Movie Time: Untogether

Jamie Dorman and Jemima Kirke in "Untogether." Source: Freestyle Digital Media
Jamie Dorman and Jemima Kirke in “Untogether.”

Once more, I get to expand my “influencer” tag by reviewing a movie.

“Untogether” marks the directorial debut of writer Emma Forrest. It opens February 8 at the AMC South Barrington 30, following its premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

The romance follows a couple who fall into bed together, then try to decide whether they want to be a couple. Nick (Jamie Dornan [50 Shades of Grey]) admits he broke up with his previous girlfriend only upon meeting Andrea (Jemima Kirke [Girls]), at a party. Despite not wanting not to commit too soon, Andrea takes one of Nick’s shirts home with her, and Nick starts deleting other women from his phone’s contacts.

Both leads are writers: Nick has a popular a memoir of his time as a doctor in the Middle East, and of a girlfriend who was killed there. Andrea has been unable to follow up on a successful first novel ever since—or maybe because—she got sober. She has the added handicap of living in L.A. without a driver’s license.

Andrea shares the family home with her younger sister Tara (Kirke’s real-life sister Lola). She is a massage therapist, trying to reconnect with her lapsed Jewish heritage with a socially activist rabbi, played with warmth by Billy Crystal. She is also dating an older rock musician who is “getting the band back together.” He has my favorite line of the whole movie:

You got me pegged wrong, sister. You’ve got me in the one-hit wonder camp? Well, I had two hits! Two bites of the cherry!

These are not callow 20-somethings finding true love for the first time. Each character lets out some pain in their stories, some of it self-inflicted. Dornan’s character remains a bit hard to like. But perhaps that helps the movie by offering the possibility that Nick and Andrea really aren’t meant to be together. The supporting cast can’t decide whether to talk them in to or out of the relationship. The result is a sort of rom-com with indie cred. It can be enjoyed as a look into other people’s lives.

And it’s always good to see Crystal on the screen. His character offers some moral guidance to the others, and he jokes mainly during his services, like any other church leader trying to keep his congregants interested.

I need to indulge my trivia side, as always: The Kirke sisters are daughters of Simon Kirke, the drummer with Bad Company and Free. Jennifer Gray and Scott Caan (Hawaii Five-0) also appear.

Distributed by: Freestyle Digital Media
Rating: R
Written/Directed by: Emma Forrest
Executive Produced by: Scott Adler, Alex Cutler, Vijay Amritraj, and Prakash Amritraj
Executive Producers: Dana Guerin, Michael Guerin, and Greg Scott
Produced by: Luke Daniels, Brandon K. Hogan, and Scott LaStait

Movie Time: American Street Kid

Today I am adding a “Movie Reviewer” hat to my rack. It seems my social media profile somewhere qualified me for this, so I have had the occasional offer of screeners for upcoming films. 

“American Street Kid” had a showing December 11 at Chicago’s Regal Webster Place, in advance of a wider run later. It’s a documentary that takes the often ignored subject of homeless children, here living in the streets of Los Angeles, around Hollywood and the Venice beach area.

Director Michael Leoni himself was rescued from a life on the street by friends and a girlfriend. He wrote a play based on his experiences, “Playground.” During its run, he discovered some homeless girls had been coming to see the play several times, telling him its was a realistic reflection of their own lives. But shortly after meeting Leoni, each girl was found dead on the streets.

Continue reading “Movie Time: American Street Kid”

Musical Cheese Archive: 28 February 2012

I guess this has been pretty low on my list of priorities, but I do slog along with it. In 2012, while attending an evening computer class at Illinois Institute of Technology, I was able to host a radio shift on the campus station, WIIT. For the first time in nearly 30 years, I was back on the radio, with “Musical Cheese”.

Last time I was on the air, everything was still turntable based. There were CD decks, but not a lot of discs to play them on. Now music came not only from CD’s but I could play music from my laptop, or from a memory card. As much as I was intrigued by the idea of replacing my heavy crates with a memory chip the size of a postage stamp, that I carried in my cell phone, the only drawback was that I couldn’t crossfade songs if they were both on the SD card. And I wanted to improvise by keeping a larger music collection on my laptop, and a big crate of CDs. I even brought in a few tunes from Spotify, and managed not to let any of their ads on. Continue reading “Musical Cheese Archive: 28 February 2012”

Can You Tame Wild Wimmen: Gotham by Gaslight

Just as I finally decided to get my dormant musicalcheese.com url to point to this section, I also got approved as an iTunes affiliate. So, If I can offer some musical cheese stories good enough to get you to click on and buy the music indicated, I might get a nickel or so.

Gotham by Gaslight

While the latest movies adapted from DC Comics have been somewhat hit or miss, they have had several animated videos produced for the home market. Many of these are adaptations of some of the comics’ graphic novels, like “The Killing Joke” or best-known storylines. But rather than being straight adaptations, they twist away from the source material in interesting ways. Continue reading “Can You Tame Wild Wimmen: Gotham by Gaslight”

Eclipse Journal 2: August 21

Sean & Mark McDermott

I probably am not going to be able to hide the fact that I’m writing this story about the August eclipse seven months later, in the midst of a February snow system. Very well. Let me just cop to that fact, and my need to put some interesting “cornerstone copy” on my site that’s a little less than five years old.

Eclipse Day Wakeup

From our campground in DuQuoin to out viewing site in Murphysboro. Just a few seconds less than maximum totality further south and east.
I believe I had set the alarm on my phone for about 7 am on Monday. But I probably didn’t need to bother. I was getting perhaps an hour of sleep at a time. Sean tried to sleep sitting outside in the muggy night, even though he was being bugged by mosquitoes and whatever other insects are out at that place and time. Continue reading “Eclipse Journal 2: August 21”

Eclipse Journal 1: August 20

DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, before the 2017 Eclipse

I have been fussing with the transfer of this blog to WordPress, and with trying to make it current. But let’s start pitching in some new content, first by catching up to a momentous road with my son. This is adapted and expanded from my beer-centric eclipse coverage at beeronaut.com.

Departure

My son Sean and I set out at about 9 am Sunday morning to cross the State of Illinois—the long way—to experience the total solar eclipse of 2017. Our route would involve cutting from one interstate to another along an hour’s worth of rural highway so the Boy could practice his driving. Continue reading “Eclipse Journal 1: August 20”

Time to come clean.

I have spent some years trying to build my own web page from scratch; one that doesn’t look like butt.

But I have finally decided that it will be impossible to keep up with everything I would need to learn just to put a decent piece of web up there.

I’ve now decided that it would be easier to learn to wrangle WordPress. And to see what I can do with a basic WordPress theme, currently “Twenty Seventeen.”

I’m working to put access to my entire World Wide Web wandering on here. So keep an eye open.

—Mark