Movie Magic, by Bob Connally

19 Nov

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It’s difficult not to be wary of films detailing the backstories of our favorite movies. Between the disastrous Star Wars prequel trilogy and the decision to turn the relatively short novel The Hobbit into three bloated films adding up to the length of a full day’s work, there was reason to be concerned about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling was writing the screenplay herself, it would have been hard to see it as much more than a desperate cash grab by Warner Bros. Especially when it was recently announced that there would be five films in this new series set in the Potterverse, decades before Harry was even born. It turns out that Rowling was all the reason fans needed to feel confident because this first film in the series is a complete joy to watch.

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Minisode 92: Ben-Hur

17 Nov

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In this minisode, Tyler and Josh discuss William Wyler’s Ben-Hur, the Best Picture of 1959.

The Fear of God: Unfriended

15 Nov

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In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Levan Gabriadze’s Unfriended.

The Fear of God: Wytches

8 Nov

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In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Scott Snyder’s comic book Wytches.

War is Fine, by Bob Connally

8 Nov

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Films about real life historical heroes are often given a pass by a certain percentage of their audience. Regardless of the quality of the movie, the mere fact that the story of a laudable figure is being told is enough for some viewers. It’s as though the film is above reproach because its subject is someone- or something- to be admired. Hacksaw Ridge will certainly have many singing its high praises because the man at the center of its story, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), was such a great hero.

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One of a Kind, by Tyler Smith

4 Nov

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Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter is a beautiful and fascinating work of art. It is a film of intangibles, borrowing its tone and imagery from various genres while never belonging to any of them. Somehow it manages to stand alone, defying categorization. That the film was the sole directorial effort of Laughton – a venerable character actor since the 1930s – only adds to its mystique. Not only is it difficult to speak about the film in regards to genre, but it also sidesteps any discussion of auteurism, as we have no previous nor future works by the director to compare it to. Given the surreal, dreamlike quality of both the visual and thematic elements of the film, it seems appropriate that it would remain so academically elusive. It is a film that insists we first view it on its own terms, rather than try to fit it into any larger theories.

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Eternal Significance, by Tyler Smith

4 Nov

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Just when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was starting to bore me, along comes horror director Scott Derrickson to completely re-energize it. This film not only feels like a breath of fresh air narratively, but visually, as well. It’s been a long time since a movie’s visual effects left me stunned, but Doctor Strange features such virtuoso filmmaking that I found myself asking not merely how the director did it, but how he even conceived of it. That is the mark of true creativity and freshness. While so many other films in the MCU were phoning it in, Doctor Strange sets out to genuinely intrigue and astound its audience.

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Episode 178: Best of Enemies

3 Nov

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In this politically-charged episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville’s Best of Enemies and Robert Altman’s Secret Honor.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN
00:00:44- Intro, Halloweentimes, The Ides of March episode
00:05:25- Best of Enemies, politics
00:56:50- Secret Honor
01:12:54- Episode wrap-up

The Fear of God: The Babadook

1 Nov

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In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook.

Scare Zones, by Jason Eaken

30 Oct

The epic 25th year of the nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, marks the biggest, longest and most intense event in history with nine haunted mazes, five unique scare zones and two thrilling shows. On select nights Sept. 18 through Nov. 1, guests can visit Universal Orlando’s theme parks by day and by night, become victims of their own horror film at Halloween Horror Nights 25.

Put yourself in a dark hallway. You can’t see much, you’re feeling your way through. You come around a corner and in this part of the hall, there are doors on both sides. You’re nervous something might come out of one of the doors, and for good reason, because suddenly Freddy Krueger jumps out from one door. His knife-hand swipes across the hall, barely missing you!

A hockey mask and machete lunge out from the other side. They belong to none other than Jason Voorhees, who towers over you. Things have gone from bad to worse, because these two maniacs are blocking the hallway, and in order to get past them, you have to turn sideways and slide between them, ducking under Freddy and Jason’s weapons, as they try to slice you to pieces.

That’s just one moment from the final act of the Freddy vs. Jason scare maze at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. If the above made you want to sleep with the lights on, you’ll be in for a long night.

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