Bruce Miller's blog

We're excited to report that Hell Or High Water starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine Hell Or High Water posterand Fairfield's Ben Foster is coming to the Ottumwa 8 this weekend. This is one of the best films of the year. "A film with the sort of sweeping grandeur that today's filmmakers rarely aspire to, let alone fulfill." - Wall Street Journal; "Takes you places that you thought the big screen had forgotten." - St. Louis Post Dispatch; "A genre film that transcends genre, an iconic American tale that is nonetheless firmly grounded in both place and time. One of the best movies of the year." - The Atlantic; "Hot damn, this one's a goodie - a mesmerizing, modern-day western that moves with the coiled intensity of a rattlesnake ready to spring." - Rolling Stone; "You could freeze nearly any frame of Hell or High Water and you'd be looking at a work of art. It's stark and breathtaking and gorgeous to behold." - Chicago Sun-Times; "They don't make them like this anymore - but they still can, and here's the proof." - Boston Globe; "It's got a dry dusty power, and a dark sense of humor. And when it finally saddles up and really rides, pardner, you'd best get out of its way." - N.Y. Daily News; "A thrillingly good movie - a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic." - Variety; Hell or High Water isn't just a great time at the movies, it's one of the year's best pictures. - Toronto Star 

We'll also cover the new releases and more on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. -"Ya'll been here a while?" -"Long enough to watch a bank gettin' robbed that's been robbin' me for 30 years." - Hell Or High Water

  • Fri
    Sep 02
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Sep 04
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

We're in a very quiet time for new movie releases we can suggest you may enjoy. Kubo And The Two Strings posterThere is one film we're recommending you see on the big screen while the opportunity still exists. Kubo And The Two Strings is beginning it's third week, now showing only matinee times at the Ottumwa 8. If you're a film fan, we suggest you seek this out. One reaction sent to us: "We loved it!!! Wow. Exhilarating. Deeply moving. Exceptional. Gorgeous. It pulled me in immediately & suspended my belief quite quickly. I hope it pulls in a bunch of Oscars! It really is a masterpiece…" - Jessica Malloy (and family :)

We'll talk about this, begin our fall movie preview and more, on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch and Bruce Miller, "where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions."

Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing hero's journey story that has something to offer audiences of all ages. - Critics Consensus, Rotten Tomatoes

  • Sun
    Aug 21
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

We're thrilled to report that Kubo And The Two Strings is opening regionally, including Ottumwa and especially at the Main Street Cinema Theatre in Mt. Pleasant. It's the only theater regionally where you can see it in 3D. Many critics have said 3D enhances the stop-motion action, including your's truely. It's a unique animated audio/visual expression of the Ancient Hero's Journey, an epic story and must-see for any film fan. We highly encourage seeing Kubo in 3D and the Main Street venue is one of the nicest renovated retro theaters in the area, with more eclectic food choices than most.Kubo And The Two Strings poster 

Kubo And The Two Strings: Arguably one of the most creative and visionary films of its kind, dating back perhaps to Disney in the late 30s and Pixar in the mid-90s. - New York Observer. It's a classic hero's journey full of action and adventure, but it's also an intimate fable about love and loss, magic and memory. - Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com. The first and last things to be said in this limited space about Kubo and the Two Strings are that it's a showcase for some of the most startlingly beautiful animation in recent and not so recent memory. - Wall Street Journal.

Despite a traditional-seeming quest for a suit of armor and a sword, the film's intrinsic message is all about the transformative powers of music and love. It's a movie the whole family can rock out to. - New York Post. I cannot stress enough how truly stunning the brilliant visuals are in this movie. - Chicago Sun Times. An eye-popping delight that deftly blends colorful folklore with gorgeous, origami-informed visuals to immersive effect. - Hollywood Reporter. Be prepared to cry: it's rare that animation can stir up such deep emotion, but it'll happen, sometimes more than once. - New York Daily News. Staggeringly beautiful and immensely true, this is the best animated film of 2016. - IndieWire.

We'll talk about this, other new releases and more, on the Filmosophers with Chris Busch and Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. -Do you ever say anything encouraging? -I encourage you not to die. - Kubo and The Two Strings

  • Fri
    Aug 12
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Aug 14
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

In this summer of "mediocre mainstream movies" this is a rather extraordinary weekendHell Or High Water poster for new films. The three wide releases are all getting great reviews, including Seth Rogen's audacious Sausage Party, "an R-rated cartoon treat that tackles the crisis in the Middle East, the nonexistence of God and the sex lives of supermarket products." - Rolling Stone. From Disney, Pete's Dragon. "A cinematic enchantment, a low-key 1970s-style kids' movie brimming with sincerity and heart. It's one of the best films of the year." - New York Post. Fans of sophisticated movies for grown ups have Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep. "It's a credit to Streep and to filmmaker Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Queen) that you will laugh at the absurdity of Jenkins' situation - but never at the lady herself." The film I anticipate most is Hell Or High Water, with Jeff Bridges (a fave), Chris Pine and Fairfield's Ben Foster. The reviews are glowing. "A thrillingly good movie of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic." "Stark, breathtaking and gorgeous to behold. A great American film that is not only an exciting cat and mouse bank robber thriller but also a movie with much relevance for these times." We'll cover this and more on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. -Ya'll been here a while? -Long enough to watch a bank gettin' robbed that's been robbin' me for 30 years. - Hell Or High Water

  • Fri
    Jul 15
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jul 17
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

The new Ghostbusters reboot makes it's long anticipated debut in theaters this Cafe Society posterweekend and we're happy to report the buzz is good. "Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones make a formidable Ghostbuster's comic team in their own right -N.Y. Post. "Angry nerds, take note: The ladies are the best thing about this franchise reboot. McKinnon is a spontaneous eruption of hellfire hilarity." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

Indications are Woody Allen's latest: Cafe Society will intrigue fans of his films and the film world. "A glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of 1930's Hollywood." Jesse Eisenberg plays (and looks) the classic Woody character. "Romantic, bittersweet and funny as hell, Café Society turns Hollywood inside out, rooting through the superficial tinsel to find the real tinsel." - Rex Reed

Phantom Boy is the new animated film from the folks who made the 2010 Oscar nominated A Cat in Paris. "Action-packed and emotionally potent." "Once again the French filmmakers bring a design sense and a set of storytelling influences unlike anything happening in feature-length cartoons today." - AV Club. This review reminds us of the similarly titled Brazilian animated film Boy And The World, also Oscar nominated in 2015 for Best Animated film. It's a unique audio/visual experience we look forward talking about on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. "Life is a comedy. Written by a sadistic comedy writer." - Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg), Cafe Society

  • Fri
    Jul 08
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jul 10
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

Among this weeks wide releases, the animated The Secret Life Of Pets looks The Secret Life Of Pets poster fun and is getting good reviews. "An animated fluffball-a sort of Toy Story with pets- does everything to drive you crazy and ends up being totally irresistible." - Rolling Stone. The voice talents are excellent, including Louis C.K. as Max the dog, who "commits wholly to this family-friendly gig, and his lack of snark seems refreshing"; Kevin Hart as Snowball the rabbit: "Snowball lets Hart tap into the high-energy vocal antics of his live-action work that somehow seem more natural coming out of the mouth of a cartoon rabbit; Albert Brooks; Steve Coogan as freakish feline Ozone and Dana Carvey, who "steals quite a few scenes as an aging basset hound on wheels."

We talk about the golden age of documentary films and see five new releases, including the well reviewed Zero Days from Alex Gibney (The most important documentarian of our time- Esquire Magazine), which "tells the complete story of Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware." "Plays out like a twisty summer espionage thriller." -Washington Post. "You'll want to see it, just not when you're counting on a good night's sleep a few hours later." - Wall Street Journal. Also out, Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You. "A technically imaginative doc. about arguably the most influential creator, writer, and producer in the history of television."

We'll talk all this and more on the Filmosophers with Chris Busch and Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. - I'm your friend, and as your friend I gotta be honest with you. I don't care about you or your problems. - Chloe the chubby kitty; The Secret Life Of Pets

  • Fri
    Jul 01
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jul 03
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

Microbe And Gasoline poster Of the wide releases this week The Legend Of Tarzan was one we've been anticipating as a potential blockbuster worthy of attention. With the strong trailers, director David Yates (who made the last four Harry Potter films and soon to be hotly-anticipated latest from writer J.K. Rowling: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) and stars like Samuel L. Jackson & Christoph Waltz, we were hopeful. But two thirds of the reviews say Tarzan is "no king of swing." Alas, it seems the summer of MMM continues- mediocre mainstream movies. "Tarzan is too dull to offer consistent pulp excitement, too self-serious to let itself have fun, and too reliant on same-y CG spectacle to truly thrill." "While the talented cast and a solid director make for a serviceable and intermittently entertaining adventure, there's very little about this film that screams, YOU GOTTA SEE THIS." Chris gives the summer "blockbuster" season so-far a grade of FFF - flat formulaic films. Not surprisingly about two thirds of the reviews for Steven Spielberg's new film The BFG are positive. It appears this may not rank as one of Spielberg's best, but still a worthy addition to a mediocre summer. "As a character, the BFG is a wondrous creation, and Mark Rylance does a magnificent job bringing him to life." "You can see a thousand movies and think that you've become immune to dazzling visuals - until you see them done right." We always look for smaller films cinema fans may enjoy. This week includes the latest from Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) - Microbe And Gasoline. The buzz is good on this. "Just when it seemed as though director Michel Gondry would be lost in the clouds forever, he comes back down to earth with a winsomely grounded coming-of-age tale that makes the most of his talents." "If this film were a person, you'd want to give it a big hug." We'll talk this and more on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. - "He's Tarzan. You're Jane. He'll come for you."  

  • Fri
    Jun 24
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jun 26
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

Hunt For The Wilderpeople poster "Almost 20 years to the day after Independence Day rocked the global box office becoming one of the biggest hits of all-time, the next chapter Independence Day: Resurgence takes aim at movie audiences hoping to tap into that demand for escapist fun in the summer with another disaster film. Reviews are lackluster, continuing a trend. Very few May/June films this year have created genuine excitement with the public." - Box Office Guru. This is disappointing, especially without a local theater bringing in intriguing small films, and there are a few opening this weekend that definitely fit the "intriguing" label. This includes Swiss Army Man, "Disarmingly odd and thoroughly well-acted, Swiss Army Man offers adventurous viewers an experience as rewarding as it is impossible to categorize." - RT; Nuts! "Lives up to its title in the best way, offering a delightfully unorthodox look at a bizarre and largely unexplored chapter in American history." - RT; and the film I'm most anticipating: Hunt For The Wilderpeople "Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can't believe your luck. "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is such a film." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

We'll talk about these films and more on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. "In the midst of another big blockbuster summer, this raffish comedy-adventure provides a breath of fresh air." - Film Journal International on Hunt For The Wilderpeople

  • Fri
    Jun 17
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jun 19
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

Pixar is one of our fave studios and we're happy to report that Finding Dory is Finding Dory postergetting a solid "Thumbs Up" from the critics. There are currently 133 reviews available on the review site RottonTomatoes and 126 are positive. That's a 95% approval rating, very good for a wide release and something we've come to expect from Pixar. "Finding Dory" can be touching, sweet and tender, it's also compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny." - Wall Street Journal. Central Intelligence, an action comedy starring Kevin Hart & Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also has a good buzz. "What Central Intelligence lacks in depth or inventiveness, it makes up for in personality, steaming along on the robust comic rapport between Johnson and Hart." - NPR

We always look for small films under the radar to alert folks to. Of interest is Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. "After Steven Spielberg's classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film. They finished every scene...except one; the film's explosive airplane set piece. Over two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their film." "Often poignant, occasionally pathetic, but never short of entertaining, "Raiders!" captures the obsessive hold movies have on young people's imaginations" - Variety

We'll also cover some of the August releases in our continuing summer movie preview, on the Filmosophers with Chris Busch & Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. "They used real snakes, did their own stunts and nearly burnt down their mom's house...." - television reporter, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

  • Fri
    Jun 10
    12:30 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jun 12
    11:30 am -
    12:00 pm

The Filmosophers movie talk

Of the three wide releases this week: Warcraft, Now you See Me 2 and The The Music Of Strangers posterConjuring 2, we most anticipated Warcraft. It's directed by (David Bowie's son) Duncan Jones, who's debut film Moon, starring Sam Rockwell was one of our faves of 2009. Alas, the curse of unsuccessful adaptations of video games to film continues. "Director Duncan Jones will live to fight another day. But you leave the mostly worthless Warcraft with just two words ringing in your ear: Game over." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

As with the spiritual documentary Gurukulam last week, we're excited about the filmosophical documentary: The Music Of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. "From Morgan Neville, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically acclaimed Best of Enemies, the new film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The documentary follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope." Watch the trailer and be inspired! "Morgan Neville's documentary is a joyous revelation, a group portrait of superb musicians from all over the world offering music as an emblem of what people can do in these fractious times when they live in concert with one another." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

We'll talk about this and more on the Filmosophers, with Chris Busch and Bruce Miller, where we give our filmosophy of the movies and have filmosophical discussions. "The clearest reason for music, for culture... is it gives us meaning. We started as an idea: A group of musicians getting together and seeing what might happen when strangers meet." - Yo-Yo Ma. "This was like the Manhattan Project of music. No one knew what was going to happen." "There's no east or west. There's just a globe." - The Music of Strangers

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