Almost No Time, by Bob Connally

7 Oct

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We pick up where we left off in the glorious month of October 1983. It saw the release of one of my favorite films of all time, The Right Stuff, and the most recent World Series championship for my beloved Baltimore Orioles who beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1. I wish I had been more than a month and a half old at the time. What it also saw was the not quite so glorious but still very notable return of Sean Connery to the role of James Bond.

Never Say Never Again (1983): It’s considered unofficial as far as the franchise goes as it was not produced by the Broccoli-Saltzman team. However, I’ve always looked at it as Sean Connery is playing James Bond. It counts. The legal battle between the official Bond producers and Thunderball co-writer Kevin McClory, who owned the rights to SPECTRE, and the character of Blofeld, is incredibly convoluted and there are a number of articles that cover it in detail so I won’t go diving into that here. The movie’s existence and indeed Connery’s participation in it was based primarily on McClory and Connery wanting to stick it to Broccoli and Saltzman. As for the film itself, it’s a remake of Thunderball and while it’s nothing special, in all honesty, I enjoy this take on it more than the original. I can hear a few of you booing now and while I’m not going to die on the hill of Never Say Never Again being a great or, for that matter, even very good movie, it’s mildly entertaining enough and Connery is clearly enjoying being back in the role far more than he did in You Only Live Twice or Diamonds Are Forever. This one also spends significantly less time underwater. All in all, it was the best James Bond movie of 1983 and when you’re riding high on the Orioles winning the World Series and waiting for The Right Stuff to come out next weekend, that’ll do.

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Episode 242: Parasite

5 Oct

In this episode, Tyler discusses Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park.

The Spy We Loved, by Bob Connally

5 Oct

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It’s been a year and a half of waiting since No Time to Die’s original release date but as October 8 approaches, James Bond fans eagerly await the final entry of Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007. My relationship to the Bond franchise is a bit of an odd one. I have seen every film in the series and there’s nothing quite like when one of these movies really connects. But for me, there are far more mediocre or outright bad Bond movies than good ones. So why do I get excited every time a new one is about to come out? Because I know how entertaining they can be when they get it right. So with that, let’s take a trip through every single James Bond movie in preparation for No Time to Die.

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Lord of the Ten Rings, by Bob Connally

11 Sep

2021 hasn’t been the busiest year in the world of film or television, with many releases and productions still being delayed, but Marvel Studios has already churned out more in a calendar year than ever before. Four TV shows on Disney Plus along with two films already released and two more movies to come before year’s end. This MCU avalanche has kicked off the franchise’s Phase Four as Marvel charts a new course after its decade in the making payoff of Avengers: Endgame

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Listen to the Music, by Bob Connally

6 Sep

Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones) is a young girl in high school but she’s already had a great responsibility aiding her family. Both of her parents and her older brother are deaf so her ability to hear has helped them greatly in their family fishing business in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Going out on the water every morning before school makes staying awake through the day difficult and her classmates mock her for being the child of deaf adults (or “CODA”). Her great escape is singing, which she joyfully does around her family who can’t hear her anyway. She honestly has no idea if she’s any good at it or not. Nervously, she joins the school choir to find out. To Ruby’s surprise, she’s not only good, her teacher Mr. Villalobos (Eugenio Derbez) sees something incredibly special in her.

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Episode 241: First Reformed

21 Aug

In this episode, Tyler discusses Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.

Dynamic Do-Over, by Bob Connally

7 Aug

Five years ago, almost to the day, I wrote my first ever review for More Than One Lesson. It was for Suicide Squad and I concluded it with, “In this age of constantly remaking the wrong movies I can’t help but feel that Suicide Squad is exactly the sort of movie that someday should be remade. There’s potential with this premise and these characters. David Ayer couldn’t deliver. Maybe in about twenty years, someone else can. Maybe we’ll get to see the Suicide Squad this movie should have been.” Well, it’s not really a remake and it’s 15 years earlier than I had predicted but Warner Bros. and DC clearly learned from their mistakes on the 2016 film. That movie was taken out of Ayer’s hands and edited by a trailer company to try to fool audiences into thinking they were seeing a James Gunn film. This time, WB and DC actually hired Gunn and it would appear that they largely stayed out of his way creatively (or as much as ever happens with movies like this). While the end result is certainly not a masterpiece, it is a significant improvement over its predecessor.

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An Actor Repairs, by Bob Connally

21 Jul

Thanks to technology and social media, today we are able to document as much of our lives as we please but long before smartphones or Instagram, Val Kilmer was shooting thousands of hours of footage on film and video from a very young age. Having recently survived a throat cancer diagnosis that has left him needing a tracheostomy tube to breathe and speak, he is using that material to tell the story he has long wanted to tell about acting and about the “line between truth and illusion.” Directors Ting Poo and Leo Scott have taken the actor’s treasure trove of footage and crafted a fascinating and moving look at Kilmer’s life.

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Search for Swine, by Bob Connally

17 Jul

When the basic premise of a film is Nicolas Cage plays a man in search of his lost pig, it’s highly probable that one’s first thought will be, “Oh, man, get ready for Full Cage.” Some people will be excited by that, others won’t. But from the very start, Michael Sarnoski’s excellent debut feature reveals itself to be something else entirely and Cage reminds those who may have forgotten just how great he can really be without going “Full Cage.” Pig, it turns out, is something very special.

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Jane Wick, by Bob Connally

15 Jul

After the release of Die Hard in 1988, action movies for the next decade imitated Die Hard. Then in 1999, The Matrix came along and action movies imitated that. Then it was the Bourne movies with their frenetic editing, but since 2014 the most imitated action film has been John Wick. From its trailer and based on part of its premise, it would appear that Navot Papushado’s Gunpowder Milkshake would be another in a long line of riffs on the Keanu Reeves franchise and while there are certainly similarities, there’s a more lighthearted tone here that some audiences may not appreciate. While Papushado’s film certainly has its issues, there’s an inventiveness and sense of fun to it all that make this well worthwhile. Just don’t expect the grit of Wick.

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