In this episode, Tyler and Reed Lackey discuss Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen.
00:00:45- Intro, BP Alien commentaries, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, talking during movies
00:20:35- Avengers: Age of Ultron
01:16:40- The Dirty Dozen
1:52:25- Superhero movies, episode wrap-up
The first and biggest problem with Infernal, though sadly far from the only one, is its decision to emulate the “found footage” format when telling its story.
If you don’t know that term, it first came to prominence with The Blair Witch Project in 1999 and refers to a filming style wherein the narrative appears to play out as if it were captured by a home video camera: with shaky camera work, out of focus shots, and intentionally awkward angles. Since the release and success of “Blair Witch”, dozens of movies ranging from low-budget independents to major studio efforts have sought to imitate the format, with mixed results. The most recent mainstream success franchise to use this format has been the Paranormal Activity films.
One of my biggest criticisms of the genre known as the “Christian film” is that the films too often feel reactionary. Rather than being created from a desire to tell a good story and tell it well, many films in the “Christian” genre are responding to a specific cultural condition with a specific message and an undeniable agenda.
The latest film to fall into this category is Old Fashioned, written and directed by Rik Swartzwelder, who also stars as the lead role opposite Elizabeth Roberts. The film centers around a couple whose romance is more akin to “courtship” than dating and was specifically marketed as the Evangelical response to 50 Shades of Grey. I should be upfront about the fact that I wasn’t expecting much from it.
But the marketing campaign was probably a disservice to the film because what I saw offered me a few surprises, which not only endeared it to me as a positive entry in the “Christian film” genre, but also gave me some glimmers of hope for where that genre might be headed.
For most of my life, and likely for all of the rest of it, I have been torn between whether I will be governed by my reason or by my emotions. I’m a critical thinker and a logical problem solver with a deductive-reasoning mindset. I’m also a highly sensitive and often emotionally vulnerable man.
Picture with me, for a moment, a machine. It has its own circuits, electrical impulses, and energy source. But this machine’s purpose extends beyond programmable functions to re-programmable functions. In other words, this machine can learn, can reason, and can deduce. It can evolve.
For about six months now, I’ve been trying to figure out what the big deal is about Boyhood. I had heard about the inventive filmmaking technique (segments filmed once a year for twelve years so that the actors age with the story), and that concept thrilled and fascinated me. I’ve enjoyed most of director Richard Linklater’s other works– particularly his Before trilogy of movies with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy– and the initial critical praise was overwhelmingly positive.
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.