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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #50: The Passion of Joan of Arc, by Sarah Brinks

28 Jun

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

Wow, here we are officially half way through the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list! The Passion of Joan of Arc is a great film to watch for the halfway point. The version of this film that I saw had a few cards at the start explaining that it had initially been heavily edited and then lost due to a fire, but the version that I saw had been found in an insane asylum in Norway and is believed to be as close to the original as possible. This story was already an incredible place to start, but then you add on to it the tragic story of Joan of Arc’s final days and it becomes even more impactful.

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Early Women Filmmakers Blu-ray/DVD Giveaway!

8 May

Did you know that more women worked in the film industry during its first two decades than at any time since? Or that a woman created some of the first narrative films ever made? Or that in 1916, the highest-paid director in Hollywood was a woman?

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Despite their incredible achievements, many early women filmmakers have been largely written out of film history, their contributions undervalued. On May 9th, Flicker Alley presents Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology on Dual-Format Edition Blu-ray/DVD, showcasing the work of 14 of early cinema’s most innovative and influential women directors, re-writing and celebrating their rightful place in film history.

Read on for your chance to win a copy!

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BP Movie Journal 3/16/17

17 Mar

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

Movies
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
GET OUT
DO THE RIGHT THING
GRADUATION
MULAN
THIS IS NOT A FILM
THE SOCIAL NETWORK

TV
30 ROCK

Home Video Hovel: The Transformers: The Movie, by David Bax

5 Nov

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From what I’ve been able to gather about the live-action Michael Bay Transformers movies (I haven’t actually seen them), the general premise of them is that alien robots or robot aliens–I’ve never been clear on which it is–invade our world, or at least a world mostly similar to the one we, the audience, inhabit. Revisiting The Transformers: The Movie for the first time this century, I was reminded that this animated 1986 feature takes the opposite approach, lifting a single human boy out of his element and into a completely alien universe of constant war. It’s like if The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy were simultaneously more aimed at children and more violent.

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Monday Movie: The 47 Ronin, by David Bax

1 Aug

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This week’s Monday Movie comes from a list I did for the Rupert Pupkin Speaks blog, detailing the best older movies I discovered in the year 2015. You can find the rest of the list here.

Describing this movie makes it sound almost like a prank. Yes, it’s about samurai plotting revenge on the man their master was executed for trying to kill. But it’s also a four hour movie that consists almost entirely of people sitting in rooms talking. The major action set-piece, the raid on the rival master’s home, happens off screen and is relayed when a letter describing the events is read aloud. Somehow, though, it remains riveting. That’s because The 47 Ronin is not really a revenge story at all. It’s about how people in a society where protocol and decorum are inextricably tied to one’s standing, honor and sense of self-worth negotiate their way through their passions and emotions. Every bit of rage, envy, love, abandon, etc. has to be made to fit the boxes prescribed by the culture. It’s more fascinating to watch than any swordfight.

Criterion Prediction #26: Sonatine, by Alexander Miller

16 Mar

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Title: Sonatine

Year: 1993

Director: Takeshi ‘Beat” Kitano

Cast: Beat Takeshi, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura, Susumu Terajima and Aya Kokumai

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I Do Movies Badly: A Christmas Carol

16 Dec

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In this episode, Jim discusses the 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

New to Home Video 11/3/15

3 Nov

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Nasty Baby: A Promise with a Catch, by David Bax

21 Oct

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Sebastian Silva’s Nasty Baby is a deftly naturalistic portrait of the lives and social circles of three well-to-do Bohemian New Yorkers. Silva’s camera is always in motion but never jarring and the realistic dialogue overlaps in improvisatory waves. In the end, though, this naturalism is the film’s undoing. Nasty Baby‘s firm footing in reality is irrevocably upended when the screenplay forces the characters to behave in a decidedly unnatural fashion.

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Bridge of Spies: No Country for Good Men, by David Bax

15 Oct

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Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies starts off deceptively, with the opening titles and the texted prologue in a simplistic font that mirrors the lean and straightforward approach to the early part of the story. In its extended first act, the film rushes forward excitingly. But when the scope broadens, things peter out like water exiting an unattended hose to splash uselessly on the pavement.

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