Movies: Mapplethorpe, The Kid, Woman At War


This film is a chronicle of the career of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe from the 1970’s to his death from AIDS in 1989 at the age of 42.

His body of work was expansive, from self portraits to celebrities, to his obsession with sex, race, anything provocative, sensual or counterculture.  His work was both embraced and shunned, sometimes at the same time.

The cast of Mapplethorpe is pretty expansive.  Matt Smith plays Mapplethorpe.  Hari Nef plays Tinkerbell.  Marianne Rendon plays Patti Smith.  McKinley Belcher III plays Milton Moore.  Brandon Sklenar plays Mapplethorpe’s younger brother Edward.  Another dozen actors fill in the rest of the cast.

Surprisingly this film is not rated.  Audiences should be advised there is extensive frontal and rear male nudity, gay subject matter, racism, AIDS and sexual related issues, drug abuse and death scenes throughout the film.  Needless to say, children should not see this film.  Let us be quite clear, there are several scenes that are excessively sexual and extreme and in our opinion simply inappropriate and not welcomed.

This film is listed as a Drama, Biography with a run time of 102 minutes.


The Kid

With a huge cast of 60 actors, The Kid is a look at history in the American Southwest in 1879.  Young Rio and his sister run away from their abusive uncle only to become embroiled with Billy the Kid and lawman Pat Garrett.

The expansive cast includes Chris Pratt as Grant Cutler.  Vincent D’Onofrio is the Sheriff (and the films director).  Leila George is the sister and Ethan Hawke plays Pat Garrett.  Dane DeHaan plays Billy.  Jake Schur plays the little brother.

The good news is the production is well done.  Most of the acting is believable, the sets feel authentic.  The plot ranges from intense to bewildering.  On the downside, the story is disturbing with lots of unpleasant events.  It’s a grim reminder of how challenging the ‘Wild West’ really was.

Critics have been tepid toward this film.  As a viewer, it was often painful to watch.  The images were often brutal, gritty and violent.  The film is noted as a Biography, Drama, Western.  It is rated R for violence and language with a run time of 99 minutes.


Woman At War

Finally…an intelligent film that takes a serious look at Global Warming and much more.  It’s Icelandic Director Benedikt Erlingsson’s latest film about global environmental issues.  It brilliantly captures the current issues our planet faces.

It is laser focused on the activities of Halla, a 49 year old Icelandic choir director and community activist (who is the one woman crusader against heavy industry).  Concurrently, a three piece music trio that mysteriously appear in numerous scenes as balance to the other subject matters.  It is a welcomed element of light hearted humor that softens the otherwise bleak/serious topics.

The cast consists of 19 brilliant Icelandic actors.  Their performances are intelligent and world class.  The script is delivered in Icelandic, Spanish and English.  We did not expect this film to be so thought provoking, occasionally lighthearted and completely satisfying.

This film is not rated.  It is listed as Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense.  It is subtitled in English with a run time of 101 minutes.


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