Edge of Madness, by Aaron Pinkston

24 Oct

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In 2001, Brad Anderson released possibly the scariest mental asylum film ever made. I’ve always been curious if Session 9 was just a personal favorite of mine, wearing out the VHS in my early high school years, or if smart film people also hold it in high regard. At any rate, it seems like no one ever mentions it anymore. The story of an asbestos cleaning crew working on an abandoned mental hospital is a unique approach for the genre as a slow-burn character study that hinges on moody creepiness. Thirteen years later, Anderson returns to the asylum setting in a much, much different kind of film. Stonehearst Asylum is a welcomed return for Anderson, his best film since 2008’s Transsiberian (not exactly saying much given The Call and Vanishing on 7th Street are the only features he’s released since). Compared to his classic asylum film, though, Stonehearst Asylum doesn’t stand much of a chance.

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Forced to Action, by Scott Nye

23 Oct

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Force Majeure has the sort of perfection of internal rhythm that at once negates the possibility of permanently-damaging conflict while simultaneously heightening its danger. The threat of some force destabilizing this perfect world order seems all the more terrifying because we come to take so much for granted. It’s a movie about how, in spite of this great age of reason and all the modern fortifications that surround us, we still fear things outside of reason. And we don’t always react in ways that make us, or our loved ones, proud.

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It’s a Glittering Prize, by David Bax

23 Oct

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At the beginning of Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard, when Shailene Woodley’s Kat Connor sulks down a suburban street in an olive jacket, it would be hard not to think of Linda Cardellini in Freaks & Geeks. White Bird keeps that comparison going for most of its early, table-setting scenes. Kat and her friends are the same type of teenage misfits but instead of listening to The Who, they’re moping to the likes of My Bloody Valentine. In fact, everything in White Bird in a Blizzard is perfectly attuned to the 1988-1991 setting; so much so that it has falseness to it. But that’s only a feint from the prankish Araki. The superficial sheen is just a thin coat of nostalgic paint covering a massively complex and thoughtful body underneath.

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Sequelcast: Saw III

23 Oct

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In this episde, Mat and Thrasher continue their series on the Saw franchise.

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I Do Movies Badly: Fanny and Alexander

22 Oct

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In this episode, Jim wraps up his Ingmar Bergman series with a discussion of Fanny and Alexander.

WTF Are You Watching? Desperado

21 Oct

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In this episode, Lincoln discusses Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado.

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EPISODE 396: INEVITABILITY

20 Oct

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In this episode, Tyler and David discuss those movies they’re going to see, whether they want to or not.

Hey, Watch This! The Affair/Jane the Virgin

19 Oct

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In this episode, Paul and David discuss The Affair and Jane the Virgin.

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What You Think I Am, by Tyler Smith

18 Oct

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Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip is an exploration of social expectations that is both fascinating and entertaining.  In it, we have characters that are almost hyper-aware of what the world seems to want from them, and they act accordingly.  These expectations may run completely counter to what the characters themselves want, but that is quickly pushed aside.  These people inhabit the art world, after all, and being true to oneself isn’t nearly as important as appearing to be true to oneself; this would at first appear to be a very slight distinction, but it is the difference between contentedness and utterly misery, as our characters soon discover.

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Up, Up, and Away! by Tyler Smith

17 Oct

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman is one of the most personal films I’ve ever seen. Not just for the director, but for a number of the people involved. And, indeed, for any artist that might be watching. But, it doesn’t stop there. This is a film that, though it is remarkably specific, explores such universal themes that it often feels like it’s telling everybody’s story. Yours, mine, everybody. All without ever sacrificing the individuality of its characters and story. That is a pretty astounding accomplishment.

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