Sequelcast: The Animatrix

24 Jul

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In this episode, Mat and Thrasher discuss The Animatrix.

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Real Funny, by David Bax

23 Jul

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It’s hard to say when exactly it happened but at some point it seems to have been decided that a film only qualifies for the “comedy” tag if the first thing on every scene’s to-do list is to be funny. Maybe this was inspired by the success of the joke-machine style of movies like Anchorman. And the model still works from time to time. Look no further than the recent 22 Jump Street for proof. But the strictures of the genre’s definition as we’ve come to accept it has led to a disappearing middle ground for movies that want to be funny as hell while keeping both feet on the ground and striving for recognizably human emotions. Luckily, technology has led to more ease in film production and distribution while also striating the audience. It’s becoming more and more possible for specific kinds of films to locate the people who are specifically interested in them. Earlier this year, Gillian Robespierre’s brilliant Obvious Child struck a blow for the return of hilarity in realism. Now Joe Swanberg has come along with Happy Christmas, a fantastically funny, down to earth and moving film that inspires hope that we may be on the verge of a comedy groundswell.

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My Schemes Are Just Like All My Dreams, by Josh Long

23 Jul

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These days, it’s impossible to go into a Woody Allen movie without some kind of preconceptions. Even if you haven’t seen any of his movies (a sort of anti-accomplishment by this point), you’ve probably heard all the hullaballoo kicked up by stepdaughter Dylan Farrow earlier this year, if not the Mia Farrow/Soon Yi controversies that have been dogging him since the 90s. Love him or hate him, he keeps making movies, and it’s hard not to come across them. If, for a brisk 98 minutes, you can put aside any opinions you bring into the theatre, you will find some bright, pleasant comedy in Magic in the Moonlight.

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The Auteurcast: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

23 Jul

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In this episode, the hosts discuss Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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WTF Are You Watching? The Mummy

22 Jul

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In this episode, Kyle is joined by Stephanie Cooke to discuss Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy.

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EPISODE 383: COMIC-CON PREVIEW 2014

22 Jul

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In this episode, Tyler and David discuss the stuff they’re looking forward to at Comic-Con 2014.

Home Video Hovel: Detour, by David Bax

21 Jul

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There’s a reason noir films appeal so strongly to certain people, particularly the smart but disillusioned teens and young adults who are just beginning to explore a passion for cinema. It’s not just the coolly pessimistic worldview that hooks them but the fact that, more often than not, the protagonist is the only one who sees things as they really are. For prime examples, see anything based on a James M. Cain novel. Think of Double Indemnity’s smug insurance drone or The Postman Always Rings Twice’s unemployed drifter with delusions of grandeur. These are Joe Schmoes housing inner, scowling Holden Caulfields. More often than not in these kinds of films, it’s not the cruelty of existence but a specific and angry arrogance that sets our anti-heroes on a path toward comeuppance.

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Home Video Hovel: We’re in the Movies: Palace of Silents & Itinerant Filmmaking, by Aaron Pinkston

21 Jul

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In the early silent era, filmmakers traveled the United States to find stories in small communities. Called “itinerant filmmakers,” they used locals to act and work on the films. Though the results may not be as spectacular as the big Hollywood pictures made by Chaplin, Keaton or Griffith, they became some of the most authentic documents of their time and helped invigorate these small communities. For fans of silent film that are interested in more than the more famous standards, a new collection released by Flicker Alley is noteworthy. We’re in the Movies: Palace of Silents & Itinerant Filmmaking features two previously unreleased documentaries on silent cinema and a number of under-seen itinerant silent films.

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Hey, Watch This! The Strain/NY Med

20 Jul

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In this episode, Paul and David discuss The Strain and Ny Med.

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Amber Waves of Pain, by David Bax

18 Jul

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Maybe if I start by rehashing all the things that didn’t work with last year’s The Purge, it will become clear why, in comparison, the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, is rather enjoyable. The first film took a lunkheaded, high concept premise – all crime is legal for 12 hours a year so citizens have a release for their worst impulses – and then took every step possible to steer away from the mayhem such an arrangement would seem to promise. It also asked us to take this conceit not as winking, overblown satire but as a bone-dry and serious contemplation of the privilege inherent to the upper class. Anarchy is, on the other hand, much closer to the movie we shamelessly expected: a swan dive into ludicrous exploitation violence and B-movie suspense.

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