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Whiplash (2014)

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 23 October, 10.15am and 9.45pm

Divergent young jazz drummer Miles Teller is determined to make the grade at a Manhattan music conservatory where J.K. Simmons calls the tune. He runs the school’s prestigious Studio Band in full mental R. Lee Ermey mode, treating the cowed players like organ-grinder monkeys.

Blistered hands bleeding on the drumkit, Teller learns that practice makes perverted under the twisted tutelage of Simmons, who cuts a faintly absurd, frankly abusive character. He’d be looked upon askance by staff in a state penitentiary never mind in school corridors.

The gentle warnings of Teller’s kindly, meek dad Paul Reiser – “His opinion really matters to you, doesn’t it?” – are duly ignored by the boy. Teller’s so obsessed with perfecting his craft, he ditches sweet girlfriend Melissa Benoist over a mouthful of pizza.

And Simmons’ psychotic control freak is so far up the wall and off the charts he bagged an Oscar. Neither an officer nor a gentleman, he plays it like it’s a duet for one, grandstanding in front of a jazz band dressed like cut-rate undertakers. It’s an entertaining turn in an hysteria-pitched film that’s a tonal catastrophe in the final stretch.

Fame without the flash but double the mental health issues: “We will stay here for as long as it takes till one of these faggots can play in time.” Beat me, daddy, eight to the bar. Director Damien Chazelle is the guy who wrote Grand Piano. Subtlety’s not his strong suit.

The actual music has a big-city swing to it although it’s interesting that showbizzy band leader Buddy Rich should be the one held up as a drum icon. Not a genuine jazz messenger like Art Blakey. Despite the Newark and New York settings, it was filmed on location in Los Angeles.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 102min

IMDB – Whiplash

TMDB – Whiplash

Rotten Tomatoes – Whiplash

Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 24 October at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 24 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 25 October at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 25 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 26 October at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 26 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 27 October at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 27 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 28 October at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 28 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 29 October at 9:15AM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 29 October at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Select Sunday, 1 November at 12:00PM
Sky Movies Select Sunday, 1 November at 8:00PM