False Note, by Bob Connally

6 Apr

Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) is a troubled teen who has moved from home to home since the death of his parents. After A Week Away’s opening scene in which he is arrested for “stealing a police car,” which he isn’t driving at any point during said scene, we are given Will’s lengthy rap sheet as he is told the only option now for him is juvenile hall. Will’s officer (Ed Amatrudo) tells the audien – I mean, Will, that he’s a “great kid,” even though he’s just given us no evidence of that. It’s indicative of the many problems to come that between both the stolen police car and our protagonist’s personality, A Week Away jumps right into the, “Tell, Don’t Show,” school of screenwriting.

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Fireworks, by Bob Connally

5 Apr

A few years ago in my review of Kong: Skull Island, I wrote, “Sometimes we want to see a gigantic gorilla smash things.” Of course, while much has changed in our world since that time, that’s an eternal and universal truth. So as movie theaters gradually re-open across the country, the opportunity to see a gigantic gorilla and a gigantic lizard smash things and indeed, each other, has emerged and many people who have not ventured into a movie theater in over a year are taking that opportunity. Being that there are still many theaters that remain closed and because many are understandably averse to going into public for reasons other than buying groceries, Warner Bros. is offering Godzilla vs. Kong on its streaming service, HBO Max, at this same time. So is this monster brawl worth watching and if so, is it worth seeing in a theater?

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The Fear of God: Child’s Play (1988)

30 Mar

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss the first appearance of Chuckie, Child’s Play (1988).

A Cold Warrior, by Bob Connally

29 Mar

Since the 1950s, the Cold War spy film has become such a staple that it could really be classified as its own genre and it’s been an incredibly popular one at that. Other than probably Sherlock Holmes, there may not be a more recognizable character name in the world than James Bond. In the wake of the wild success of the early Bond films of the ’60s, spy movies of all kinds flooded cinemas. Serious fare such as excellent The Spy Who Came in From the Cold was accompanied by the goofy fun of the Flint movies starring James Coburn. The now-legendary Michael Caine had his own spy franchise at that time starring as British agent Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, and Billion Dollar Brain. Some of Alfred Hitchcock’s later films such as Torn Curtain and Topaz directly told Cold War espionage stories. 

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Episode 239: Sound of Metal

20 Mar

In this episode, Tyler discusses Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal and John Sayles’ Passion Fish.

Mystery Machine, by Bob Connally

14 Feb

At the age of 12, Abe Applebaum solved “The Case of the Missing Fundraiser Money.” This led to a career as a kid detective, solving mostly minor cases for his classmates in his small town of Willowbrook, becoming a local celebrity. His secretary, Gracie, “worked for soda pop.” When they were 14, Gracie was kidnapped and Abe felt the weight of expectation to bring her home. Nearly 20 years later, Abe (Adam Brody) is still a detective with his own office in Willowbrook. Sadly though, Abe sees himself as an utter failure for not finding Gracie and the people of the town are no longer impressed by his past achievements.

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Episode 238: A Conversation with Katie Leigh and Will Ryan

27 Jan

In this episode, Tyler is joined by voice actors Katie Leigh and Will Ryan to discuss their respective careers.

Episode 237: Blow the Man Down

15 Jan

In this episode, Tyler discusses Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s Blow the Man Down and Wayne Kramer’s The Cooler.

The Light University

7 Jan

A new film history class taught by Tyler Smith is available at The Light University. A four-part, six-hour class that takes the student through the artistic and technological developments of film from its inception, “Film History 101” is a great primer for the budding film student! Only $49.99!

Click here to find out more!

Breaking the Sound and Sight Barrier, by Reed Lackey

18 Dec

It is a rare gift to stumble across a film about which you had heard and seen almost nothing and discovering a work of precision, artfulness, and profound emotional resonance. Silence & Darkness, the debut feature from writer and director Barak Barkan, is an intimate and deeply compelling work, inviting viewers into a hypnotic world between two sisters – one blind, the other deaf – and the terror and hope that is present in the life they share together.

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