Archive by Author

Answering the Question, by Bob Connally

24 Oct


As I write this, it is two years to the day since four students were murdered by a classmate at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington. 15 years earlier, I was a junior at that school, looking around the campus on the morning of April 21, 1999. It was the day after the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. School shootings were not as commonplace as they would become but I still remember feeling that if someone really wanted to commit such a horrific act on our campus, there would be little to stop them. Tragically, 15 years later that would turn out to be true.


Real Heroism, by Tyler Smith

23 Oct


Clint Eastwood’s Sully is the director’s latest film about real life heroism. Starting with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima in 2006, Eastwood has made several films based on inspirational true stories, though often from an odd angle (telling Nelson Mandela’s story as a function of the rugby World Cup, for example). With Sully, however, Eastwood – ever the deconstructionist – has decided to approach what could be a straightforward story and treat it as an opportunity to meditate on the very nature of heroism itself.


Episode 176: The Shallows

20 Oct


In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows and Neil Marshall’s The Descent. Please note that there are some audio issues with this episode. Thanks for your patience.

The Crowd Goes Wild, by Bob Connally

19 Oct


When This is Spinal Tap was released in 1984, the mockumentary was a relatively novel concept. One of the film’s leads, Christopher Guest, would return to it as a director and star in 1996’s Waiting for Guffman, reassembling much of Spinal Tap’s cast. The mockumentary format has become much more prevalent in the two decades since, both in Guest’s other films (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and on television (The Office, Parks and Recreation, Reno! 911, and Guest’s own Family Tree, just to name a few). However, at this point, comedy in general has been highly influenced – for better or worse – by the format. Improvisational comedy, which sees actors going on tangential riffs while the camera just rolls, has become so commonplace that it’s surprising anymore to see a comedy film or TV series that doesn’t rely on it, at least to some extent.


The Fear of God: The Thing

18 Oct


In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Doesn’t Quite Add Up, by Bob Connally

17 Oct


There’s something frustrating about a film that can’t quite decide what it wants to be. That isn’t to say that I did not enjoy Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant, but it would have done better to either commit to being a well-made, engrossing popcorn movie or a thoughtful character study about an autistic professional killer. Instead, The Accountant attempts to be both, the result being a pretty good – though decidedly flawed – movie that could have been great had the filmmakers chosen one path and fully committed to it.


Episode 175: The Witch

13 Oct


In this episode, Tyler and Reed discuss Robert Eggers’ The Witch and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

The Fear of God: They Live

11 Oct


In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss John Carpenter’s They Live.

The Real Heroes, by Jim Rohner

8 Oct


After Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four was released proceeding a wave of disastrous behind the scenes stories, everybody was looking for a villain to blame for the film’s critical and financial failure. Could it be blamed on Josh Trank, the young director that the blogosphere painted as rebellious and unprepared? Was it the fault of the studio, who was looking for someone to paint by their numbers and interfered too often? Perhaps it was a little from Column A and a little from Column B? Over a year after its release, it’s still not entirely clear who deserves the scorn for the doomed production.

Funnily enough, if you’ve paid attention to either comic books or movies in the last 20 years, then you’re aware that Trank’s Fantastic Four isn’t the first doomed attempt at bringing Reed Richards et. al. to the big screen (and, if we’re counting critical feedback, it’s not the second or even third disaster). Back in 1994, Roger Corman produced a low-budget adaptation that, depending on who you believe, was either never meant to be seen (just a $1-million-dollar exercise in contractual obligations) or had the plugged pulled on it at the last minute when the powers-to-be got wind of the machinations of a bunch of plucky underdogs.


Episode 174: Werewolf Movies

5 Oct


In this episode, Tyler is joined by author Andrew Klavan to discuss werewolf movies.

00:00:44- Intro, Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing
00:09:10- Andrew’s career, the Christian attitude towards art

00:24:20- Werewolf Cop
00:28:30- Werewolf movies
01:08:10- Episode wrap-up