On August 7, Mitt Romney released this ad around the country which led to a media storm. The ad accuses the Obama administration of gutting welfare reform by eliminating the work requirements. The President’s campaign, as well as numerous independent fact-checkers, fired back quickly, labeling the accusations as false. However, just yesterday, Mr. Romney continued to harp on about Obama’s supposed gutting of welfare reform. This back-and-forth has only further illustrated the increasing divide in the country, the manipulation of both sides, the corruption of media fact-checkers, the ignorance of the general electorate, and the shifting of the political discourse from the facts to all this periphery he-said, she-said nonsense.
A Quick Introduction
Hey, and thanks for visiting.
I just wanted to let you know that this webpage is a constant work-in-progress. I have written online on-again/off-again for years but late on August 23rd, I decided to start writing again.
So, here are my thoughts on a variety of topics (mainly film, politics, and faith) that I hope you will find engaging and informative.
By Billy Soistmann on August 23, 2012
By Billy Soistmann on October 21, 2011
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie whose subject matter is less its subject and more a feeling. It is a film that makes you think, but is not intellectual. It relies its audience to react to and interpret what is on-screen rather than just sit back and experience it.
Posted in Reviews | Tagged ambiguous, Antonio Campos, award, awards, Cannes, cult, drama, Elizabeth Olsen, ending, Festival de Cannes, film, film review, Fox Searchlight, haunting, independent, independent film, John Hawkes, Josh Mond, low budget, Martha Marcy May Marlene, movie, movie review, mystery, NYU, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, psychological thriller, review, Sean Durkin, Sundance, Sundance Film Festival, thriller, Tisch | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on October 7, 2011
The Ides of March is nothing more than a political drama. There is nothing extraordinary about it as a whole. The premise is as old as politics itself. However, the individual pieces – the performances, the cinematography, the dialogue, the characters – all are excellent in-and-of-themselves. This makes the sum of its parts greater than the whole.
Posted in Reviews | Tagged America, american politics, contemporary, drama, Evan Rachel Wood, film, film review, George Clooney, Gregory Itzin, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Ehle, liberal, Marisa Tomei, Max Minghella, movie, movie review, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, politics, presidential race, primary, review, Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March, thriller, vote, voting | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on September 23, 2011
It’s good to see a movie about baseball after such a long time without one. That’s not to say this is a traditional feel-good sports film, however. Moneyball is a sports drama rife with complex characters, smart dialogue, and is a delight to behold, especially for baseball fans.
Posted in Reviews | Tagged Aaron Sorkin, baseball, Based on a Book, Based on a True Story, Bennett Miller, Billy Beane, book, Boston Red Sox, Brad Pitt, Chris Pratt, economics, film, film review, Jonah Hill, MLB, Moneyball, movie, movie review, Oakland A's, Philip Seymour Hoffman, review, Robin Wright, sports, statistics, Stephen Bishop | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on September 16, 2011
After premiering at Cannes, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive received critical acclaim and became my most-looked-forward-to film of the year. Then, I was shocked to see ads for the film on television that suggested it was being given a wide release. This deeply engaging, beautiful, entertaining film is a unique picture that hopefully points towards the future of movies. Its combination of European art house sensibility and mainstream appeal is fascinating, and a joy to witness.
Posted in Featured, Reviews | Tagged action, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Cannes, car, car chase, Carey Mulligan, cars, chase, Christina Hendricks, crime, Drive, driving, film, film review, heist, Mark Strong, mob, movie, movie review, review, Ron Perlman, Ryan Gosling, stunt, stunts, violent | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on September 9, 2011
Contagion snuck up on me almost as quickly as the virus in the film snuck up on its victims. It was only a few weeks ago I began seeing ads for the movie, which seemed like a simple disaster movie. However, with Soderbergh at the helm and so many incredible actors, you know that that is not the end of the story. In fact, Contagion is an expansive, sweeping tale whose major focus is humanity itself.
Posted in Reviews | Tagged apocalypse, Bryan Cranston, Contagion, disease, drama, epidemic, Gwyneth Paltrow, horror, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, science fiction, Steven Soderbergh | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on July 25, 2011
In Another Earth mankind discovers that another version of Earth is also spinning around the sun. This monumental discovery serves as the backdrop for the moving story of Rhoda (Brit Marling, whose interview is on its way) whose life is fundamentally changed by this celestial body. When I sat down for a roundtable interview with Mike Cahill (co-writer, director, director of photography, and editor of the film) we discussed blending the grand science fiction elements of the film, which ultimately is a personal human drama, as well as the process behind creating the film and being bought at Sundance by Fox Searchlight. Click through for the full, unedited interview Continue reading “Interview: Mike Cahill discusses intertwing science fiction and drama in Another Earth”
Posted in Interviews | Tagged Another Earth, Brit Marling, director, director interview, drama, film, film interview, Fox Searchlight, independent, interview, Mike Cahill, movie, movie interview, sci-fi, science fiction, Sundance, Tom Mapother | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on July 22, 2011
Errol Morris’ latest documentary, Tabloid, features a downright wacky story that not only entertains but also confronts the audience with questions of true love and the nature of truth.
Posted in Reviews | Tagged 1970s, 70s, Britain, case, controversy, England, Errol Morris, journalism, Joyce McKinney, Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon, kidnapping, Mormon, movie, movie review, newspaper, rape, religion, review, sex, Tabloid, tabloid newspaper, truth, UK | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on July 22, 2011
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, is an engaging and entertaining documentary which features an interesting look at the legacy of one group, and its impact on Hip-Hop. Continue reading “Review: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest”
Posted in Reviews | Tagged 90s, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, controversy, doc, documentary, hip-hop, Jarobi, Michael Rapaport, movie review, music, Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, rap, review | Leave a response
By Billy Soistmann on July 20, 2011
Michael Rapaport, known for his roles on television and in film including on Prison Break and Boston Legal as well as in Special, SLC Punk, Hitch, and many others, makes his directorial debut with Beats, Rhymes & Life which illuminates the history and legacy of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest which is released by Sony Pictures Classics this Friday. I had the fortune to sit down with him in a roundtable interview a few weeks ago where we discussed the controversy surrounding the film, his inspiration for crafting a documentary, the experience of growing up in New York as a beat boy, and his favorite music films. Continue reading for a transcript of the full, unedited interview which features questions from a number of journalists including myself.
Posted in Featured, Interviews | Tagged 90s, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, controversy, doc, documentary, hip-hop, interview, Jarobi, Michael Rapaport, music, Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, rap | Leave a response