Comic-Con 2017 Day Two, by David Bax

22 Jul

After another game of the Comic-Con Runaround threatened to leave me as frustrated as I had been on Thursday morning, I finally managed to get into the first panel on my agenda Friday, thanks to the help of my friend Ryan from CriterionCast. That panel was called Female Voices of Film Twitter and featured Friend of the Podcast Amy Nicholson as well as Personal Friend Angie Han and other notable women like Jen Yamato, moderated by the great Alicia Malone.

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Dunkirk: See it Big, by Rudie Obias

22 Jul

The newest film from Christopher Nolan is quite an experience. More than anything, Dunkirk is an intense and visceral film that puts the viewer in the middle of World War II as British and French soldiers attempt to escape from the German Army who recently occupied the country. The film is almost experimental in the way it unfolds and presented on the big screen — and I do emphasize the word “big.”

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BP’s Top 100 Challenge #43: Metropolis, by Sarah Brinks

22 Jul

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 provided such a challenge.

The last time I watched Metropolis was in my early film history class in college. I didn’t really like it as much as other silent films we watched in that class. In 2008 when they had found the missing footage and restored a nearly complete version of the film I was curious to see if I liked it better when it was complete. It turns out I had almost no memory at all of this film and was really delighted to see the fully restored version.

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Comic-Con 2017 Day One, by David Bax

21 Jul

This is my twelfth Comic-Con and, for all I know, it may be my last. I certainly wasn’t feeling that familiar jolt of con joy on Thursday morning as I navigated multiple lines that moved or didn’t move with little in the way of sense or form. I was trying to get tickets to the screening of Death Note that Netflix had planned for that evening. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get them.

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Musical Notation: David Lean Epics – The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia

20 Jul

In this episode, West plays music from director David Lean’s first two cinematic epics, The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence Of Arabia (1962).

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #45: Jules and Jim, by Sarah Brinks

19 Jul

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.

I can’t quite put my finger on what is so fascinating about love triangles, but they certainly make for great fiction. From King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot to Katniss, Gale, and Pita, fiction is full of love triangles. Jules and Jim is another strong addition to the genre. I had tried watching this film years ago and didn’t finish it. I am glad I stuck with it this time.

Rewatching the film, I see why I gave up on it about a third of the way through. The beginning is the least interesting part. It isn’t until after the war that the film starts to really get interesting for me. Once Catherine marries Jules, and Jim comes to visit, the story really takes a turn for the better. Watching the three of then navigate their relationships is fascinating and kept me entertained.

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Crossing the Streams: July 2017

19 Jul


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 cord 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, summer is officially here and you know what that means – parking your butt inside in front of air conditioning and neglecting all human contact outside of the “(Insert Streaming Service) and Chill” variety. Sure, it may be hot outside, but missing these titles before they expire will leave you feeling cold on the inside (David Caruso slips on his sunglasses and walks away).
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: A Thousand Stories Too, by Josh Long

19 Jul

Science fiction film is in a bit of a strange place in the 2010s. Star Wars is back. Star Trek is back. Even Blade Runner is back. The majority of high-profile sci-fi fare banks on nostalgia, while remaining (intentionally or not) mired in a mise en scène redefined by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Outliers that buck the pattern are risky – the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending was a critical disaster and squeaked by on a narrow worldwide profit margin.

And now, here comes Luc Besson. He’s returning to his “space opera” a la The Fifth Element, but he’s not rebooting his former work. He does base his story on comic books, but on a Franco-Belgian collaboration that is likely unfamiliar to most English speaking audiences (even though Valérian and Laureline has been around since the 1960s). So is the visionary director back to revitalize the genre, and introduce a new and exciting universe to audiences? Sort of.

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Girls Trip: Blow You Away, by David Bax

19 Jul

Despite all of the debauchery that takes place on screen, perhaps the most shocking thing about Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip is that it’s a major studio comedy that actually wants you to care about its characters. It may not delve too deep but it doesn’t need to. Once it sets up the relatable emotional status of its leads–good, old friends who haven’t gotten together in years and have slowly changed out of each other’s sight–it has built a human foundation that makes the madness to come even funnier. And Girls Trip is funny as hell.

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Il Boom: Beggars and Thieves, by David Bax

19 Jul

Vittorio De Sica’s best known work is Bicycle Thieves, about a working man on an increasingly desperate quest to maintain his livelihood and his ability to provide for his family in a society where even those who manage to get by do so with razor-thin margins. Fifteen years later, De Sica made Il Boom, which tells a similar story. This time, though, it’s a satire and our “hero” is someone we’re allowed—even encouraged—to laugh at.

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