Whiplash – The STiXXclusive Review

I was blessed to be the child of a mother whom has a vast interest in music that stretches from a lot of genres. I’d say that it helped me learn at an early age about being open minded to different sounds and not strictly being dropped in a box with one or two genres to carry me on through further development years. One consistent genre that was played in the home while growing up was Jazz. There’s nothing quite like it because it’s the mastermind behind the art of improvisation and spontaneity. Now, where I wasn’t heavily exposed to Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and other legendary Jazz musicians, it was the likes of Ella Fitzgerald that captivated me with her singing around the up-tempo ensembles which she really “freestyles” at any given moment. What made them great was that they had the drive and determination to innovate their own styles. They had that distinct characteristic about them that pushed them to want to be better than everyone else. Jazz has seen a decline like none other that has reverted what was once a thriving genre, to something that is mimicked and seen as an afterthought of music, although there is still a market for it. But for every great, there’s a beginning that triggered their fuel to fire their passion off, and that’s what Whiplash represented.

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Miles Teller is becoming one of those actors that’ll likely be a regular name for the next decade or so. Being young with raw talent can take you places, and he’s certainly making a name for himself only a couple of years removed from Project X. In this, he plays Andrew, a freshman student who’s really trying to find himself, while using music to do so. In order for someone to truly be great, there’s usually a force of reckoning to push you to your limit, and that catalyst is played by J.K Simmons. Music is intense, and Jazz is one of the most intense forms of music because it’s about getting everything in tune and working as a collective to enhance the band. One slip can prove costly to the overall sound, and dealing with perfectionists (who can be obsessive people), they don’t sit well with ‘good’, they demand ‘great.’ Everyone has a talent, but in order to attain greatness, it’s about not just tapping into it, but bursting the pipe open and letting every ounce of it shine. It takes an extreme measure of will and as it’s portrayed in the movie, practice can do so much, but it’s also in the sacrifices and the consequences of decision making that helps mold you into just who you’re poised to become.

What I liked about this movie was the acting, first of all. J.K & Miles play completely opposite dynamics, whereas Miles is timid & J.K is fire and brimstone. But as the movie progressed, the intensity build up was like a jazz song. The editing was great because of that matching pace (I feel like I’m using this word too much) that complimented the music. I understand why it’s up for Best Picture for the Academy Awards, because there’s a real elegance behind it, and it doesn’t shy away from being harsh in any sense. It’s entertaining from start to the dramatic finish, and it certainly revived my appreciation of Jazz music altogether. Be sure to check it out, it’s worth it for your eyes & ears. But for now, this is my opinion, this is my review

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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