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Comic-Con 2017 Day One, by David Bax

21 Jul

This is my twelfth Comic-Con and, for all I know, it may be my last. I certainly wasn’t feeling that familiar jolt of con joy on Thursday morning as I navigated multiple lines that moved or didn’t move with little in the way of sense or form. I was trying to get tickets to the screening of Death Note that Netflix had planned for that evening. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get them.

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EPISODE 539: SDCC 2017 Preview with Germain Lussier

16 Jul

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Germain Lussier of i09 and Gizmodo to talk about what’s coming up at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

2017 Comic Con Meetup!

11 Jul

LA Film Fest 2017: On the Beach at Night Alone, by David Bax

28 Jun

Like a surprising number of compelling movie protagonists, Kim Min-hee’s Young-hee, the woman at the center of Hong Sang-soo’s On the Beach at Night Alone, is an almost completely passive, reactive character. Distinguished by her severe, long black coat (or coats; it does appear to be longer in the early section), Young-hee spends the movie in cities where she doesn’t live, relying on the hospitality and whims of friends and acquaintances.

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LA Film Fest 2017: Don’t Come Back from the Moon, by David Bax

28 Jun

Bruce Thierry Cheung’s Don’t Come Back from the Moon stands out less as a coming-of-age story or a portrait of economic malaise than it does as a simple, extended work of tonal discipline. In viewing the movie, you float from scene to scene on softy, grainy imagery, much of it captured during the magic hour. Cheung’s aesthetic command is laudable but often static, making his narrative feel inconsequential.

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EPISODE 536: LA Film Fest 2017 Wrap-Up

25 Jun

In this episode,Tyler and David discuss the movies David saw at this year’s LA Film Fest, as well as Ron Howard’s new job.

LA Film Fest 2017: Patti Cake$, by David Bax

22 Jun

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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LA Film Fest 2017: Never Here, by David Bax

22 Jun

Camille Thoman’s Never Here, with its tale of a curious innocent embroiled in a criminal mystery, clearly draws inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock. In one scene, a character is even watching The Lady Vanishes on television, just to make the connection obvious. But there’s another influence at work here. With its dark rooms, its psychological dread and the main character’s increasingly slippery grasp on her own identity, it’s one of the most Lynchian films not actually made by David Lynch.

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LA Film Fest 2017: The Big Sick, by David Bax

21 Jun

Specificity is key to what makes Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick such an unqualified success and easily the best romantic comedy since Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child. This isn’t (or at least isn’t primarily) an issue-driven movie in which a Muslim Pakistani American dates a white girl, even though our president’s anti-Muslim stances and attempted policies have made the film more poignant than was likely intended. No, this is a movie about a man who is Muslim and Pakistani and also a stand-up comic who loves cult horror movies like The Abominable Dr. Phibes and who starts to date a white girl who is also a college student who hopes to become a therapist. It’s also incredibly sweet and funny as hell.

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LA Film Fest 2017: Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town, by David Bax

21 Jun

Introducing itself with a song by Corin Tucker’s pre-Sleater-Kinney band, Heavens to Betsy, Christian Papierniak’s Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town kicks off with energetic, punk rock promise. Soon, though, what Papierniak seems to be positioning as a quintessential Los Angeles movie devolves into a series of unexamined stereotypes about the city as a background to a lazy wisp of a plot.

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