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BP Movie Journal 6/15/17

16 Jun

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

Movies
FOX AND HIS FRIENDS
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
ALIEN: COVENANT
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
DRAGNET
THE MEANING OF LIFE
SEVEN
THE MUMMY
JURASSIC PARK
NIGHTMARE
JURASSIC WORLD
THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY
WONDER WOMAN
THE MEMPHIS BELLE: A STORY OF A FLYING FORTRESS
HOW TO OPERATE BEHIND ENEMY LINES
47 METERS DOWN

TV
SILICON VALLEY
MODERN FAMILY
IRON FIST
TWIN PEAKS
CUPLICATED
THE AMAZING RACE

47 Meters Down: Deep Shit, by Tyler Smith

15 Jun

It would be wrong to talk about Johannes Roberts’ film 47 Meters Down in terms of more serious fare, like Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea. It’s not that kind of film. It is a shark movie and should thus be compared to other shark movies. So, based on that criteria, I’ll say that 47 Meters Down makes The Shallows look like Open Water, Open Water look like Jaws, and Jaws look like the absolute pinnacle of all human endeavor. The film takes a decent premise and, appropriately, drowns it in clumsy exposition and truly horrendous dialogue. It wasn’t just bad; it was astonishingly bad. 

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Episode 534: LA Film Fest 2017 Preview

11 Jun

In this episode, Tyler and David discuss what’s coming up at this year’s LA Film Fest as well as reactions to negative reviews of Wonder Woman.

Episode 533: Jackie Kashian Returns

4 Jun

In this episode, Tyler and David welcome back Jackie Kashian to talk about recent movies and travel habits.

Churchill: The Wrong Side of History, by Tyler Smith

1 Jun

A great performance is a terrible thing to waste. And Brian Cox’s towering portrayal of Winston Churchill in Jonathan Teplitsky’s Churchill is indeed great. At this point, it would appear that playing Churchill is a sort of rite of passage for aging British actors, with some faring better than others. With his ability to stay in the moment and often simply exist as the charismatic Prime Minister, Cox crafts a lived-in performance that ranks up there with the best (which, in my view, is Albert Finney in The Gathering Storm). With an actor so willing to put aside vanity and self consciousness, it is a shame that the movie around him is so misguided. There are moments of immense power in this film, but they are always undercut by scenes that cast Churchill in the worst light possible, making him seem abusive, petulant, and out of touch. If Teplitzky’s goal was to make the audience slowly come to hate this bellowing, insecure ogre, then he has certainly reached it. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that Teplitzky and his writer, Alex von Tunzelmann, think that they are merely humanizing Churchill, adding complexity to a titanic figure, giving the audience a deeper appreciation for an otherwise-admirable man. If that was their goal, then they have failed miserably, squandering Cox’s committed performance in the process.

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10 Directors Who Could Save the Alien Franchise, by Tyler Smith

30 May

While some found the recent Alien: Covenant to be a return to form for the franchise, I found the film to be occasionally intriguing, sometimes insufferable, and ultimately forgettable. A bland, by-the-numbers film has no business being a part of the Alien series. Some thought that the problems sprang from the studio’s hesitance to take on bolder material, as it had done in Prometheus, an ambitious, but flabbergasting, mess. Personally, I lay the blame at the feet of director Ridley Scott, whose involvement with the two recent entries was not only ill-advised – he’s certainly not the director he was in the early 1980s – but completely out of step with what made the series so exciting.

And, yes, I know that Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were hardly masterpieces. But they effectively continued what James Cameron and Scott himself had started with the first two films. This has always been a series for young upstart directors looking to further explore the already-rich visual world of H.R. Giger and deepen the cynical science fiction premises of Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. With each new entry, the Alien mythology grew – sometimes logistically, others thematically. Even the lesser films featured moments that have become iconic, not merely in the series, but in larger film culture. In fact, Alien 3 might have actually contributed the singular most memorable shot of the series, with an Alien’s dripping jaws inches away from Ripley’s terrified face.

With Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott has undoubtedly attempted to contribute more to the mythology of the Alien series, with his Engineers and creation-obsessed androids, but Scott has become one of the most prolific directors working in the 40 years since the first film. As such, his sensibilities have been well-established, through Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, The Martian, and countless others. There really isn’t much he can pull out of his hat that we haven’t already seen before, visually or tonally.

I would suggest that, if this series is to truly return to what made it great (or at least reliably intriguing), the studio needs to do what it did in the 1980s and 90s and bring in some new blood. The last ten years have seen the emergence of a number of bold and fascinating directors, still in the relative infancy of their careers. Were Twentieth Century Fox to take some risks and bring in a new crop of younger, less proven filmmakers, I think that the Alien series could be energized and once again be an exciting and vital part of the film landscape. Below are ten directors that I think could rejuvenate this flagging franchise.

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EPISODE 532: Chuck Wilson

29 May

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by LA Weekly/Village Voice film critic Chuck Wilson to discuss Pauline Kael, Barbra Streisand and more.

Tyler’s Spring Playlist

29 May

  • 1. Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels
  • 2. Summerhill Station – Brunswick Project
  • 3. Oh! You Pretty Things – David Bowie
  • 4. This Year – The Mountain Goats
  • 5. Destroyer’s the Temple – Destroyer
  • 6. Still Crazy After All These Years – Paul Simon
  • 7. I Was a Stranger – Smog
  • 8. Oh, My Stars – Nina Nastasia
  • 9. Blindly We Go – Jim White
  • 10. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down – Sam & Dave
  • 11. Shiver Me Timbers – Tom Waits
  • 12. Lua – Bright Eyes
  • 13. Bring It On Home To Me – Sam Cooke
  • 14. The Fairest Of The Seasons – Nico
  • 15. Sunflower’s Here to Stay – Angels of Light
  • 16. Slow Country – Gorillaz
  • 17. A.M. 180 – Grandaddy
  • 18. Reconte-Moi Une Histoire – M83
  • 19. Everything Will Be Alright – The Killers

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.