Indignation: Under Glass, by David Bax

28 Jul


It would be simple to reduce James Schamus’ directorial debut, Indignation, to a “screenwriter’s movie.” This intelligent and classically-minded period piece is, after all, based on a novel by noted man of letters Philip Roth. To say such a thing, though, would be to ignore Schamus’ considerable formal efforts, which are at times so meticulous as to risk choking the air out of the film but are ultimately more rewarding than not.


I Do Movies Badly: Fitzcarraldo

27 Jul


In this episode, Jim wraps up his series on Werner Herzog with a discussion of Fitzcarraldo.

Equity: She-Wolf of Wall Street, by Ian Brill

27 Jul


Equity may seem at first like an answer to a certain criticism films like The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short get, namely that films about big finance seem bereft of women. Anna Gunn of Breaking Bad and Deadwood stars as Naomi Bishop, a senior investment banker helping to launch a Silicon Valley company’s initial public offering after suffering a major career failure. This job throws her whole life out of balance. Not just her profession, but friendships and her romantic relationship as well. Equity’s success is in telling a story with major political and social implications, but by keeping the stakes human. It is the story of how personal and professional boundaries bleed over and are crossed. From there, the viewer is given the chance to ponder the greater meanings.


New to Home Video 7/26/16

26 Jul




25 Jul


In this episode, Tyler and David discuss the evolution of geek-centric television.

Double Feature: Waiting for Guffman/A Town Called Panic

25 Jul

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 1.10.51 AM

In this episode, Michael and Eric discuss the similarities between Waiting for Guffman and A Town Called Panic.


Comic-Con 2016: Day Three/Four, by David Bax

24 Jul


After Friday’s highlight of Blair Witch, I was glad to have a relaxed schedule on Saturday. If you’re looking for coverage of the major Warner Bros. and Marvel announcements and trailers from Hall H, look to the sites that do that well, with insight from people dedicated enough to wait all night for the chance to bring you the news. Instead, I decided to start off with a comic book panel.


Comic-Con 2016: Day Two, by David Bax

23 Jul


Friday at San Diego Comic-Con this year was a light day for me, panel-wise, but not without its highlights, culminating in one of my all-time favorite SDCC experiences. I started off walking through the PetCo Interactive Zone, an offsite attraction mostly useful for the food trucks around which movie and TV studios have gathered in the hopes of gaining more precious inches of marketing real estate. Here, you can get your picture taken with the Ghostbusters car, walk through the cabin from Ash vs. the Evil Dead or visit something that I guess is supposed to be Walking Dead-related but also has a huge Jack in the Box logo on it. Me, I was mostly there for the food trucks. I got one of those burritos that has french fries in it. It was okay.


Home Video Hovel: The Killing Joke, by Tyler Smith

23 Jul


Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke is practically a hallowed text in the Batman universe. His one-off laid the groundwork for the Joker being taken seriously as one of the most complex villains in the history of comics. Since then, we’ve seen the character become darker and more lethal; a man whose insanity seems to be deeply rooted in a philosophy of nihilism. The Joker has become a larger than life figure in general pop culture, appearing on television, video games, and movies. So, when DC’s animation wing started to crank out consistently high quality films that retained many of the darker elements of the comic books, it seemed to be just a matter of time before they would arrive at The Killing Joke. And when it was announced that the film would feature the voice talents of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (the definitive animated Batman and Joker, respectively), and that the film would be rated R, anticipation grew and grew. But, sadly, through an unfortunate and unlikely mix of loyalty to and deviation from its source material, Batman: The Killing Joke is a pale imitation of Alan Moore’s masterful comic, and deeply unsatisfying.


Comic-Con 2016: Day One, by Tyler Smith

22 Jul


My Comic-Con experience started by simply waltzing right into Hall H. This is a very rare experience, even for a Thursday morning. I wasn’t very interested in what was happening in there, but I’ve come to believe that, if I can get into Hall H, I should, because I might never get the opportunity again. As I entered, we were already several minutes into the Dreamworks panel, during which we saw footage from Trolls and Boss Baby. And, of course, there’s no better follow-up to a couple of delightful, colorful animated family films than a discussion with director Oliver Stone! He, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Quinto, and Shailene Woodley, was promoting his new film Snowden, about government whistleblower Edward Snowden. David Bax wrote in more detail about these panels here.