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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore: Fake News, by David Bax

23 Feb

Given its premiere at Sundance the weekend of Donald Trump’s inauguration and its consequently relatable title, Macon Blair’s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore ought to offer some much-needed catharsis with its violent revenge storyline. Unfortunately, it only manages to confirm its protagonist’s assertion that “Everyone is an asshole” and then cynically suggest that anyone who isn’t may have to become one to survive.

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Dying Laughing: Just a Bit, by David Bax

23 Feb

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Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood’s Dying Laughing gets off to a dubious start, with its panoply of stand-up comedian interviewees gushing in awestruck, hushed tones about their art and its craft. It sets up an expectation of a bald hagiography of the form without analysis or criticism. Eventually, it settles into some more fertile grounds and ultimately satisfies. Still, it leaves you wondering what its worth is, exactly, in a time when we have so many good and in-depth podcasts on the subject.

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EPISODE 518: TOP TEN OF 2016

21 Feb

In this episode, Tyler and David discuss their top ten of 2016.

New to Home Video 2/21/17

21 Feb

Review

Review

Review

The Great Wall: Clash of the Titans, by David Bax

16 Feb

Like its horde of monster villains that only awaken to attack China every 60 years, Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is slow to come to life. The opening scenes, in which a band of pan-European mercenaries led by Irishman William (Matt Damon) and Spaniard Tovar (Pedro Pascal) ride through the Northern Chinese countryside, evading capture and seeking to steal the secret of gunpowder in order to sell it back home, are plodding and hokey, with dialogue marked by exchanges that were clearly reverse engineered from the quips (“I’ve been left for dead twice. It was bad luck.” “For who?” “The people who left me.”) Once William and Tovar arrive at the Wall itself, though, some color and life begin to flow into the movie. This trend will continue; any scene that features no Chinese characters (Willem Dafoe also appears) is comparatively dull and drab. Perhap Zhang is tugging back at the problematic “white savior” conventions of the screenplay by reminding us that the only reason the Europeans (or the audience) are present is because of the Chinese setting and characters. Still, the first major battle sequence is the movie’s least thrilling, consisting largely of noisy effects shots alternating with shots of people reacting to them, like a chintzy episode of Charmed. But it’s in these same scenes that we are introduced to the “Nameless Order,” The Great Wall’s fictitious military legion tasked with repelling the army of beasts. The more time we get to spend with them, their innovative battle tactics and their byzantine hierarchy, the more the movie starts to have fun, kicking off a snowball effect in which each set-piece outdoes the last, building to an implausibly rollicking finale.

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Lovesong: Strings Attached, by David Bax

16 Feb

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When we see the word “love” in the context of a movie title, we’re conditioned to assume it means the romantic type. With her yearning and perfectly pitched Lovesong, director So-yong Kim challenges that reflex by blurring the line between friends and lovers.

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New to Home Video 2/14/17

14 Feb

Review

Review

EPISODE 517: THROUGH THE CRACKS

14 Feb

In this episode, Tyler and David discuss the various 2016 releases that flew under the radar.

Monday Movie: The Score, by David Bax

13 Feb

When you think of great actors teaming up for the first time onscreen, you think immediately of Michael Mann’s Heat. For the first ever pairing of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Mann constructed a centerpiece scene surrounded by a three hour epic movie. The takeaway is that a film of massive import had to exist in order to support the weight of its two stars. That’s why it’s intriguingly odd that De Niro’s other marquee matchup, with none other than Marlon Brando (and with method heir apparent Edward Norton to boot), takes place in a nifty but formulaic mid-budget studio caper flick.

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BP Movie Journal 2/9/17

11 Feb

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

Movies
O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
TO ROME WITH LOVE
MOONLIGHT
13 MINUTES
HIDDEN FIGURES
SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS
THE UNTOUCHABLES
NORMAN

TV
THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW
THE ROCKFORD FILES

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