Hey, Watch This! The New Fall Season

2 Jul

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In this episode, Paul and David discuss the new and returning shows coming this fall.

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BP Movie Journal 7/2/15

2 Jul

In this movie journal, Tyler and David discuss the movies and TV shows they’ve watched recently, including:

Movies
THE END OF THE TOUR
JURASSIC WORLD
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR
INSIDE OUT
MAX
PRISONERS
AMY
ENEMY
THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES: WHAT HAPPENED?
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN
AYN RAND: A SENSE OF LIFE
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
A MASTER BUILDER

TV
CATASTROPHE
BALLERS
HANNIBAL
SEINFELD

Tears Dry on Their Own, by David Bax

2 Jul

Amy Winehouse

There’s a subgenre of biopics and biographical documentaries sometimes labeled “warts and all.” The notion in these cases is to avoid being hagiographical and present the subject with naked honesty. In practice, though, the approach often seems to be making a case for disliking the person being profiled. Asif Kapadia’s Amy is different. Kapadia shows us Amy Winehouse in a way that holds little back. But we don’t leave the film feeling like we’ve been disabused of our feelings about Winehouse. Instead, we leave feeling that we know her not just as a great talent or a tragic figure but as a human being. We get to know her the way the loving friend would. When it’s over, we feel lucky to have known her and to have her music but we also feel gutted by her demise.

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Dog Days, by David Bax

2 Jul

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It’s been about five years since Debra Granik’s astounding second feature, Winter’s Bone, was released but it seems she hasn’t moved much, at least geographically. Her new film, and her first documentary, Stray Dog, takes place in the same region of Southwestern Missouri as her last.

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Red and Green, by David Bax

1 Jul

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With Jimmy’s Hall, you won’t find director Ken Loach in the stripped-down, bared-teeth social realist mode of masterpieces like 1969’s Kes or 2002’s Sweet Sixteen. Rather, this is a mix of the his more classicalist impulses, combining the historical setting of 2006’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley with the genre riff of 2012’s The Angels’ Share. No matter what type of film, though, it’s still Ken Loach and that’s still plenty good.

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Home Video Hovel: Hard to Be a God, by Scott Nye

30 Jun

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French poet Paul Valery said, “A poem is never finished; only abandoned.” The statement has often been applied to films. This is especially true of Aleksei German’s final and posthumously released film, the legend for which is nearly as compelling as the thing itself. German had been contemplating an adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s novel nearly since the time of its release in 1964. Another adaptation was produced in 1989, directed by Peter Fleischmann (and written by Jean-Claude Carriere!), but the Strugatskys criticized it, encouraging German to pursue his own version. After the ecstatic reception of his Khrustalyov, My Car! in 1998 (Martin Scorsese, Cannes jury president that year, is alleged to have said, “This film is so extraordinary even I don’t understand it!”), German began just that. Production on the film began in 2000, and finally wrapped in…2006.

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Home Video Hovel: Broadchurch Season 2, by David Bax

30 Jun

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Broadchurch‘s second season premiere was an exhilarating jolt of an hour. It dropped us right back into the rattled headspace of a town that had seen a child murdered and then an everyman dad confess to the crime. Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) being packed off to prison was meant to be the start of the healing process. So when Joe stood up in court and said, “Not guilty,” it ripped every wound wide open. What it also did was blow up the premise of the show in a most welcome way. Now, instead of a murder mystery with ten episodes of red herrings and intrigue, the new Broadchurch would be a court procedural. Or so it seemed. Unfortunately, that first installment was to be the highlight of a season that degraded into a litany of contrivances that ranged from farfetched to just lazy as the show fell victim to the Hollywood sequel approach of “just add more.”

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New to Home Video 6/30/15

30 Jun

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Monday Movie: Hostel, by David Bax

29 Jun

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This week’s Monday Movie won’t be an attempt to shine light on an underseen gem or a semi-forgotten classic. No, this time around I’m using this space to advocate for a well-known film that is nonetheless mostly maligned or dismissed. To some extent, it’s easy to understand the lack of passion for Eli Roth’s Hostel. The years have not been kind to it, largely because the reputation of Roth himself has taken him out of the favor of the genre geek camp and aligned him more with the spring break bros who make up the victims and heroes in this movie. But taken on its own merits, Hostel is both an engrossingly nasty bit of exploitation/horror but also a pretty stark appraisal of post-Bush Doctrine America’s standing in the world at large.

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EPISODE 432: A YEAR WITH WOMEN

29 Jun

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In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Marya E. Gates to discuss her project to only watch female-directed films.