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Archive for the tag “movies”

TALKING BACK TO THE MOVIES: Rian Johnson

Looper Poster 2

Rian Johnson is about to be one of the biggest filmmakers on the planet. The man is bringing us the middle piece of a new STAR WARS trilogy, the EMPIRE STRIKES BACK of this much-awaited series. But long before his name became one of interest to the culture at large, Johnson was already a huge figure in the filmmaking world. Read more…

TALKING BACK TO THE MOVIES: The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Avengers Age of Ultron Team

Another TBttM series successfully brought to completion!*

*Don’t laugh

Almost double the length of our previous record-holding series, The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made for a fun summer sojourn into franchise land. My co-host Gabe Levy and I (TV’s Kevin Lanigan) are ecstatic to bring you these twelve episodes that we are very proud of–or “of which you are very proud” if you gotta be that way. Each one comes with a lively discussion of blockbuster filmmaking, and many have accompanying segments about Marvel Television, in case that wasn’t enough for you. If you’ve been waiting for the series to be done to jump on board, now’s the prime time to do it.

And don’t worry: we’ll be back every few months with another episode in this series each time Marvel gets up off its butt and decides to spit out another one of these. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and I’ll link to each of the episodes on SoundCloud below. Read more…

TALKING BACK TO THE MOVIES: Francis Ford Coppola (in the 1970s)

the godfather

I am very proud of my podcast, Talking Back to the Movies. My pal, roommate, and fellow filmmaker Gabe Levy and myself have established a nice little podcast in just under twenty episodes. We have talked about all sorts of films with a variety of genres and intents. And though neither Gabe nor myself are much for the “films just used to be better” mindset, it was about time that we covered some true classics of American film. And so came in our discussion of Francis Ford Coppola in the 1970s. Read more…

In Praise of the Great Good Movie

galaxy quest

This one goes out to all the wonderful 3 out of 4 star movies, beloved by all. This does not go out to crap.

Not every film is going to change the world. Some movies change our entire outlook on certain issues, shaping our viewpoint in a bold, new way. Some affect us on such a deep and emotional level that we hesitate to ever watch them again, for fear of being rendered a slobbering, tear-stained blob once more.

But there are some films (rare though they may be) that simply aim to entertain. They aim to tell you a story, complete that story, and most likely make you laugh as you marvel at just how many famous people got paid to be in this thing.

I am one of those avid film-watchers that gets slammed because I “just don’t like fun movies. Why are you being so critical? It’s just there to have a good time.” So let me clarify something: I don’t hate fun. Like most people, I enjoy fun. Sometimes, when I’m not debating within myself whether every choice in Citizen Kane was the correct one, I like to just pop in a flick and have a good time. However, fun movies are not precluded from criticism. Read more…

2015: The Year Movie Theatres Exploded

2015 Movies

In 2015, we will all die. Normally, doomsday predictions are reserved for the criminally insane or people who think Mayans have a lot in the way of life advice and cosmic awareness. Ordinarily, I don’t subscribe to such fears because what have the Mayans done for us lately? However, I am going to now proclaim 2015 as the end of days. Those of you in the St. Louis area will soon see me in nothing but my underpants and a dirty army uniform holding up cardboard signs on street corners proclaiming how “The End is Nigh!”

Take a close look at the photo I posted above. If it doesn’t simply boggle your mind, then you may want to look around for that thing somewhere because you lost that noise long ago. The absolutely dumbfounding slate of big-budget films coming out in 2015 is both staggering and absolutely terrifying.

24.

There are 24 films coming out in 2015 that will cost over $100 million dollars. That’s just production costs. That’s not including the cost of taking out millions of ads across the globe, not to mention all the lawyers that have to be paid to ensure Katniss Everdeen gets the Subway advertisements she so richly deserves. I’m gob smacked, dumbfounded, and knocked on my ass simultaneously at all of this. And it’s terrible for a number of reasons. From the top… Read more…

Ten Overshadowed Performances

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just don’t get your due. Often that involves people cutting in line, unplanned pregnancies, or surprise hurricanes. But sometimes it is you giving a great acting performance only to have your work covered up by someone that everyone paid attention to more. You could call this the “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.”

Obviously, this is not every performance that has ever been overlooked. If you can think of one, leave it down in the comments, or yell at me on Twitter.

Art Mullen Justified Nick Searcy

10.)    Nick Searcy as Art Mullen on Justified Read more…

Ten Disappointing Movies- A Mexican Standoff

If there’s one thing film nerds can be accused of, it’s perhaps letting themselves get their expectations a little too high when it comes to the craft they love. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. If The World’s End winds up stinking, I am going to absolutely devastated, and probably inconsolable, liable to be lured out of my sorrow cocoon only by high-quality chocolate and cuddles.

Comic book movies get the blunt end of this stick especially, and I’m going to try my best to prevent this list from getting overwhelmed with spandex and Shakespearian actors collecting a hardy paycheck. Because of this Iron Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 will not be appearing on this list. But they’ll probably be on the next one.

Also not on this list is Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as that is the easiest cop-out answer to this question. That being said…

Pearl Harbor Movie Poster

10.)    Pearl Harbor Read more…

Top Ten Comic Book Movies- A Mexican Standoff

I’ve been wanting to make this post for a while, but held off until Man of Steel came out to see where it would place on this list. Turns out the movie stinks, and, as you can read at length in my review, it will certainly not be appearing here.

Just about every film blog has their own version of this, so it’s about time I chimed in on the debate because, hey, I, too, like Internet traffic.

Hopefully you’ll see some things here that you haven’t elsewhere, or at least will enjoy hearing from someone who doesn’t talk about the comics BECAUSE THESE ARE MOVIES AND NOT COMIC BOOKS.

I keep this list mostly in the superhero vain, so you won’t find projects like Persepolis or Ghost World here, no matter how interesting they may be. You also won’t find Watchmen, Burton’s Batman films or any Superman films at all, mostly because I don’t think they hold up well or are even very good.

Also, only one film per franchise, so Nolan’s Batman films can only claim one spot on this list.

Movies I Haven’t Seen: Any of the Blade films, Punisher: War Zone, and anything past the first ten minutes of The Amazing Spider-Man

Kick-Ass

10.)    Kick-Ass Read more…

Top Ten Fictional Companies- A Mexican Standoff

The following, as you may have been able to discern from the title as you are most likely a keen traverser of the Internet and thus can put two and two together, is a list of the best companies to be found in fiction. If I missed one, feel free to yell at me in the comments below. Be sure to subscribe so you can really give it to me.

Reaper Cast Workbench

10.) The Work Bench, Reaper Read more…

“Better Than Bladerunner”- Top Fifteen Uses of Voiceover- A Mexican Standoff

Voiceover is a mechanic that I hate. Most of the time, it’s superfluous and annoying and really just only explains the absolute obvious, pandering straight down into the audience’s faces. Personally, it turns me off.

That’s why proper use of the mechanic should be awarded. It’s not without its merits. Sometimes it’s necessary to understanding the plot, while others use it for an added injection of comedy. It can be a handy feature, but only if used correctly. The items on this list will be immortalized for their not being as bad as the voiceover from Bladerunner.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The entire genre of film noir has been discounted from this list, as the vast majority of its films contain voiceover and it’s all so strikingly similar that it’s hard to differentiate them. That being said, on with the list…

Mean Girls

15.) Mean Girls Read more…

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