Archive by Author

Dwelling on the Past, by Bob Connally

17 Nov

Two years ago in my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I wrote that, “It’s difficult not to be wary of films detailing the backstories of our favorite movies.” Thankfully that movie was a far cry from The Phantom Menace. Instead of being a direct prequel to the Harry Potter series that focuses on Dumbledore, it was a film with entirely new characters in a different time and place in the history of the Wizarding World. Its hero, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) was not your typical protagonist. Withdrawn, he isn’t yearning for adventure and he has no desire to do battle with anybody. He just wants to be left to take special care of the “fantastic beasts” he loves so much and to help the rest of the Wizarding World understand them as he does. Newt would likely be someone the hero would meet along the way in most movies. An odd but likable helper who might be there to lend a hand for a couple of scenes in the second act. Maybe he’d show up again at the end after the climactic action sequence. His being the lead gave Fantastic Beasts a unique feel.

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Repair Work, by Reed Lackey

15 Nov

You’d expect a film with such a gimmicky title as Ralph Breaks the Internet to be little more than a sequence of pop culture sight gags and hopefully clever one-liners. You’d maybe expect an overwrought moral conclusion about the toxic dangers of how technology has irrevocably damaged our society. Perhaps you’d even expect a tidy little ending where our characters have all learned a valuable lesson but nothing has really changed very much.

What you probably wouldn’t expect – or at least I didn’t – is a strikingly thoughtful and often genuinely touching film about the both painful and hopeful nature of friendship and community. You certainly wouldn’t expect it to be one of the best sequels Disney has ever produced. I mean, come on… it’s called Ralph Breaks the Internet, for crying out loud.

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The Fear of God: The Stand

13 Nov

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Stephen King’s epic The Stand. 

Minisode 118: Teaching

8 Nov

In this minisode, Tyler recounts his experiences as a grad student and teacher.

XL: The Temptation of Christ

8 Nov

The Fear of God: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3

7 Nov

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

The Fear of God: Poltergeist (1982)

30 Oct

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist.

The Importance of Awareness, by Bob Connally

26 Oct

“If society got its ideas about people with disabilities from TV,” states disabled actor Robert David Hall (CSI) at the beginning of CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion, “they would think that basically we’re either pathetic or superpeople.” It really only takes a cursory trip through our movie and TV memory banks to know that Hall is correct about that. Director Jenni Gold’s documentary is a thorough examination of why and how this idea has taken root. She goes back to the earliest depictions of the disabled on screen, beginning with Thomas Edison’s 1897 short, The Fake Beggar.

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The Fear of God: A Nightmare on Elm Street

23 Oct

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Episode 218: Annihilation

18 Oct

In this episode, Tyler and Reed discuss Alex Garland’s Annihilation and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine.