The BP Alien Commentary

22 May

alien commentary

The Battleship Pretension commentary on the Alien series will be available in early June!

Overflow, by Matt Warren

21 May

HC3_1

Look motherfucker, if you know about the Human Centipede franchise already then you certainly don’t need me to tell you whether or not to see Part 3. Are faces sewn to buttholes and force-fed human shit? Yes! Are new orifices carved into soft kidneys and literally prison raped? Yes! Are limbs removed with rusty hacksaws and cavalierly tossed into chum buckets? Yes! But you could’ve guessed all that. What you’re probably not prepared for is just how tedious it is to watch these atrocities unspool. In fact, the most transgressive part of Tom Six’s new trilogy-capper is just how goddamned monotonous it is. The Human Centipede 3 (Full Sequence) is gross, yes, but not scary. Histrionic, yes, but not atmospheric. Grotesque, yes, but not weird. However, it does achieve something not many torture porn flicks do. It expresses a genuine artistic vision.

(more…)

I Do Movies Badly: Conan the Destroyer

20 May

968full-conan-the-destroyer-screenshot

In this episode, Jim continues his series on 80s fantasy with a discussion of Conan the Destroyer.

Heal Thyself, by David Bax

20 May

aloft

There’s something off about Claudia Llosa’s Aloft, not in the intentional way of a horror movie (though there is some of that) but in the way of a jigsaw puzzle that someone has “completed” by forcing together parts that don’t fit and discarding inconvenient pieces. The first sequence gets right to work raising eyebrows, depicting a flock of families with sick children being carted out to the middle of nowhere so one lucky kid who gets a white pebble wrapped in a leaf will be allowed to see a faith healer in a handmade wigwam built from twigs. Jennifer Connelly is there with her two sons, one of whom has a falcon. To quote a superhero movie from a few weeks ago, none of this makes any sense. It’s not just that the windy location clearly forced the already unnatural dialogue to be ADRed by the wooden actors playing the other families. It’s that whatever Llosa is doing here is the opposite of what the kids call “worldbuiding.” She’s insisting on the reality of her film rather than convincing us of it.

(more…)

Theory of Negativity, by Tyler Smith

20 May

ZZ5E9CC668

To say that Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland feels like a throwback would be both obvious and an understatement. In its look and its expression of theme, the film reminded me of science fiction movies of the 1950s. It also retains a sense of fun and wonder, as our main characters are exposed to a world of technology and endless possibilities. Where Tomorrowland deviates from most science fiction, however, is in its worldview. While other sci-fi will explore themes of cynicism, fatalism, and a breakdown in humanity, Tomorrowland attempts to extoll the virtues of positivity and optimism. While this doesn’t always work out, it is at least a breath of fresh air at a time when our blockbusters are so preoccupied with widespread death and destruction.

(more…)

WTF Are You Watching? Left Behind

20 May

Nicky-Whelan-and-Nicolas-Cage-in-Left-Behind-2014-Movie-Image-2

In this episode, Lincoln is joined by Lucy Horton and Ted Young to discuss Left Behind, starring Nicolas Cage.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Hey, Watch This! Veep/Nashville

19 May

veep-s4-e3-t

In this episode, David and guest host Sean Ingram discuss Veep and Nashville.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The TV Room: Nashville Season 3

19 May

nashville-season-3-premiere-3

When ABC’s Nashville premiered back in 2012, it was one of the critical favorites of that year’s fall crop. With the pedigree of Thelma & Louise scribe Callie Khouri in the creator’s chair and headlined by Connie Britton (essentially television royalty after five years on Friday Night Lights), early reviews were glowing. Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker called it “probably the best drama anyone’s made about the town and its songbirds.” The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever called it “tender perfection.” They weren’t wrong but by the end of the first season, the show seemed to be stalling out. What had been an insightful, mature, female-driven look at the divides in fame, upbringing, money and more across generations began to lose its focus. Maybe it was the enormous cast mixed with the impracticality of the standard, 20-plus episode network order but the show started to downshift into familiar soap storylines while still trying to maintain the more thoughtful air of its initial identity. The results were a bit of a bore. Luckily, for those of us who stuck around, Nashville found a new path in its second season, around the time one character had a miscarriage, pretended that she didn’t so the mayor would still marry her and then later recreated the miscarriage with a container of pig’s blood to dowse suspicions. Once the writers admitted to themselves that they were making a soap opera, they committed to being one of the best soap operas on television. But in a television genre whose chief necessity is to sustain the cliffhanger/surprise/repeat cycle, is it possible to actually be a show about something? Of course it is. And by the end of the recently concluded third season, it’s become clear that Nashville is a show about the importance of family. Not the de facto kind found in a million workplace dramas and comedies but the measurable bonds of blood and marriage.

(more…)

Rush and Meander, by Dayne Linford

19 May

Gueros_web_1

“Gueros” is a term specific to Mexico, meaning light-skinned or fair-haired. In use, it’s more playful than pejorative, but the implication is still there. Shades of privilege, youth and race linger in its tone, an acknowledgment of history and social distinctions. Similarly, Gueros, the debut feature film of longtime film artist Alonso Ruizpalacios, is specific; light and easy even as it touches on and pushes against these same notions of maturity, privilege, race, and class.

(more…)

Home Video Hovel: Girlhood, by Craig Schroeder

19 May

91vNM49t0iL._SL1500_

The title of Celine Sciamma’s (Tomboy, Water Lillies) new film Girlhood is likely to evoke facile comparisons to last year’s Boyhood. But Sciamma’s film looks nothing like Richard Linklater’s meandering, poetic twelve-year odyssey through adolescence. Whereas the protagonist of Boyhood has over a decade to transition from child to adult, Girlhood focuses on a single summer, wherein adulthood is not a destination slowly shambling closer, instead, it’s a frightening reality closing in on a young girl much too early.

(more…)