We’ve just seen Annihilation, and boy are our minds blown. Written and directed by Alex Garland and starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaacs, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, it features a plot that it is alien, wondrous, unfathomable, and terrifying, with visuals to match. It compares favorably to The Arrival, and is the kind of movie we wanted Alien: Covenant to be. It’s just too bad that Paramount had so little faith in the film, in our eyes they had something special on their hands, and we feel sorry for the international audience that is going to see this for the first time on the small screen. For everybody in the US, Canada, and China, go see this film!
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a great super hero film, and an even better launching point into interesting discussions about the politics of colonialism and liberation. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the Panther himself, and Michael B. Jordan as the best Marvel villain since Magneto, the movie is a constant challenge to one’s complacency and sense of justice. Wakanda looks amazing, the cast is fantastic, the world they are building is both visually and philosophically amazing, to the point that one of the films weaknesses is that we were desperate to learn and know more.
Thanks to Melonusk for commissioning the 2005 french crime drama, De Battre Mon Cœur S’est Arrêté, or The Beat That My Heart Skipped. It tells the tale of a criminal operating in the lowest levels of French crime that has an unexpected opportunity to follow his dreams of being a concert pianist. Pulled in two directions by the expectations of his father and his equally demanding, far less criminal piano tutor, director Jacques Audiard (director of Bald Move fave Un Prophète) finds clever ways of increasing the tension between the two paths that lie open to him. We enjoyed the cyclical themes of father/son, teacher/student, infatuation/love and are once again impressed with Audiard’s storytelling ability, even if Jim questions how much story we’re actually being told.
We’re watching the 1993 movie Groundhog Day for 24 hours, starting on February 2nd, 2018 @ 12:01AM EST.
Please support the National Alliance to End Homelessness during our marathon by donating here! Donating at that link ensures that our goal progress will be tracked properly, and you’ll get an onscreen credit when you give!
Special thanks to Saylor from Santa Cruz, the latest Bald Move Fantasy Football champ to claim their prize for winning the league. Emerging from the pile victorious, he has selected the 1997 vampire flick, The Lost Boys. Helmed by Joel Schumacher and chocked equally full of cool and hilarious moments and extremely questionable decisions, the film manages to confound and delight. Why is 16 year old Corey Haim taking baths and being tucked into bed by his mother? Why is there a shirtless oiled up, muscle bound sax player? Why is Rob Lowe gazing seductively from Haim’s bedroom closet, and more importantly, why is Jim completely oblivious to his siren’s call? Is the grandpa a vampire or what? All these questions and more are explored in the depth to which they deserve.
Today’s podcast was commissioned by Rylan, by virtue of his victory in the famed Bald Move Fantasy Football league. To the victor go the spoils, and Rylan has claimed the 2000 slasher/satire/thriller, American Psycho. Directed by Mary Harron and starring Christian Bale, the movie is dark, disturbing, hilarious in places, and provoked a lot of thoughts and opinions from Jim and I. What does it mean to be a sociopath, how much of this film is reality and how much is fantasy, what does it say about society and the conflict between our stated and actual values?
Special thanks to Sean Ray (previous commissioner of the Insidious series, and Blood Simple) for commissioning this late 80’s Ridley Scott crime thriller, Black Rain. Michael Douglas plays a cop alongside Andy Garcia that gets mixed up in a gang war between the Yakuza and a rival upstart over counterfeit US currency. The film explores the intercultural exchange as Douglas’s corrupt and brash NYC cop runs into the brick wall of Japanese police decorum and honor, but how successful it is in that exploration is an open question. The film is great looking, has some solid action sequences, and hilarious Michael Douglas hair, and it’s concepts don’t quite stand the test of time. But Andy Garcia’s chest hair is magnificent.
We saw The Post tonight, the star-studded retelling of The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, the internal history commissioned by the Dept. of Defense that detailed the long list of failures in America’s involvement politically and militarily in Vietnam, risking financial ruin and jail time. Told from the perspective of the owner of the Post, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), and her editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), as they wrestle with their own cozy relationships with previous and current presidential administrations and the legal, financial, and ethical risks of defying the government. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more impressive cast, the film is gorgeous and extremely well written and tells a powerful and important story of how vital a free press is to the health of our nation.
Today’s commissioned podcast is one for the pantheon, Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece of satire, Dr. Strangelove. Kubrick set out to make a nuclear thriller, but instead decided to lean heavily into the existential absurdism that was and still is the world’s nuclear weapon deterrent, mutual assured destruction. Hey, it’s worked for sixty years, let’s keep the streak going! Special thanks to our committee of commissioners, “Breaking Bad Fest” Jennie, Gulleen, Manoj, Flash Gordon, Anthony, leaplizard, hiroprotagonist2002, tingudu, Don M, Zack Z, Sean R, and Alex K for making this happen. We loved revisiting this film and it’s as funny and relevant today as it was back in ’64. Enjoy!
A.Ron went back and saw the newest Star Wars on his holiday break, and has a lot more to say. He turns to life long friend and fellow fan Jim Jones to help him talk through is feelings about the film, and his fears for the future of the franchise. Maybe you feel me, maybe you don’t, but I hope you all accept it as my honest analysis of the film. If you want to hear our first impressions, you can get them here.