Footloose and Logic Free, by David Bax

18 Apr

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In the opening scene of Duane Adler’s Make Your Move, a young man plants himself on a corner in New Orleans’ French Quarter, lays down a piece of wood, places his hat out hopefully and begins to tap dance. So, you’re thinking, this is the story of a down-on-his-luck striver with a soaring heart. Except, almost immediately, a tour bus pulls up and a group of happy tourists surrounds our protagonist, Donny (Derek Hough), cheering him on. Wait a second, you might now be thinking. Where was this bus going? Did the driver intentionally take them here just to see someone dance for spare change? Where the hell is the tour guide? And, that quickly, Adler has lost his grip on logic. The entire rest of the film takes place in a world so incomprehensible that it’s impossible for an audience to even get its footing and figure out what is going on.

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Sequelcast: Rocky Balboa

17 Apr

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In this episode, Mat and Thrasher are joined by West Anthony to discuss Rocky Balboa.

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Our Bodies, On Shelves, by Craig Schroeder

17 Apr

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I’m scared I’ll die and have nothing to show for the life I’ve lived. That’s not a novel phobia and I’m aware it’s an odd admission to begin a piece of this nature. But I can’t help it; the thought occupies a lot of my time. The Final Member is a documentary that addresses this fear. It’s about leaving a legacy. It’s a film about creating a lasting impression on the world, for the sake of mankind or for your own edification. It’s a film about understanding the base desires of the human species. It’s a film that quiets the insidious voice in the back of your brain, telling you no matter how much you try, your life will end ingloriously and without purpose. Oh, and it’s also a film about an elderly Icelandic man with an expansive collection of preserved mammalian penises.

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A Lasting Effect, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi

17 Apr

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Although the title of this documentary is Cesar’s Last Fast, its scope is really on Cesar Chavez’s entire life. Directors Richard Ray Perez (co-director of Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election) and Lorena Parlee (director of the IMAX documentary Mexico) make good use of vintage footage from Chavez’s career as a civil rights activist and union leader for American farm workers. There are also contemporary interviews with several friends and family members of Cesar Chavez, including actor and activist Martin Sheen.

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S*** in the Woods, by Tyler Smith

17 Apr

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It would appear that I am just not meant to enjoy the output of Disneynature.  The way they manage to put together a truly beautiful nature documentary, then completely undercut its power with a forced narrative and idiotic narration, does wonders to fully display what people find most frustrating about the Walt Disney Company.  The studio is so eager to make something family friendly that they don’t allow their films to simply exist on their own terms.  While I don’t necessarily think this about all Disney films, it is certainly true of their most recent nature documentary, Bears.

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The Auteurcast: Reds

16 Apr

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In this episode, Rudie and West discuss Warren Beatty’s Reds, for which he won Best Director.

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Decorative Fruit, by David Bax

16 Apr

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In retrospect, maybe the first warning came during the pre-meal cocktails. Roger Gual’s Tasting Menu is a film that takes place over the course (or courses, rather) of a dinner on the closing night of a world-renowned restaurant in Spain. The titular menu was actually designed in real life by Joan Roca, one of the most celebrated chefs alive. Yet, even from the cocktails, the characters and the film are at best bemused but mostly indifferent to the creations with which they are presented. When told they’re drinking a margarita in an aloe leaf, none of the patrons can come up with much of a response. From there, the tone has been set. Tasting Menu cares about its story and characters as little as it cares about its food.

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A Quickie, by David Bax

16 Apr

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John Turturro’s fifth film as a director, Fading Gigolo, may have the self-serious patina of the standard middlebrow fare now showing at a Landmark theater near you, but underneath that familiar disguise, it has the premise of a high concept, lowbrow studio comedy. That exaggerated approach would be more than worth the suspension of disbelief in a film that used it to get at some sort of truth or message. Fading Gigolo appears to be attempting just that but what exactly it’s saying is hard to decipher.

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WTF Are You Watching? Night of the Comet

16 Apr

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In this episode, Paul Heath drops by to discuss 80s sci-fi comedy Night of the Comet.

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Burn it to the Ground, by Sarah Brinks

15 Apr

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There is a lot to be learned from modern day horror films. You can learn the most effectives weapon against a zombie hoard, how to spot an alien’s “weak spot,” how to effectively rid your house of unwanted spirit activity, or that you should never, ever build your house on ancient Native American burial grounds. What horror films have yet to really teach us is: how to beat a psychotic serial killer such as Wolf Creek 2’s Mick Taylor. While Mick’s motivations seem to stem from a desire to preserve Australia and its resources for Australian’s alone, he is clearly a lunatic who kills almost indiscriminately. It’s hard to battle madness, especially when it has a power grinder and your hand in a vice.

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