STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance

www.kevacho.com
©2002-2017
Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon


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Title: WHIPLASH
Director: Damien Chaezelle
Year: 2014
Reviewed: July 30, 2017

Rating:   Birthday Cake-Second Highest Rating
[Rating Definitions]

  WHIPLASH

All right, so here it is, my review of the movie about drumming and obsession entitled, "Whiplash". I have avoided this movie as if it were a pandemic. Namely due to the still of the actor, Miles Teller, holding his right stick as if he were a five year old with no idea of how to play. But thanks to my dear, dear friends, I did see it. And I'm glad I did.

You see, I am a drummer. I have been playing drums for over 30 years. I took drum lessons for 7 to 10 years. I started playing professionally when I was 15, and have played in numerous bands: everything from cover bands to original bands. I know music, and I know drums.

J.K. Simmons is a force of nature. He deserved the Oscar for best supporting actor, he is an Alumni from the U of M, and each scene with him blisters with intensity. J.K. Simmons is marvelous.

The problem for me, as I knew it would be, is the drumming. Now, one could argue that the movie is not about drumming, and I would acquiesce with that assessment. However, the drumming is so ludicrous and obnoxious it was, and still is, difficult for me to take anything else in the movie seriously. No one bleeds buckets of blood onto their drum kit as Teller's character does in this film. In the last scene of him blasting away they switch back and forth between a professional drummer and Teller; each time they do Teller is holding his stick improperly, while the professional drummer is holding it properly. He get blisters in places you would never get a blister if you were holding the sticks the way in which you're supposed to hold the sticks! And the final stroke, as it were, was watching Teller, every muscle tense, every chord in his neck straining, looking for all accounts as if he were having a hideous bowel movement, attempting to play faster and faster and faster. Watch any virtuoso drummer- Buddy Rich, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Omar Hakim, Manu Katche... etc.- and not one of them is straining so hard it appears as if they're going to burst a blood vessel. Quite the contrary, they are relaxed and loose, which allows one to play faster and faster and faster.

Without J.K. Simmons this movie for me would have been a complete fail. As it is, the only reason to watch it is because of him. That is why I give "Whiplash" a BIRTHDAY CAKE review. (I just couldn't get past the bad drumming mistakes.)
   



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