Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I love jazz-themed stories. I also love jazz-themed stories that have an edge to them. Whiplash fits that category to a "T." I bought this movie on a bit of a lark (in fact I bought it because of this insanely hilarious video... which is made even more hilarious because J.K. Simmons really does voice the character Tenzin from The Legend of Korra), but I was really surprised by how intense this was.

J.K. Simmons is a guy I only knew acting-wise from the trilogy of Spider-Man movies that features Tobey Maguire. I didn't really know him as an actor. I think I do now. At least quite a bit more.

J.K. Simmons won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the tough as nails band director Terence Fletcher. And he damn sure deserved it. I think his character even made R. Lee Ermey's drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket look tame. Yet even while he is shouting obscenities and pushing Miles Teller's character to the brink of insanity it seems like there might be something more to him than just being a dick. Or maybe not. 

Miles Teller's character is would-be jazz drummer Andrew Neiman and he wants to be one of the greats. Shaffer Conservatory in New York just happens to be the place for aspiring greats, but first they must please the tyrannical Terence Fletcher. 

And that ain't gonna be easy.

I know a film about jazz might not seem intense, but this really is as intense as any of the war movies I've watched lately. It's brutally intense.

The only point I'd take away from this movie might be the car accident scene, but it is based off a similar incident the director survived. The only thing is the timing of the car accident is bizarre with the regards to the situation. The effect is great for the story, but the event itself is a bit odd if you try to look at it realistically. 

However, Whiplash is still an amazing film about how far a person can or will go to achieve their goals... as well as how much they can take before they are pushed away from that goal for good. 

This is truly a fantastic piece of work with some great music. The editing is especially on point during the drum sequences, too. I rarely pay attention to editing, but if I had not of known that the final drum solo was shot over two days I really would have thought it was done in one brilliant four minute take. 

Highly, highly recommended. Especially for people that thought Drumline was for pussies. J.K Simmons's performance should not be missed. 


  1. I saw this one today and thought it was excellent. The JK Simmons character is a bit like the over the top sports coaches like Bobby Knight. One thing that I loved about this movie is how it went against Hollywood formula and Miles didn't get his girl back. So many movies would have given him his girl back but it wasn't meant to be. It's just a minor thing but I love to see a movie buck the formula romantic ending.

    JK Simmons has been around a long time and is in quite a few flicks, mostly in small roles. If you want to see him at his most brutal, check out the old HBO series called Oz. It's a prison show that ran for 4 or 5 seasons and JK Simmons played a white supremacist prisoner. He was freaking brutal on that show.

    1. I saw clips of Oz on YouTube the other day after you mentioned it. Looks interesting.