Thursday, January 17, 2019

Fourth Chair Army Invasion | Batman ’43



Fourth Chair Army Invasion is now a monthly feature on the Nerd Lunch feed, and to kick that off Evan Hanson, Jay Ryan, Paxton Holley, and I hang out in the sinister Bats Cave, talking about the first screen appearance of the Dark Knight in the 1943 serial, Batman. There are thrills and there are shudders, but mostly there’s a lot of laughter as we spelunk deep into the Caped Crusader’s history.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

73 Movies I Missed from 2018 (Part 2)

Annihilation



There's really no excuse for my missing this one. I was pretty interested in it and I certainly had opportunities, but I never got around to it.

Isle of Dogs



I dig some Wes Anderson stuff, but he's not an instant sell for me. These puppets are gorgeous though and dog movies are an interest in my house. More for my wife and son than for me, but their enthusiasm rubs off. In an unusual move, they went to see this while I was out of town, so I never circled back to catch up on it.

Black '47



Historical drama set in Ireland during the Great Famine. And look! Hugo Weaving.

A Wrinkle in Time



I didn't read the book until sometime in the last couple of years, so I don't have the nostalgic fascination with the story that many of my friends do. I find it pretty impenetrable in places, but that makes me more interested in seeing how other people approach and adapt it. This version didn't get great reviews, but I'm still curious.

Mary Magdalene



Another historical drama; this one featuring one of the Bible's most enigmatic and provocative characters. I really want to see what approach this film takes. Heckuva cast, too.

A Quiet Place



Another one that I absolutely should have seen already. I was super excited about it, never got around to it, decided to wait for Halloween, then got really busy then, too. Soooon...

Galveston



I'm pretty sure I have Nic Pizzolatto's novel on a shelf at home, having picked it up on a whim at a bookstore. (I was a fan of that first season of True Detective.) But really, I'm into this for Foster and Fanning.

Elizabeth Harvest



My interest is 80% about that poster, but I also like that the film starts with a gothic romance premise (a newly married woman is forbidden from entering a single room in her husband's house), but then takes it in a scifi direction.

Summer '03



Ahem. Moving on.

Paul, Apostle of Christ



Another Biblical biopic, but where Mary Magdalene is a mystery that I want to see explored, Paul is someone I have a fairly concrete vision of. My enjoyment of the film will likely depend on how closely it presents the Paul in my head, so it's basically like any Superman movie.

Rampage



David and I were gonna watch this together, but never got our schedules synchronized. That's my only excuse for not yet seeing The Rock and a bunch of giant monsters. It's a pretty bad excuse.

The Dark



A horror movie set in the woods? The heck you say!

Breaking In



I need to see more Gabrielle Union movies. I always forget that she was in 10 Things I Hate About You, but she was great in The Brothers and Almost Christmas and I want to see her kicking some butt.

Show Dogs



Yes yes, I will not blame you if you think this looks ridiculous. I could totally blame my interest on my dog-loving family again. But honestly, the dog in that poster - with Stanley Tucci's voice - is something I 100% unironically choose to see.

Hotel Artemis



The trailer looks great and look at that cast. Jodie Foster. Jeff Goldblum. Dave Bautista. What is wrong with me for not having seen this already? I need to rethink my priorities.

Siberia



Keanu Reeves has never been a huge draw to me until recently, but post John Wick... I'm super interested.

Buffalo Boys



2018 was an interesting year for Westerns set in other countries. We had Sweet Country in Australia, Five Fingers for Marseilles in South Africa, and now Buffalo Boys in Indonesia. Buffalo Boys looks bonkers in the best possible way. I mean, look at the armor on that bruiser in the poster. And the trailer has a woman who's an archer. I can't wait to see this one.

Christopher Robin



I had written this off after the first trailer. First of all, I have feelings about the exploitation of Christopher Robin Milne and if we're going to have a movie about him, then I want it to be like Goodbye, Christoper Robin and actually have something to say about his experience growing up famous when he had no choice in the matter. At some point though, I realized that this film isn't about the real life son of AA Milne, but about the fictional character he wrote about, so I lightened up about that. But the first trailer was pretty depressing, so I decided that I still didn't need to see it. But then it actually came out and I heard good things. And if we're going to have Disney doing live-action versions of all their cartoons, I'd much rather them be sequels like this than straight-up remakes.

Down a Dark Hall



AnnaSophia Robb in a gothic horror tale set in a boarding school.

Destination Wedding



Look. It's okay to want to see Mina and Jonathan Harker in a cliché romantic comedy. Don't judge me.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before



Alright, going back to Summer '03. I couldn't write this with Joey King standing over me with ice cream dripping all down her hand, but I like me a good teen comedy/drama. It started with The Breakfast Club and continued to 10 Things I Hate About You, Easy A, and The Edge of Seventeen (among others that I'm forgetting). To All the Boys I've Loved Before is supposed to be pretty great.

Blue Iguana



I don't hear good things about Blue Iguana, but I have a soft spot for crime comedies. And this one has Sam Rockwell and Ben Schwartz in it.

He's Out There



Another horror movie set in the woods. It's like someone figured out that's an excellent setting for spooky shenanigans.

Operation Finale



Ben Kingsley stopped being an indicator of quality films a long time ago, but I'm a big fan of Oscar Isaac and this story sounds fascinating.

Roma



A slice-of-life story about a family in Mexico City wouldn't normally be my thing, but I completely trust Alfonso Cuarón. From A Little Princess to my favorite Harry Potter movie to Sandra Bullock in Space, I've loved every movie of his that I've seen. I don't know how I haven't yet seen Y Tu Mamá También and Children of Men yet. That's madness and I need to watch my way through his filmography this year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hellbent for Letterbox | Jeremiah Johnson (1972)



Pax and I continue our trail towards Butch and Sundance with the '70s Robert Redford mountain man Western, Jeremiah Johnson. There's also some Pony Express and I have thoughts about the King Arthur in the Wild West comic, Caliber.





Monday, January 14, 2019

73 Movies I Missed from 2018 (Part 1)

Last year was a record low for me seeing movies in the year they came out. I'll share some statistics next week, but my focus on older movies combined with there just being so many interesting films in 2018 that I have an unusually high number of movies in my Missed List this year. So many that I'm going to split this into three installments.

More or less in the order that they were released (though festival releases always mess with my being able to do that accurately):

Dim the Fluorescents



It's about a couple of creative people - an actor and a writer - who are struggling to break into their industries, but land a gig putting on some kind of corporate presentation. The trailer is funny, but what grabs me most is the juxtaposition between creative and corporate workspaces and the commentary on creative people looking for success in their fields.

Gemini



Lola Kirke plays the assistant to a Hollwood star (Zoë Kravitz) who gets murdered. When the assistant becomes a suspect in the case, she begins trying to solve the mystery herself. I usually like stories like that anyway, but this one promises some exploration of "friendship, truth and celebrity." I may be reading too much into that, but I'm hoping for some commentary on power, especially power that we willingly give someone else in order to achieve our own goals. I don't know if that's what Gemini is up to, but I'm curious to find out.

Or maybe I just really want to see John Cho as the police detective investigating the murder.

The Rider



A modern Western about a young rodeo champion who's injured and has to find something else to do with his life when rodeo seemed like the only way to better his situation. The main character is played by an American Indian kid who has been through exactly that situation and by all accounts it's a great performance and a great movie.

Claire's Camera



A couple of women strike up a friendship when one of them (Isabelle Huppert) takes a photo of the other (Min-hee Kim) and then helps her solve a mystery. It's not a criminal mystery or anything. Basically, Kim's character is fired for reasons she doesn't understand and Huppert tries to help her figure out why. I feel like the less details I have going into it, the more I'll enjoy it.

Trouble



Anjelica Huston and Bill Pullman play feuding siblings trying to gain control over their father's estate. Huston has a rifle. It's a comedy. Julia Stiles figures into it somehow.

Moss



That sleeveless hoodie really bothers me, but the rest of this has Southern Gothic all over it and I'm very much about that.

Sweet Country



A Western set in Australia starring an Aboriginal actor (his name is Hamilton Morris; I'm just unfamiliar with him), Sam Neill, and Bryan Brown (whom I liked in the '80s and then totally lost track of).

Euphoria



Eva Green is an instant sell for me.

Five Fingers for Marseilles



A Western set in South Africa sounds very cool.

The Children Act



Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. I don't care what it's about.

Indian Horse



About a Canadian First Nations kid growing up in the '70s. I'm very interested in stories that give me insight to the experience of American Indian and First Nations people.

The Bookshop



It's about a bookshop and it has Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson.

Paddington 2



I heard good things about Paddington, so when this poster (and a bunch of others featuring Hugh Grant in various costumes) showed up, I immediately put the sequel on my Watch List. I've seen the first one now and it's as funny and heartwarming as everyone says, which makes me even more excited about Sister Hugh.

Blindspotting



I love that we're getting more and more stories about what it's like to be Black in the US. This one was universally appreciated and I'm intrigued.

Monsters and Men



It's more or less Black Lives Matter: The Motion Picture. Which I don't mean to sound trite. I'm interested in this, Blindspotting, and Sorry to Bother You all for the same reasons.

Sorry to Bother You



Uses a bonkers fantasy plot to explore race in the United States. And telemarketing.

Colette



History is about to change, but my fascination with Keira Knightley is not.

Leave No Trace



The trailer opens with some gorgeous photography of a Pacific Northwest forest, then goes into a story about a man and his daughter trying to adjust to a normal life after being off the grid for years. I love the forest setting and am curious about both characters' perspectives.

Searching



I don't know how much patience I'm going to have with a movie told entirely through computer and mobile phone screens, but people say that it's great, so I'm hopeful that it'll keep my attention. If nothing else, it's got John Cho.

I Think We're Alone Now



Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning at the End of the World.

Blaze



I know nothing about country musician Blaze Foley, but I'm becoming more and more fascinated by Ethan Hawke's career. I haven't seen any of the films he's directed, but this feels like an accessible one. And I'm nostalgic for films set in the '70s and '80s.

Tully



I missed Young Adult, but love Juno and have heard great things about the new film by director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody.

Puzzle



Kelly Macdonald plays an unappreciated woman who finds comfort in putting together puzzles. Then she teams up with Irrfan Khan to enter a puzzle competition. I'd be interested just for the two actors, but I'm also intrigued by people who are super into puzzles. I find it a fun activity, especially when I'm putting one together with someone else, but it's much more than that for a lot of people and I'm eager for insight into why that is.

They Remain



I think mostly I just really like movies set in the woods. This one's got a really cool premise, though, as scientists investigate strange activity among animals near the site of an abandoned cult compound.

Psychokinesis



All I know is that it's directed by Train to Busan's Sang-ho Yeon. And based on the strength of that movie, that's all I need.

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