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Featured Movie Reviews

Whiplash


One of the best films I've seen in a long time, WHIPLASH is an outstanding showcase of great acting, powerful and unpredictable storytelling and terrific music.

JK Simmons won this years Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance as legendary (or infamous?) Music instructor Fletcher, the most feared man at a prestigious music conservatory.

Fletcher thinks that the worst words in the English language are "Good job" as they extinguish the human drive to be better.

When quiet young drummer Andrew is chosen by Fletcher to be in his studio band, he experiences the most demanding teaching methods on the planet.

Fletcher is profane, physically and verbally abusive and potentially worst of all, seductive, drawing you close before he destroys your spirit.

JK SImmons is amazing as Fletcher. Every subtle movement and nuance of this man is built to drive people to greatness at ANY cost.

Miles Teller matches him note for note as Andrew. He's a quirky loner who listens to Buddy Rich, appears to have no friends in NYC, goes to movies with his father (Paul Reiser in a quiet, emotional performance) and thinks he has his life planned out.

Teller is a fantastic drummer, both he and his character put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into trying to please Fletcher.

As Fletcher's demonic drive focuses on Andrew, both teacher and student will discover some things about themselves. That sounds like a Hallmark card, but trust me when I say that the brilliance of WHIPLASH is that it's anything but predictable and sappy.

I walked in thinking it was going to be one of those mentor movies like Gossett/Gere in 'Officer and a Gentleman" but I was really surprised by the film more than once.

Credit Writer/Director Damien Chazelle, who absolutely knocks it out of the park in only his second film as a Director. Chazelle beats the hell out of you. He seems to be able to capture true Jazz and music on film and just when you think you know where he is headed, slaps you across the face like Fletcher when you are playing, but "not in his tempo".

The last fifteen minutes of WHIPLASH is so great, I went back and watched them again twice in a row.

It's a brilliant, powerful ending that one critic called "jaw dropping". I think that's a hard description to live up to, but it fits here.

Crank up your surround sound system as the music is the third star of the film, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Simmons and Teller.

I literally FELT the music in the incredible final scene, it dives deep into your bones.

This is the best movie I have seen in a long time.

WHIPLASH soars. A+

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