Stay Addicted and Endure, by Scott Nye

30 Jul

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On Earth in 1988, a young Peter Quill watches his mother die. Distraught, he runs outside and is immediately abducted by aliens. Not a bad start to a movie, all things considered. Twenty-odd years later, Peter (Chris Pratt) has grown into a space outlaw, aged but not yet grown up, closely attached to the few objects of his youth he still has – in particular, a mix tape his mother gave him, full of their favorite songs from the 1960s-70s. He is our hero. Marvel’s James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is sci-fi/fantasy, all right, but fantasy for an older generation still clinging to the objects of their youth. By arresting the progress of culture in its tracks, Peter not only remains the definitive authority on all that is “hip,” but actually, literally uses his nostalgia to help save the day and win the girl.

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Home Video Hovel: The Amazing Catfish, by Craig Schroeder

29 Jul

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So far, it’s been a rough year for women at the box-office. Of the current ten highest grossing films of 2014, only three pass the Bechdel Test (the three being Transformers: Age of Extinction–which, as a franchise, doesn’t treat women so well–Maleficent and The Lego Moviewhich passes, but just barely). But there may be some relief in the form of writer/director Claudia Saint-Luce’s The Amazing Catfish, a small picture from 2013 set to get a larger DVD release from Strand Releasing Home Entertainment. The Amazing Catfish, a semi-autobiographical account of Saint-Luce’s life, is a poignant story of sickness, family and human connection.

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Home Video Hovel: At War with the Army, by David Bax

29 Jul

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Hal Walker’s At War with the Army was the first film to star Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as a comedic duo in the lead roles. It’s ostensibly an adaptation of James B. Allardice’s play but, in effect, the text is really just the canvas onto which Martin and Lewis splattered themselves, like a child drawing pictures in crayon on a novel.

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EPISODE 384: NON-SUPERHERO COMIC BOOK MOVIES

28 Jul

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In this episode, Tyler and David discuss non-superhero comic book movies.

The Auteurcast: Life of Brian

26 Jul

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In this episode, Rudie and West discuss Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

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Sequelcast: The Animatrix

24 Jul

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In this episode, Mat and Thrasher discuss The Animatrix.

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An Action Odyssey, by Tyler Smith

24 Jul

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There is a scene in Jaws in which Quint is perplexed. He’s hooked the shark and thinks he has it figured out, but it is starting to behave unpredictably. Quint pauses for a moment and says, “I don’t know if he’s very smart or very dumb.”  It’s a problem to which I can totally relate. As I watched Luc Besson’s Lucy, I found myself bouncing back and forth, never quite able to determine if the film is genuinely intelligent, but with some simplistic ideas, or just plain dumb, with the occasional moments of inspiration.

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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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