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Berlin Syndrome: Geh Nicht Hinein!, by David Bax

25 May

Between Cate Shortland’s harrowing new film Berlin Syndrome and 2015’s Victoria, there’s a new trope developing. Foreigners in Berlin who attend rooftop parties are certain to get into some kind of trouble. As least their plights continue to make for good movies.

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EPISODE 531: Actors People Hate w/ Kristen Sales

22 May

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Kristen Sales to discuss actors people hate.

Ask BP (May 20, 2017)

21 May


Tyler and David discuss animation, accents, and throwing popcorn.

BP Movie Journal 5/18/17

18 May

Tyler and David discuss the movies and TV shows they’ve been watching, including:

Movies
ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL
DREAMSCAPE
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
THE MAN WHO SKIED DOWN EVEREST
HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY

TV
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WAR OF THE WORLDS
SILICON VALLEY
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
SURVIVOR
THE AMAZING RACE

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail: The Richest Man in Town, by David Bax

18 May

Two years ago, Adam McKay gave us The Big Short, a furious, funny account of the causes of 2008’s financial crisis. After that sprawling account of how massively things went wrong due to institutionalized shortcuts and routine lies, we now get Steve James’ measured and unassuming documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, a look at the only bank to face criminal charges in the aftermath. While nowhere near the high water marks James set with films like Hoop Dreams, Stevie and The Interrupters, Abacus is still a modest success on the level of James’ Head Games, another issue-driven documentary that never lets you forget the individual people at the story’s core.

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Paint It Black: My War, by David Bax

18 May

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From nearly the beginning of Amber Tamblyn’s Paint It Black, I had my guard up. Shots of the Echo Park Blvd. street sign and the cult famous happy foot/sad foot spinning podiatrist sign made me worry that I was in for a try-hard catalog of cool kid L.A. signifiers. Things nearly came to a peak when the protagonist, Josie (Alia Shawkat) answered the phone in her apartment and it was a hot pink, decorated, chunky plastic artifact of a landline. Shortly after this, though, it occurred to me that I may have been too harsh. At the very least, the phone thing was forgiven as I gained the realization that this was a period piece (probably sometime in the 1980s). That doesn’t explain why characters are seen drinking cocktails out of mason jars at a hip bar but the subtlety of the era is commendable. Once I’d relaxed, I eventually found myself under the sway of this messy but unique movie.

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New to Home Video 5/16/17

16 May

Review

Home Video Hovel: Dead Ringers, by David Bax

15 May

What with all the recent press around Ewan McGregor playing brothers on this season of Fargo, the whole idea of an actor in dual roles feels a bit like a gimmick at the moment. I wonder if it felt the same way back in 1988 when David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, starring Jeremy Irons as twin gynecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle came out. It probably did and the movie is not without its own cheekiness about the trick, at one point even pairing Irons up with actual twins (played by Jill Hennessey and her sister, both making their screen debuts). But there’s plenty more going on here beyond the hook. And even if there wasn’t, isn’t a Cronenberg gimmick worth checking out?

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EPISODE 530: Jonathan Demme

14 May

In this episode, Tyler and David discuss the career of Jonathan Demme as well as Tyler’s recent experiences in Orlando at the International Christian Film Festival. 

Snatched: Loose Grip, by David Bax

12 May

Jonathan Levine’s Snatched rushes at breakneck speed through its first 30 or 40 minutes, getting all of its characters and situations into place for the plot proper to kick in. Fortunately, this is executed via a series of funny vignettes that prove once again what a sharp comedic performer star Amy Schumer is; especially noteworthy are a couple of back to back scenes of her character, Emily, first getting fired (for doing more shopping than working at the store where she’s meant to be a salesperson) and then immediately getting dumped (by her rising star rocker boyfriend who leaves no doubts about his aspirations for more “pussy”). Plus, given the endless, slapdash affair that was Schumer’s last vehicle, Trainwreck, some narrative expedience is welcome. Snatched is not likely to linger long in anyone’s memory but it’s a competent and reliably funny diversion that will painlessly kill 90 minutes on Mother’s Day.

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