‘Chasing Mavericks’ wins high marks for its story, cinematography and illuminating the legend that was Jay Moriarity
Hollywood and the surfing communities viewpoint have not always portrayed the surf culture as one of honor and prestige. Surfing is a right of passage from the time you step into the water your first time. The line-up changes; never are two waves the same or two surfers. It has an unwritten set of codes that if you truly surf—you know what I mean—that we follow and enforce. There is always a pecking order, no matter how long you surf or how good you are. There is a veritable math equation that takes place when one of the boys paddles out.
‘Chasing Mavericks’ star Jonny Weston rides the Hollywood wave and brings surf icon Jay Moriarity to life
Only a handful of Hollywood films shot in and around Santa Cruz—and that are about the town for that matter—have managed to excite locals with quite the fervor of Chasing Mavericks, which hits theaters Friday, Oct. 26.
Funny script, extreme blood, in genre satire 'Seven Psychopaths'
Irish playwright Martin McDonagh made a splash—albeit a bloody one—with his first feature, In Bruges. A twisted tale of two Irish hitmen on the lam in the ancient Belgian city of art and culture, it had moments of appalling violence, yet it was also a scathingly funny, and fiercely moral morality play about violence, vengeance and redemption. I personally badgered many people who would not normally watch anything so brutal to go see it, on the strength of its witty script, anti-violence message, and insanely entertaining performances from Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes.
Pacific Rim Film Festival promotes cross-cultural understanding
The aloha spirit returns to Santa Cruz when the 24th annual Pacific Rim Film Festival unspools this week. Inspired by the Hawaii International Film Festival, and dedicated to cross-cultural understanding around the theme "When Strangers Meet," the six-day event runs Oct. 19-24, offering 20 films from countries all around the Pacific Rim at five venues countywide.
Cult teen novel morphs into disarming film in 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower'
Anyone who's ever felt like an outsider in high school—which is anyone who has ever been a teenager—will be able to relate to The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. It's adapted from Stephen Chbosky's 1999 Young Adult cult novel sensation about a troubled teen entering his freshman year of high school desperately searching for someone to connect with before his internal demons swallow him up. It may sound overly melodramatic, although in this case, the protagonist's demons are more real and sinister than most. But the importance of finding an emotional safety net and a place to fit in gives this disarming movie a very universal appeal.
Smart, funny college-nostalgia comedy 'Liberal Arts' makes the grade
As Thomas Wolfe once said, you can't go home again. According to Josh Radnor, in his smart, entertaining comedy Liberal Arts, you can't go back to college again, either. Whether or not you should want to is the driving force that propels Radnor's thoughtful, funny film, as the ferment of campus life, with all its drama, romance, and terror, where Wolfe and succeeding generations of literary mentors hold such sway, is re-examined by a protagonist in his 30s who's still having a hard time coming of age.