BABYLON MOVIE REVIEW
Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) helms this crazy, hard-R, chaotic look at the late 20s in Hollywood just as it was transitioning into sound films. Brad Pitt plays Jack Conrad, a superstar actor and party staple who has trouble keeping his romantic relationships from imploding (not that he seems to care). Margot Robbie is ingenue actress Nellie LaRoy who has arrived in Hollywood full of energy, talent, and wildness who is so sure she’s going to be big that everyone else around her is too. Diego Calva is Manny Torres, a Mexican-American production assistant who gets swept up in Nellie’s rise and becomes a major player in the scene himself. Around them is a very colorful cavalcade of characters who seem to be composites of people from the time. It’s clearly inspired from writer/director Kenneth Anger’s famous sleaze-dishing books Hollywood Babylon and even the style of filmmaking at points puts an exclamation mark on the comparison. But Chazelle is here for more than just filming crazed parties and film sets gone out of control. Never has a movie been more a love letter AND a poison pen letter to Hollywood. It’s as much declaiming the system as it is apologizing for it by praising the products it has made. And that makes it a little confusing. Chris, Wright, Marco, and Frank tell you about it’s conundrums, bizarre excess, disturbing vulgarity, delicious cinematography and performances, and weird montage ending and sum it up with a final thought.
DIRECTED BY: Damien Chazelle
STARRING: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, Tobey Maguire, Lukas Haas, Max Minghella, Samara Weaving, Olivia Wilde, Spike Jonze, Katherine Waterston, Flea, Jeff Garlin, Olivia Hamilton, P.J. Byrne, Rory Scovel, Eric Roberts, Telvin Griffin, Chloe Fineman, Phoebe Tonkin, Troy Metcalf, Jennifer Grant, Kaia Gerber, Patrick Fugit, Pat Skipper, Marc Platt
Christopher Lawrence Cox (Founder, Da Boss)
Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas in 1992 where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal” turned into a full-time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site Spill.com, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this community of critics. While Brian eventually followed his heart to a new family, Chris continues on with a cast of colorful folks from all over the country (and a few others). You can also check out Chris in his videocast, along with Martin Thomas and Danni Danger, that One Of Us does with our friends at Bell of Lost Souls: Crossover Event. He also regularly guests on the video game website Rage Select. Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook and check out his Amazon Wish List.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Marco Noyola (Digital Noise, Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad, Audio Editor)
By day, Marco is a mild-mannered office worker, but by night he is a mild-mannered movie watcher. He does other mild-mannered stuff too.
“You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody!”
Wright Sulek (Screener Squad, Digital Noise, Highly Suspect Reviews, Trash in the Can, Audio Editor)
Wright hails from the northern suburbs of Dallas, Texas. His passion for filmmaking brought him to Austin to study and make movies. Since then he’s had his hand in acting, writing, and directing his own short films with numerous like-minded film geeks he’s met along his journey. His newest interest has brought him into the podcasting world. He co-hosted a few different movie related podcasts such as ‘And Now This’ and ‘The Match Cut’. He currently co-hosts with longtime friend, Eric Samaniego, where they talk shop about the grimiest, trashiest, lost gems of movies on their show, ‘Trash in the Can’. Wright also guests and hosts reviews on Screener Squad and Highly Suspect Reviews as well as co-hosts Digital Noise with Chris Cox.
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