Archive by Author

The Fear of God: The Orphanage

20 Mar

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss J.A. Bayona’s The Orphanage.

Two-Geek Soup: Ant-Man

15 Mar

In this episode, John and Aaron discuss Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man.

Listen to “Ep.12 Two and a Half Geek Soup?!?” on Spreaker.

Classics Through the Cracks: Bad Day at Black Rock, by Bob Connally

14 Mar

Citizen Kane. Casablanca. Lawrence of Arabia. Dr. Strangelove. Films considered by virtually all movie buffs to be amongst the greatest ever made. Classics. But there are so many wonderful movies that for one reason or another have fallen through the cracks and don’t get the recognition they truly deserve. In this new series I will be writing about and hopefully encouraging people to discover the classics that they’ve been missing. Movies like Real Life, Hud, and L.A. Story just to name a few. I’ll be looking at the film, the era in which it was released, and other popular movies released in that era. For my second entry in this series I’m writing about a film that balances multiple genres while addressing racism in a far more thoughtful and nuanced way than many movies which address it today. From 1955, Bad Day at Black Rock.

In its opening shots, Bad Day at Black Rock introduces us to a speeding locomotive roaring through a desert. It is a simple but incredibly effective way to get the audience’s attention while indicating that this is a movie that will waste no time. Quickly, this opening credits sequence gives way to the sights of the small western town of Black Rock. There are seemingly few residents, none of whom appear to have done much for a long time other than to sit outside and peer into the desert. Even before a character explicitly states it on screen it’s clear from the reactions of the townspeople that the train hasn’t stopped in Black Rock for years. Despite not cutting an imposing figure, the man who steps off the train, Macreedy (Spencer Tracy) fills the citizens of this town with trepidation.


The Fear of God: The Shining

13 Mar

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Two-Geek Soup: Avengers: Age of Ultron

7 Mar

In this episode, John and Marilette discuss Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Listen to “Ep 11 “The time-travelly magic of podcast scheduling weirdness”” on Spreaker.

The Fear of God: We Need to Talk About Kevin

6 Mar

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin.

A Year with Hitchcock: The Skin Game, by Reed Lackey

27 Feb

For a director known for thrillers and suspense, I had no idea how many straight-forward domestic dramas were among his early films. Not to mention plays.

The Skin Game is yet another stage adaptation to screen, and it still mostly feels that way. However, this one benefits from impressive performances (particularly from Edmund Gwenn of Miracle on 34th Street fame) and from a tighter, more compelling script. Hitchcock also takes steps to make the film seem more cinematic than his previous outings (particularly Juno and the Paycock), utilizing the camera as more than a theatrical audience viewpoint and playing with alternate points of view (take note of the pivotal auction scene and how Hitchcock toys with expectation and information for a fun example of how the master tries to develop audience engagement).


The Fear of God: Shadow of a Doubt

27 Feb

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt.

A Year with Hitchcock: Murder!, by Reed Lackey

24 Feb

In many ways, Murder! is Hitchcock’s first example of falling just shy of expectations and potential. That’s not to say that this is a bad film. In fact, it’s often quite good. But given the potential in the premise, and the promise of Hitchcock tackling a classic whodunit formula, this could have been much more thrilling, suspenseful, and intriguing.


A Year with Hitchcock: Juno and the Paycock, by Reed Lackey

21 Feb

Whew. After two very strong entries (Hitchcock’s final silent film and his first talkie), this return to domestic drama is a sharp left turn off a steep cliff. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews in its initial run, but even Hitchcock himself regards it as something of a let-down.

Based on the play by Sean O’Casey (and also sometimes known as “The Shame of Mary Boyle”), this understated drama focuses on the fortunes and misfortunes of an Irish family amidst the turmoil of the Irish Civil War. Unfortunately that sentence I wrote is about as interesting as anything in the film.