Written by / 1/28/2015 / No comments / , , , ,

MILES TELLER & J.K. SIMMONS IN WHIPLASH

2014 rating: ***1/2
When J.K. Simmons as Fletcher, a hard-nosed teacher at a prestigious music conservatory, mentions how jazz is practically dead thanks to "Starbucks Jazz," it’s the one time he really connects with the audience, because it’s true: That genre has been practically done away with, at this point sounding more like a spy flick or game show than the kind of pioneering improvisational genius that took blood, sweat and tears to create, and perfect.

J.K. Simmons
Well it's blood, sweat and one tough tear that Andrew, played by Mills Teller, sheds to make the cut in Fletcher’s band room, an intentionally claustrophobic setting where most of the movie's set. From Simmons we experience screeching commands and furious tantrums reminiscent of cinematic drill sergeants, ranging from Louis Gossett Jr. to Lee Ermy, and his subjects are along for the pulsating, gut-wrenching ride.

While Fletcher’s rants are as politically-incorrect as you can get away with today, and Andrew’s edgy determination brings out a terrific performance (and spot-on drum mimicking) from Teller, WHIPLASH isn't without clich├ęs, like a tacked on love interest and various sideliners, from family members to fellow musicians, catered to make our lead character seem more viable, or something. Meanwhile, no matter how many times the band plays, and the teacher scolds them for getting it wrong, it all sounds... similar. 

But what really puts WHIPLASH over the top is a standoff finale that, in a musical sense, equals if not triumphs any pulsating action movie climax – summing up both student and teacher while the theme becomes clearer than ever. COLLECTIVE RANK: Jedi, Rebel, Droid, Sith.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

STANLEY BAKER AND GINGER ROGERS IN 'BEAUTIFUL STRANGER'

Title: BEAUTIFUL STRANGER AKA TWIST OF FATE Year: 1954 Rating: ***1/2 "I stole it... I am innocent," Herbert Lom says to Stanley B...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "This is good, and, that's life." John Slattery as Roger on Mad Men

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)THE FEARMAKERS 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)VIOLENT SATURDAY 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)THE CROWDED SKY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)HIDDEN FEAR 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)THE BREAK 25)AIR PATROL 26)HANNIBAL BROOKS 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)STANLEY BAKER 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)JACK NICHOLSON 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CHARLES BRONSON CINEMA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE