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Crossing the Streams: May 2017, by Jim Rohner

12 May

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 chord 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.

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Well, it certainly has been a roller coaster month, hasn’t it? First we found out that HBO shows were leaving Amazon Prime in 2018, then we were assured that they weren’t, only to then be told, “Just kidding! They are definitely all leaving.” Springtime is finally here, so it’d be understandable were you to find a bar with an outdoor area in which you can drown your sorrows in shandy like so many Jimmy McNultys, but the healthier option for your liver would be to distract yourself with an alternate consumption – that of taking in these titles before they expire…

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I Do Movies Badly: Orson Welles

2 May

Tyler Smith rejoins IDMB to discuss the films of Orson Welles, who was actually quite a famous filmmaker (Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil) before he voiced Unicron and was parodied on The Critic. Tyler makes the case for why Welles is and was an essential and path-paving filmmaker, hypothesizes why studio interference makes it difficult to define what “an Orson Welles film” means, and explains why he’s not recommending either Kane or Touch of Evil before recommending The Stranger (1946), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973).

I Do Movies Badly: Starship Troopers

26 Apr

In this episode, Jim ships off to space with Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers.

I Do Movies Badly: Basic Instinct

20 Apr

In this episode, Jim discusses Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct.

Crossing the Streams: April 2017, by Jim Rohner

14 Apr

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 chord 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

Well, by now we learned that there was no last-minute stay of execution for titles like The X-Files or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly or Angel or…well, you get the picture – the universe is a cruel and uncaring place and eventually we’ll all die and long after our bodies have decayed and disintegrated into nothing, entropy will overtake all of existence and destroy what we know of reality. On the plus side, the ratio of quality content arriving vs. expiring in April is heavily tilted towards giving you more reasons to stay in rather than go outside and enjoy the budding spring season. Still, say goodbye to these…

Batman: The Animated Series (Amazon Prime): If you’re anything like me, then it wasn’t Adam West’s goofy frolicking that first exposed you to The Dark Knight but rather the Emmy-winning animated series co-created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. On top of introducing us to Kevin Conroy, who to this day is still the fan consensus voice of Batman, Batman: The Animated Series also introduced a younger audience to the psychological and moral complexities of the Caped Crusader with a complementary blending of film-noir and art deco visual influences and emotionally mature storylines. The show would win an Emmy for the season 1 episode “Robin’s Reckoning: Part 1,” but it was “Heart of Ice,” arguably the greatest exploration of the Mr. Freeze character, that set the tone for what to expect from the show. The show was a springboard for the character of Harley Quinn, who was the exclusive creation of Paul Dini, who would be a creative driving force behind the Arkham video games, and Mark Hamill, who, yes, was already Luke Skywalker but who also reinvented himself by voicing the iconic Joker. This column will hopefully be a springboard for you to revisit the show as it’s set to expire on April 28th.

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I Do Movies Badly: Katie Tippel

12 Apr

Jim goes Dutch with Paul Verhoeven’s Katie Tippel.

I Do Movies Badly: Paul Verhoeven

4 Apr

In this episode, Jim welcomes Sequelcast 2’s Mat Bradley-Tschirgi to kick off a series about director Paul Verhoeven.

David Lynch – The Art Life: Darkened Room, by Jim Rohner

29 Mar

It’s not breaking news that David Lynch is an enigmatic filmmaker. It’s not just that he’s made films like Eraserhead and Lost Highway; he also refuses to do commentary tracks to provide insight into such films, he despises chapter breaks on their physical media releases, and when I was in college, he gave a talk at a nearby school talking about the ebb and flow of subconscious thought while a Buddhist mediator was hooked up to a device that monitored his brainwaves. Lynch is a man who believes in the inherent value of thought and creativity, unconcerned with where those impulses came from and what they could possibly mean, believing that their existence, being a byproduct of formative experiences and memory, is reason enough to get carried away with them.

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I Do Movies Badly: Pieta

22 Mar

Jim weeps over the corpse of his month of Kim Ki-duk movies, finishing things up with Pieta.

Crossing the Streams: March 2017, by Jim Rohner

15 Mar

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 chord 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

It’s important to take the news about any titles leaving Netflix with a grain of salt for two reasons: First, just because a title is due to expire doesn’t mean Netflix won’t renew the rights sometime between then and now; and second, a lot of the big titles are due to expire right before April Fool’s Day, so it all could be an elaborate (albeit neither charming nor humorous) prank being pulled by Ted Sarandos and co.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Series (Netflix): The title that first made us all aware of both Joss Whedon as a unique creative voice and Sarah Michelle Gellar as a badass female vampire hunter just celebrate its twentieth anniversary. While the AV Club has been doing a stellar job of commemorating the series, there’s no better way to celebrate Xander’s ill-advised sweater decisions then by bingeing the entire series before it leaves Netflix on March 31st. Granted, all seven seasons will still be available on Hulu but if you’re not fortunate enough to have access to your co-worker’s brother’s Plus account then you’ve only got a few weeks left until you gotta start asking around to old college friends who owned every season on DVD.

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