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Jim’s Seventh Favorite Film

29 Oct

When it’s all said and done, John Carpenter likely won’t go down in history being spoken of in the same breath as Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, John Ford or any other director whose name is synonymous with path paving, pioneering or inspiring future generations. Despite directing a few titles that have resonated with audiences enough to be re-visited and reshaped by others (Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog), Carpenter has also directed his fair share of clunkers (pretty much his entire output since the 90s minus In the Mouth of Madness) or titles that aren’t easy to classify by the mainstream (Big Trouble in Little China, They Live).

Because of this, it’s easier for people to overlook Carpenter’s legacy or discredit his successes as anomalies than it is to admit that the man who wrote, “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum” is a skilled filmmaker. But if one wanted to prove that Carpenter’s success and worth were warranted, he or she would have to look no further than The Thing as Exhibit A, B and C.

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We’re All Mad Here, by Reed Lackey

28 Oct

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Besides Stephen King, the name in literature most synonymous with the macabre and horror genre would have to be Edgar Allan Poe. And like King, Poe’s work has been siphoned for decades to fuel film adaptations, mostly in the 1960s by Roger Corman starring Vincent Price.

The latest adaptation from this notorious master of the grotesque is Stonehearst Asylum, directed by Brad Anderson. It boasts a notable cast, including Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine and a rich choice of source material in Poe’s story, “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.” If you are at all familiar with that story, then much of the film’s conceit will already be known to you, but since that story doesn’t involve a pendulum, a heart, or a raven, I’ll assume you haven’t read it.

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We Are Our Own, by Reed Lackey

7 Oct

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They used to tell me something about spiders when I was a kid—something they still say, actually: “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” I never believed that for a second. Sure, I was a giant in their world, but they had the ability to hide and the speed and the fangs. They were venomous.

Something else “they” used to tell me growing up—whoever “they” happened to be—was not to be my own worst enemy in life. They meant, of course, that people have a tendency to sabotage the good things in their life, whether they do so intentionally or not. This idea is explored in both literal and metaphorical ways in Enemy, last year’s film by Denis Villeneuve starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

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The Aim of a Film, by Reed Lackey

3 Oct

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I’ve seen films that inspired me, challenged me, provoked me, entertained me, amused me, and bored me. All of these effects, except perhaps the last one, can specifically be intended by the filmmaker and I believe that a fully formed criticism should at least attempt to consider such intentions when evaluating whether or not the film works.

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Minisode 49: Braveheart

12 Sep

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In this minisode, Tyler and Josh discuss Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, winner of Best Picture for 1995.

Episode 109: A Most Wanted Man

14 Aug

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In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, and Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN
00:00:44- Intro, Robin Williams tribute
00:02:45- Feeding My Faith
00:03:25- Alpha Omega Con, Donations
00:08:05- Believe Me
00:10:35- A Most Wanted Man
00:54:22- Traffic
1:31:25- Episode wrap-up

DOWNLOADABLE MP3

A Shared Life, by Reed Lackey

12 Aug

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I was in my high school English class when I first learned about poetry from John Keating. I was working my first job at a video rental store when I witnessed Sean Maguire put Will Hunting on the right path in life. I was eleven years old when I first heard the Genie say, “You ain’t never had a friend like me!”

These names are just characters, like countless others in the world of fiction and film. But these particular names, along with so many others like Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mork from Ork (nanu, nanu) were brought to life by the incomparable Robin Williams.

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Tyler talks Guardians of the Galaxy

6 Aug

Minisode 46: Shakespeare in Love

31 Jul

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In this minisode, Tyler and Josh discuss John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love, winner of Best Picture of 1998.

 
DOWNLOADABLE MP3

Episode 107: Gravity

18 Jul

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In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, as well as Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN
00:00:44- Intro, music, Comic-Con meetup
00:10:35- Gravity
00:39:06- The Darjeeling Limited
01:06:30- Episode wrap-up


 DOWNLOADABLE MP3