the owners decide to call Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his army of soldiers to eliminate the band. To escape, Pat and his band have to fight their way out no matter how messy the battle gets.
What makes “Green Room” work is its use of violence, and this truly is a disturbingly violent movie. Saulnier wants to treat his character’s obstacle much like it is a set of punk rock music. There is no set-up for what comes next and anything can happen at any moment. With razor sharp focus, “Green Room” is an unforgiving yet unforgettable experience that leaves its audience shaken.
This film is available on Amazon Prime.
🎬 — Straight to DVD.
🎬🎬 — Well, there goes 2 hours of my life!
🎬🎬🎬 — Add to my queue.
🎬🎬🎬🎬 — A must see.
🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬 — Mind blown!