Archive by Author

Patti Cake$: Dare Ya to Do What You Want, by David Bax

16 Aug

It may not be immediately clear to you, when watching Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, that the movie is set in Northern New Jersey (it may take you as long as until the first Bruce Springsteen song shows up on the soundtrack to figure it out). But, thanks to Jasper’s firm command of tone and atmosphere, you’ll understand that you’ve set down in a place of scrappy strivers and bitter burnouts who are both inspired and intimidated by the shadow they live in. For what it’s worth, it takes place in Bayonne.

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Lemon: Curb Your Enthusiasm, by David Bax

16 Aug

“It’s time for a new you. The old you doesn’t work anymore.” This specific sentence is spoken by Isaac (Brett Gelman) a struggling actor, as a part of commercial in which he isn’t wearing any pants. The line is not just a summation of the entire mission statement of advertising; it’s clearly about Isaac as well, in a bitterly funny way. That sardonic tone is the essence of Janicza Bravo’s Lemon. The accepted portmanteau for this type of story is tragicomic. But Lemon, Bravo’s first feature film, can’t seem to get the tragedy/comedy balance right.

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Logan Lucky: The Doldrums, by Josh Long

16 Aug

Jimmy Logan, the protagonist of Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, lives in south-eastern West Virginia, close to his daughter and ex-wife. The action of the film begins when he’s fired from his job at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Somehow, the film doesn’t mention (or doesn’t realize?) that his daily routine includes a 3 hour, 200 mile drive from home to work, and then the same drive again at the end of each work day. Does this matter? Let me put it this way – should audiences be incredulous if a film suggests to us that our protagonist lives in Baltimore, and commutes via car across three states to New York City every day? They would, and should. But because Logan Lucky is set in flyover country, no one seems to care. It’s this kind of unawareness about the film’s setting and the people that live there that really holds the film back.

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David’s Summer Playlist 2017

15 Aug

  • 1. Surf Wax America – Weezer
  • 2. Suffer Me – Sheer Mag
  • 3. Space Lord – Monster Magnet
  • 4. Breakdown – Buzzcocks
  • 5. Fell on Black Days – Soundgarden
  • 6. Falling from Cloud 9 – Lift to Experience
  • 7. Tower – TOWER
  • 8. Utopia – King Woman
  • 9. Fortune Favours the Insane – Hark
  • 10. Dragonaut – Sleep
  • 11. A Dying World – Iron Reagan
  • 12. Elimination – Overkill
  • 13. Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) – Power Trip
  • 14. Those Who Survived – Darkest Hour
  • 15. Destructive Currents – Immolation
  • 16. Heart Girt with a Serpent – The Ominous Circle
  • 17. Stop Being Greedy – DMX
  • 18. Hand on the Pump – Cypress Hill
  • 19. 4 AM – 2 Chainz
  • 20. Joga – Bjork
  • 21. Between the Bars – Elliott Smith
  • 22. Dry Town – Gillian Welch
  • 23. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye

BP’s Top 100 Challenge #36: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by Sarah Brinks

15 Aug

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

I have a feeling that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is going to be a difficult movie to talk about but I’ll do my best. I remember going to see it in the theaters because the trailer looked compelling. It was the first Michel Gondry film I saw so I didn’t know what to expect. I think that was the best way to see this film, I went in with no expectations and was absolutely delighted.

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Rohmerathon: Full Moon in Paris, by Scott Nye

14 Aug

After the rigorously-structured Pauline at the Beach, Éric Rohmer could be forgiven for indulging in a breezy film about Parisian night life, which by all appearances seems to describe Full Moon in Paris. Whether one looks at modern, release, or Blu-ray poster art, the image of the film is that of a seductive jaunt filled with music, dancing, sex, and cloudy nights. That last element is not to be overlooked, however. Rohmer’s 1984 nightlife film takes place not in the heat of the summer, but the gloom of French winter, starting in November and concluding in February, which seems to cast a pall over any potential carefree excursion. In each month, Rohmer takes a couple of nights surrounding the full moon (the original French title more accurately translates to “Nights of a Full Moon”), which seems to unlock pent-up passions and confessions within a small group of yuppies.

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Movie Meltdown: A Taste of Most Beautiful Island

14 Aug

This week we return to the Flyover Film Fest for their Taste of Flyover festivities. Plus we sit down with Ana Asensio, the writer, director and star of Most Beautiful Island (winner of Grand Jury Award at South by Southwest this year). We also recap the night where we ate food from Chef Edward Lee’s recipes as well as saw Peter Byck’s One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts and Fermented directed by Jonathan Cianfrani. As well as our thoughts on recent viewings of War for the Planet of the Apes and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

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Crossing the Streams: August 2017, by Jim Rohner

14 Aug

Congratulations! With your recent purchase of a brand new Roku/Apple TV/Amazon Fire Stick you’re ready to – as Obi-Wan Kenobi said – take your first step into a larger world. That larger world is, of course, the world of cord cutting in which a seemingly endless supply of streaming apps, services, and content are available instantaneously at your fingertips. But with so many options of things to watch spread out across so many different services changing literally by the day, what’s worth binge watching before it expires and you’d have to – (GASP) – pay for it? Allow Crossing the Streams to be your official guide to what’s worth watching before it expires, what’s just been made available, and what’s just plain damn good.

Watch It Now

So I’m assuming by now that we’ve all heard that Mickey Mouse is taking his ball and going home, with “ball” here meaning “the streaming rights to all Disney content” and “going home” meaning “to Disney’s own exclusive streaming platform.” Yes, we all rejoiced when we heard that Netflix was going to be the exclusive home to Disney streaming content and now we must all mourn at the abrupt about face. Further heartbreak may be on the horizon as the rights to the Marvel and Star Wars titles have not yet been decided, but on the plus side, the mass mouse exodus won’t be taking effect until 2019. That’s a lot more time that you’ll get with your Disney titles than you will with the follow titles set to expire much sooner…

The Nice Guys (HBO Now): The Nice Guys didn’t end up making my Top Ten of last year, but that didn’t seem like it would be the case for the first eight or nine months of the year and, in retrospect, I’m wondering if I made the right decision keeping it off. A huge fan of Shane Black’s directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I perhaps set the bar a bit too high for The Nice Guys, a thought that started occurring to me after watching it for a second time and realizing that I was responding to it much more positively than I did the first time around. Black returns – hilariously – to the world of Los Angeles neo-noir with a film that could be a spiritual sequel to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in the vein of Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Casino. This time it’s Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe who are uncovering corruption in the City of Angels, but hopefully this time one doesn’t become an untouchable studio superhero. The Nice Guys expires on August 31st.

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Sequelcast 2: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Eps. 1-4)

14 Aug

In this episode, Mat and Thrasher grab their towels and jump into The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Next Fest 2017: L.A. Times, by David Bax

13 Aug

Michelle Morgan’s L.A. Times is an attempt to update the ‘hyper-verbose, aimless young people’ blueprint of 90s fare like Reality Bites to the current day. From the opening scene, in which jaded but overly confident lifestylers at a bourgeois cocktail bar casually assert their opinions on the ethics of patronizing prostitutes, the hollow echoes of those Generation X forebears make themselves known. The roundabout speechifying and armchair psychology continues from that point on and never lets up. The characters in Reality Bites may have been full of shit but at least they pretended to stand for something. The people in L.A. Times can’t see anything beyond the ends of their noses, too vapid to understand the traditional cultural values into which they keep reflexively retreating. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the movie itself.

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