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Tommy’s Honour: I Dinnae Want Yer Life!, by David Bax

12 Apr

Golf, to those who agree with Mark Twain, may be nothing more than a way to spoil a good walk. However, in Tommy’s Honour, a stuffy new biopic from director Jason Connery, the game has something of the opposite effect. It only makes things more relentlessly pedestrian.

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The Lost City of Z: Nothing Lasts Forever, by David Bax

12 Apr

James Gray’s The Lost City of Z belongs to one of the most classical categories of mainstream cinema, the historical biopic. In many ways, it hews to the traditions one would expect from the genre, but mostly in a cursory sense and only occasionally to its detriment. At a glance, the movie would seem to be almost conventional. Look closer, though, and you’ll find a unique film strung together on a wave of dark, ethereal sadness that builds to an ending that is both distinct and diffuse.

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Norman: Just Keep Swimming, by David Bax

12 Apr

Norman, Joseph Cedar’s first English language film after turning heads with 2011’s Footnote, is simultaneously of the moment and somehow outside of time itself. Taking place over the course of years—but somehow in perpetual New York City winter—it describes a global financial and political state with no borders, where vague but critical deals are conducted via cellular phone from sidewalks, lobbies and Starbucks bathrooms or by “happenstance” run-ins on trains, at synagogues and in pricey men’s clothing stores. At the center of this story, Cedar gives us Norman (Richard Gere), a nobody and a major player, a relic and a man who can see the future. Norman is lively, funny and bursting with fantastically realized plot and character intricacies but its main narrative thrust can be boiled down to its subtitle, The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.

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New to Home Video 4/11/17

11 Apr

Review

Review

Review

Review

TCM Classic Film Festival 2017: Part Three, by David Bax

10 Apr

It’s an Internet cliché at this point to say that something “gives me life.” But that sentiment holds true (figuratively, of course) for TCM Fest. For those who hold fast to the ideal that the movies of the past still have plenty to tell us, to show us and to teach us, the festival is live-giving, an undeniable affirmation. This year’s comedy theme only enforces that. There’s nothing quite like the bond you form by laughing together with strangers in the dark.

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Monday Movie: Dick, by David Bax

10 Apr

Andrew Fleming’s Dick, just like Bruce McCulloch’s Superstar, is a slightly too-weird-for-this-world comedy that came out amidst the glut of great movies in 1999. Both underperformed at the box office and both have since accumulated minor cult followings, though nothing on the level of what they deserve. In Dick’s case, that may be partially due to the inherent cultural sexism that leads us to undervalue art that appears to be aimed at young women. Ironically, that same tendency to underestimate girls is the source of much of the comedy of Dick.

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EPISODE 525: WonderCon 2017 w/ Terence Johnson

9 Apr

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Terence Johnson to discuss this year’s WonderCon.

TCM Classic Film Festival 2017: Part Two, by David Bax

9 Apr

After yesterday’s witheringly anti-romantic Red-Headed Woman, I needed a good, old-fashioned happy ending romantic comedy. Leo McCarey’s The Awful Truth fits the bill… eventually. For most of its running time, though, this divorce comedy is hilariously cynical about romance in general and marriage in particular. When the couple (Irene Dunne and Cary Grant) call their lawyer to begin the proceedings, he attempts to talk them out of it with an impassioned plea for matrimonial bliss that he repeatedly interrupts to tell his own wife to shut up. Later, when Dunne recounts the story of how the two met, she concludes with “Happily ever after, until now.” It’s both a laugh line and an incredibly sad one which Dunne, the true MVP of the picture, sells beautifully.

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TCM Classic Film Festival 2017: Part One, by David Bax

8 Apr

Not counting last week’s WonderCon, the last festival I attended was Sundance back in January. That kicked off the same weekend as President Trump’s inauguration and, as a result, the prevailing mood cycled through versions of dour and sardonically defeatist. Maybe the folks behind the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival had some foresight, then, when they decided that their theme would be Make ‘Em Laugh: Comedy in the Movies. God knows we need it.

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BP Movie Journal 4/6/17

7 Apr

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

Movies
TOMMY’S HONOUR
POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
THE CASE FOR CHRIST
TICKLING GIANTS
ABOUT LAST NIGHT

TV
SURVIVOR
THE CRITIC
LOUIS CK: 2017
THE AMAZING RACE