Archive for October, 2015

John Axford Goes To Bat For Kubrick, Film Fest

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It was futile to ask former Milwaukee Brewer pitcher John Axford about his planned introduction to tonight’s 35mm screening of “The Shining” at the Oriental Theater as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival.

Though he deemed swinging a baseball bat, as portrayed in the classic horror film, to be a cliché.

Axford, a film and TV major in college, is the festival’s Mr. October. He supports the festival at the $30,000 “Leading Sponsor” level and for the past three years has presented a film by Stanley Kubrick.

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UWM Cinema honored by Sundance Film Institute

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The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Union Cinema is one of 23 theaters nationally recognized as a local community based independent theater by the Sundance Film Institute Art House Project.

“These theaters meet high standards including: quality programming, deep involvement with their local communities, strong financial standing and recognition from their peers.”

The project began in 2004 as a partnership with art house cinemas committed to independent films.

According to the project: “Since 1972 the Union Cinema has been providing UWM and the local community with a diverse, entertaining, and intellectually engaging film and video program.”

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Milwaukee Media Notes: New Faces Smile As Sweeps Approach

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Milwaukee Media Notes is back by popular demand.

Well, actually stuff accumulates.

So, where were we before we were interrupted by the Milwaukee Film Festival?

(See my coverage of the fest for Milwaukee Magazine. It’s so good, you have to pay for it!)


–Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

And WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) still hasn’t named a 10 p.m. anchor to replace Mike Jacobs.

The station’s lineups remain in flux. The latest tweak moves Courtny Gerrish from anchor to I-Team member with anchor Steve Chamraz and reporter Jermont Terry.

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“The Martian” A Star-Driven Space Opera

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David Bowie and Elton John warned us about Mars.

It ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, sang John. Bowie said it was full of Spiders.

The astronaut played by Matt Damon should have listened to them.

As if more evidence was needed director Ridley Scott’s film “The Martian” is a portrait of the bad things can happen there.

It is based on a sci-fi novel about a scientist left behind on Mars by fellow astronauts who believe him dead. But he lived and his survival depended on the problem solving ingenuity that was his defining character trait.

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Gripping “Sicario” A Drug War Death March

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It’s hard to tell the bad guys from the good, the winners from the losers in the drug war.

It’s true of all wars. And “Sicario’ exists in a world as morally grey as the storm clouds gathering over Juarez. This is the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend territory without trust just alliances of convenience.

This tone of uncertainty is established early in a tense parade through Juarez – but filmed in Mexico City – by a convoy of black SUVs, police cars and army units, escorting a drug lord back to the US for enhanced interrogation by two mysterious spooks, played by Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro.

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