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New on DVD and Blu-Ray

There’s still a bit of post-holiday rust affecting this week’s release slate, but there are some goodies to be had. The big one is almost certainly Criterion’s release of The Breakfast Club, whose entry in the Collection I guess pisses off people who haven’t watched Border Radio and experienced the true worst the label has to offer. And besides, regardless of quality, it’s most definitely an “important classic and/or contemporary film”, and Criterion looks to have gone all out with the special features, so quit whining ya fucking goobers. Aside from that, catalog titles are quite dire this week, second-best going to the TV adaptation of Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, featuring Tommy Lee Jones’ breakthrough performance, and there being a steep drop-off from that to the loathsome sex farce Blame It on Rio and, uh, Snow Dogs (that’s only available for members of the Disney Movie Club, who I’m sure are grateful to be getting their money’s worth with sparkling Blu-Rays of lesser Cuba Gooding Jr. vehicles). New titles are actually quite better, while still not being much more than solid. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s Battle of the Sexes comes Mike Mills-approved and is a pretty good movie despite its clunky script (the worst part being an Alan Cumming speech late in the game that’s so on-the-nose as to be playing “got your nose!”), featuring one of Emma Stone’s finest performances and some quietly stunning cinematography by Oscar-winner for La La Land Linus Sandgren. And it has easily the most sensual haircut ever captured on film. I have admittedly not seen Mike White’s Brad’s Status and Doug Liman’s American Made, but they both sound from reviews to be the kind of movies that the “three-out-of-four stars” rating was invented for. And Andy Serkis’s directorial debut Breathe sounds like the movie the term “Oscar bait” was invented for, and I can safely say that Oscar gold will not lie in its future.

American Made (Universal)
Battle of the Sexes (Fox)
Blame It on Rio (Kino)
Brad’s Status (Universal)
The Breakfast Club (Criterion)
Breathe (Universal)
Cadillac Man (Kino)
The Executioner’s Song (Kino)
Hell Night (Shout Factory)
Rebel in the Rye (Shout Factory)
Snow Dogs (Disney)

  • BurgundySuit

    Year of the Month update!

    For the new year, we’ll be going back to the very beginning (well the oldest year in the random number generator, anyway) – 1928!

    https://letterboxd.com/films/year/1928/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_in_literature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_in_music
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_in_art

    NO DATE: Wallflower: Arcana
    NO DATE: Son of Griff: Show People

    Jan 8th: BurgundySuit: The House at Pooh Corner
    Jan 11th: Pico: The House on Trubnaya
    Jan 15th: Joseph Finn: All Quiet on the Western Front
    Jan 20th: Conor Malcolm Crockford: Steamboat Bill Jr.
    Jan 28th: The Ploughman: The Circus
    Jan 30th: Miller: Decline and Fall

  • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

    Am I wrong to assume that some of these movies would be better received if they had more interesting titles? If they had called Breathe something like The Man Who Spit in Death’s Face it might have gotten more recognition. American Made, maybe Cocaine Airlines. I’m just spit balling here, but anything to get people off the couch and into the theater.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      (1) They gotta stop calling movies American ______. Its so freaking generic (in what way was the Hustle in said movie distinctly American?)

      (2) Also there was a recent film called Breathe probably less than two years ago! (And I’ve heard its good.)

      • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

        American Ultra, American Sniper, American Gangster. Holy shit, you’re right there are a lot of movies with American in the title. I blame How to Make An American Quilt for starting this trend.

      • Babalugats

        American Hustle is about the FBI partnering with some low level con men in order to entrap some corrupt Senators and, more importantly, a corrupt but honest mayor. I’d say it’s a distinctly American story, although the original title, American Bullshit, is much more fitting.

        Stupidest American title has to go to The American President. Ooo, this is about a President, and get this, he’s an American! Imagine the hijinks.

    • Jake Gittes

      It’s all been downhill for movie titles since giallo’s heyday.

      • The Narrator

        Breathe should’ve been named Your Body is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key.

      • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

        Don’t Torture a Duckling. I haven’t seen it, but I want to with a title like that.

        • Jake Gittes

          I remember that being a pretty dark and violent (even by the genre’s standards) but good one. My favorite underseen giallo is Short Night of Glass Dolls, the greatest title obviously belongs to Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, which isn’t bad either.

          Right now I’m already tempted to preemptively call Let the Corpses Tan my favorite movie of 2018 just for the title. It looks pretty great, anyway.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONMbWj8u-RA

    • The Ploughman

      “I’m here for the 7:00 free beer.”

      “One ticket for Free Beer. That’ll be twelve dollars.”

      (dawning comprehension) “Crud. Should’ve stuck with the couch.”

  • Drunk Napoleon

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, Sam Peckinpah
      I honestly have no idea what to make of what I just watched. It was a less intense, more pleasurable experience than Straw Dogs; this is one of those “makes you want to dress like the hero” movies. The way it made most sense to me was in it being a secret sequel to SD, in that Bennie felt like someone who’d had David’s recognition a long time ago; he’s both loving and dominant with his girlfriend, and he’s perfectly fine committing ownage to defend her when he has to (the sequence of Bennie and Elita being attacked by the two men clearly feels like a more heroic redo of David and Amy from that film). This is The Shield to SD’s Mad Men, Bennie coming to terms with and ultimately destroyed by a morality David is only just began to comprehend.

      Weirdly enough, Peckinpah’s direction is starting to remind me of Cowboy Bebop, and I don’t know how much of that is the latter being influenced by the former and how much is simply down to Bebop occasionally being set in Mexico and Mexico-like places. Part of it, though, is definitely down to each being simultaneously rough/edgy and emotionally powerful, though for exact opposite reasons – individual shots in Bebop are more carefully and lovingly crafted, while Peckinpah’s are more dramatically connected.

      (Though both make extremely heavy use of closeups, giving us a sense of small isolated moments connected together)

      It’s really strange to me, though, how little the eponymous Alfredo Garcia’s head factors into the plot – while it kicks off the story, the first thirty minutes after that are about Bennie avoiding chasing the head, and I expected to slowly learn more about Alfredo as a person but it never really kicks into gear on that front. I still don’t know what to make of it, even after writing all that. I think I’ll rewatch it on the weekend.

      Ownage: God damn that’s a cool title.

      LOST, Season Four, Episode Eight, “Meet Kevin Johnson”
      “Why are you on this boat?”
      “I’m here to die.”

      “These people. You say they’re dangerous. More dangerous than you?”
      “Yes.”

      “Did the bullet bounce off your skull, or did the gun just jam on you?”

      This is another almost-total flashback episode, showing how Michael got from leaving the island to being on the boat. It’s a very typically Lost story, beginning with Michael’s suicidal guilt and using that to show us more of Widmore’s powers – it even has an old-fashioned use of a significant object, with Mike selling Jin’s watch to buy a gun with which to kill himself. This is no mere explanation – the climactic scene is Sayid responding to Mike’s story by immediately outing him to the Captain.

      Once again, a character serves as a representation of a group, with Tom making his last appearance and confirming his homosexuality into the bargain.

      So many of the episode’s lines are meaningful, either observing what characters have done or acting as declarations of what they’re going to do.

      Ownage: Grant Bowler owns deserters. Karl and Rousseau are owned through the chest by unseen gunmen.

      • Alfredo Garcia is my favorite Peckinpah, and it’s arguably his most personal. Oates based Bennie on P himself, and it has the hazy acceptance of a self-destructive alcoholic. Like you said, he knows the score going into it instead of discovering it along the way. It’s not quote nihilisitc, but damn close (“There ain’t nothing sacred about a hole in the ground or the man that’s in it. Or you. Or me.”). P seemed to have a thing for heroic last stands – here, Wild Bunch has one, and SD has a successful one.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          It’s a masterpiece.

        • Son of Griff

          When I showed this to a friend who had been avoiding it for years, he said as the credits rolled, almost in tears, “So this is what career suicide looks like”.

      • NoelZ

        Occasionally I’ve written something that exists primarily because I came up with a title so cool that I had to write something to go underneath it, and I’m curious whether or not that played a role in the making of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          According to Wikipedia, that’s exactly what happened.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        “Why? Why? Because it feels so goddamn good.” One of the most painful line readings in all of cinema – Bennie has accepted damnation and become Wrath (as John Doe would put it) in his grief, his vengeance. Sadness is choked within it but also a powerful nihilism.

        Throughout the movie Peckinpah suggests that violence, and action in general, and love, can be sacred. Bennie realizes that all too late of course – Elita knew it. Maybe Al knew it. So does he by the end.

        I might want to write a longer piece on this but the proposal scene makes me weep like a baby. Oates said the tears from him and Isela Vega were genuine as they were just overtaken.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          Oates is great, of course, but Vega is fantastic, really making something affecting out of a part that, on paper, would seem unplayable.

        • Son of Griff

          Anyone who is an Alfredo Garcia fan should check out the original cut of Cassavettes’ THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE. It’s coming from a similar place of deeply personal despair about how one expresses their feeling through the prison house of masculinity.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Fuck I need to see this.

          • Son of Griff

            @John Bruni could confirm this, but I think that the version I mentioned played for only a week in L.A. and was withdrawn by the director himself. Fewer people probably saw it than ALFREDO GARCIA in its original release. You’ll love it though.

    • I missed the Christmas / new year discussion, so first I’ll just note that I got a couple of Solute-inspired Christmas presents – Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec, which I have started reading and am enjoying very much, and The Prisoner on blu-ray, which will probably take me a while to get to because:

      The Wire, episode 1 – I got this for Christmas last year, and yesterday finally got around to kicking off a rewatch (for me – first time viewing for my girlfriend). I think I first watched it in 2008 and so far I’m finding that I remember most of the major characters well but not the full details of their storylines, which is fun. Looking forward to digging back into this but not sure what pace we’ll be watching at yet.

      I’ve also watched…
      Baby Driver – my expectations for this had been slightly lessened by the mixed reactions, as well as the presence of Kevin Spacey in the cast, but this was my last watch of 2017 and I absolutely loved it. The musical elements really worked so well for me, and I thought Baby and Debora were great together. Another fine film from Edgar Wright; not sure it will be as rewarding to rewatch as his other films but I’m looking forward to finding out.

      An American in Paris – this was okay, but Gene Kelly’s character is such an arsehole that it stopped me ever getting into the story, and the big musical numbers, while impressive, aren’t a patch on some of the other musicals I’ve seen recently.

      The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Nicolas Cage was my most-watched actor of 2017 and I couldn’t resist sneaking in one more film before the end of the year. I was on board with this one within the first few minutes, when it jams a ridiculously convoluted history of sorcery into the opening sequence. It’s always a pleasure when Cage gets a supporting cast who can match his ridiculousness, and Albert Molina does a great job as his rival here. It’s just a dumb crowd-pleasing blockbuster but I had fun with it.

      And rewatched…
      Terminator 2: Judgement Day – I got the 3D version for Christmas and it looks great. I also really appreciated that they converted the theatrical cut, so this is the shortest and best-paced version I’ve seen in years. It was my favourite film 20 years ago and I still love it to bits.

      The Hudsucker Proxy – when I started getting into the Coen Brothers, this was my favourite of their films; I haven’t seen it in a few years and wondered whether it would hold up now that I’m much more familiar with the genres and films they’re paying homage to. In short: Yes. I also really love the bits of Sam Raimi’s style that bled into this, even though I’m not a fan of his “solo work”.

      Hail, Caesar! – another Coens rewatch, another great time. I think Hobie Doyle is possibly my favourite character in any of their films.

      Revolting Rhymes – I got this animated Roald Dahl adaptation for my girlfriend after we loved it last Christmas. It’s up there with Willy Wonka, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Witches as the best Dahl adaptations for me – absolutely wonderful.

      The Fellowship of the Ring – had this on while doing a jigsaw on New Year’s Day. Amused to find I still remember nearly every line of dialogue.

      • Ooh, I can’t wait to see what you think of The Prisoner.

        • I’ve been meaning to get around to it for ages, and your article was the push I needed! Looking forward to finally checking it out.

      • NoelZ

        I could watch Hobie Doyle attempt to deliver the “would that it were so simple” line all day. And also watch him do lasso tricks all day. I don’t know if he’s my favorite Coen Brothers character, but he’s definitely my choice for the most delightful one.

        • Yeah, my actual favourite probably changes every time I watch one of their films. “Most delightful” is probably more accurate! I wish more of the film was about him, but since I wouldn’t want less of any of the other elements, I guess they got it just about right.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I wanted more of his romance with the Carmen Miranda type, they seemed kind of sweet.

          • Yeah, they’re so great together. I love that he takes his teeth out in an attempt to impress her, and I REALLY love that it works.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Analyzing the choreography of the music in Baby Driver on rewatch has been pretty fun. But I identify with the central character a lot anyway.

        • If anything, I’d have liked even more of the musical stuff – the scenes of him just walking along the street to music are pure pleasure.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            The movie accurately depicts how if you move around to music on the street you’re gonna be a wee bit obnoxious but damn it so be it.

          • Miller

            I liked that at the beginning – your musical is not anyone else’s musical – but the movie seemed to back away from it.

      • Rosy Fingers

        We’re about to re-watch the Lord of the Rings movies with the kid who hasn’t yet seen them, so that should be a fun holiday project. This morning we’re going to hop in the car for two days visiting some LOTR filming locations. [brag] Except that it looks like it will be raining the whole time. [still a brag]

        • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

          Wow that sounds like an awesome trip. You must be in NZ or that’s going to be a long car ride.

          • Rosy Fingers

            Yup. Travelling past the plains where The Battle of Pellinor took place and on to Isengard, Lothlorian and the Ford of Bruinen.

          • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

            Yeah, well….ummm…they filmed some parts of The Stuff down the road from where I work. So, take that?

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        I love Hudsucker.

        • LONG LIVE THE HUD!

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            *awkwardly fumbles faking way through Muncie fight song*

    • lgauge

      The Trip to Spain, Episodes 1 and 2: Arguably too early to tell as far as the whole endeavor goes, but so far it’s lacking some of the emotional (melancholy) resonance of the earlier seasons though it’s just as funny as ever. It’s kind of strange because you can certainly sense the weariness and conceptual bankruptcy at this point, but it’s still very enjoyable. You’d think one would eliminate the other yet that’s somehow not the case. I’ll of course hold off on too specific a judgement until I’ve watched it all and I’ll be especially interested to see if they incorporate some of the “been there, done that” sensations that this third iteration inspires into the plot of the season itself. If nothing else, the show’s ability to make you want to visit the various places and eat the various food is as strong as it ever was.

    • The Ploughman

      Continuing a slow journey through original Twin Peaks. Definitely seeing why the back half of S2 is not the favorite. Lots of balls in the air, but with the central mystery of the show more or less solved, momentum is tough to come by.

      • Son of Griff

        That was my major problem w/ S2

      • lgauge

        You have to love the world and characters to an almost unreasonable degree (like I do) I think, to really love that second half. Though at least, as everyone has said a thousand times by now, the reward at the end is beyond words.

    • NoelZ

      Given the holiday break I’m now bedraggledly back from, a lot!

      Metropolitan: Jane Austen in the age of Bret Easton Ellis, with my favorite character being straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel–this is as literary a film as it sounds like from that description, and a delight if you like that kind of thing. Talky and socially precise and endearing in its look at a vanishing sliver of society.

      Boogie Nights: This is a really warm film, and Jack hugging a crying, desperate Dirk has to be one of most complicated bits of kindness in film. Everyone is good here, but it’s Burt Reynolds who steals the show for me.

      Straw Dogs: Not on Christmas, thankfully. There’s something magnificently bald about Dustin Hoffman saying, “I will not allow violence against this house.” (That said, The Wild Bunch is still my favorite Peckinpah.)

      Rewatched Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lobster, The Last Jedi, and 45 Years, all of which I’d seen fairly recently. I still really liked them all, and the longeurs in The Last Jedi bother me less when I’m prepared for them and know when they’ll end.

      Holiday viewing with the family was an understandable group of something-for-everyone movies–Miss Congeniality, The Holiday, Galaxy Quest–and then, bizarrely, the home invasion thriller Hush on Christmas Day itself. Because we can all be thankful for the true gift of not being hunted with crossbows in our own homes.

      • Jake Gittes

        Among its other virtues Metropolitan is an underrated Christmas movie. I need to rewatch it, especially after loving the hell out of The Last Days of Disco.

      • lgauge

        I can’t remember if you’ve reported seeing Stillman’s Love & Friendship, which is him literally doing Austen, but if not I’d highly recommend it.

        • NoelZ

          That was actually the first one I saw! I loved it, and picked up his Criterion box set based on that and the blurb that he had always basically been doing comedy-of-manners period pieces even when he was making contemporary films.

          • lgauge

            Ah, good.

      • Miller

        Ha, someone needs to make a mashup of Hush clips with “Silent Night.”

      • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

        Boogie Nights is the one with the giant dick in it, right?

        Yeah I checked, Mark Wahlberg is in it.

        • Miller

          *deep breath*

          HEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

          • The Voice of A Gnu Generation

            Zzzzzzzzzing!

        • clytie

          I just learned today that when Andre Royo met Marky Mark, he
          lectured him that he should be to be grateful that he had a job and not go back to the streets.

          I went to an HBO party in the second season and Mark Wahlberg was there. He came over to me and said, ‘You got a good job now, you better take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t fuck up, don’t get caught up in this game.’ I told him, ‘Mark, I’m an actor, I’ve been doing theater for years.’ Moments like that made me think, we’re doing the right thing, telling the right story.

          https://www.hbo.com/the-wire/interview-with-andre-royo

          • Miller

            What the fuck. I first read that as Royo lecturing Wahlberg, which is actually appropriate considering the latter’s past.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            I always heard the story that a junkie offered Royo his cop because it looked like he was jonesing so bad. Royo said that made him prouder than any award ever would have.

          • clytie

            Yes, he refers to it as his “street Oscar.”

      • Son of Griff

        I shiver to think that someone out there might consider STRAW DOGS their favorite Peckinpah film, or even their favorite movie period. It’s unvarnished by mythic grandeur and brutally raw in how it grates on the audience’s loyalties to the protagonist, which never entirely dissolves despite his general assholery and increasingly dubious morality. To love it suggests some debilitating ethical world view on the part of the viewer.

        Read in the right way, however, it is a masterpiece of social commentary directed against the connection of aggression to individualism, and a shockingly powerful work of montage.As in THE WILD BUNCH, Peckinpah forces the viewer to succumb to the empathetic grammar of cinematic technique, even if what we see of the “hero” is morally problematic and full out wrong. It ain’t a movie for the critics at Salon of the Huffington Post.

        • The best writing I’ve seen on Straw Dogs (that’s not by Peckinpah himself) was by Josh Clover in his Criterion essay: there is no comfort to be had by anyone here, least of all the viewer who thinks himself (himself) enlightened.

          • Son of Griff

            That was my takeaway from it. I think that element is the main takeaway that Bigelow gets from it as well. What I remember Peckinpah saying about it when publicizing the film felt very reductive, and it turned me off of watching it for awhile. his response to Kael, though, is a more reflective take on his attitude towards violence and spectatorship

          • Come to think of it (and to pick up on @johnbruni:disqus’s point) Blue Steel and Zero Dark Thirty have elements of what Peckinpah would look like with a woman at the center. Let me get back to you on this later this year. (You know when I’m gonna write about Straw Dogs and I suspect everyone else can guess.)

          • Son of Griff

            This is Peckinpah’s year at The Solute, I think

          • February 27th: “Artist of the Month (Sam Peckinpah)” signups are completed at the Solute.
            March 3rd:
            https://youtu.be/Win5nErh7zA?t=47s

          • Son of Griff

            Is this a thing? did I miss this? If it’s not too late sign me up for CABLE HOGUE (as it is probably the one most likely not picked)

          • It is not a thing, except for purposes of this joke. However, I wouldn’t mind trying it sometime!

          • Son of Griff

            Actually, it’s an awesome idea–Someone submits a career retrospective essay and it continues into the thread. Those dates are also now etched on my calander.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I want Bring Me The Head and I’d use a pistol on anybody trying to claim it.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            Well, as long as we still get Funny Hat Day.

          • The Narrator

            The wide gamut this site runs can be neatly categorized as going from Mike Mills to Sam Peckinpah (I can scarcely think of two other directors who have so little in common that I can’t imagine basic conversation between the two).

          • It’s Mills-adjacent, but damn, Peckinpah’s Lady Bird would have been a thing to see. (He’d still set it in Sacramento, just 120 years earlier.)

        • John Bruni

          Yeah, the viewer has little to no distance from the horrific scenes in Straw Dogs. When done right, not cheaply, it’s a powerful technique that draws on a modernist literary tradition of imagining symbolic violence. The question, disturbing indeed, is does Peckinpah go too far in his radically circumscribed vision of female agency?

          • Son of Griff

            Absolutely– It’s Peckinpah’s biggest blind spot in contemporary eyes. He actually does create a more nuanced role for women of limited agency in THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE and JUNIOR BONNER (Yey, Attention Must be Paid alumnus Ida Lupino), but those, of course, are kind of unjustly overlooked in his filmography, but problematic nonetheless.

          • John Bruni

            A rare, but illuminating, moment, is Elita’s line in Alfredo Garcia: “I’ve been here before, you don’t know the way.” That shows that Peckinpah does get a sense of what women can do that he has a difficult time imagining, even if it comes late in his film making career.

          • Son of Griff

            I’m watching this again tomorrow.

        • pico

          I love Straw Dogs, it’s my favorite Peckinpah, and I’m reasonably sure my ethical worldview isn’t debilitated.

          Should add: it’s more the pleasure of construction. I don’t think Peckinpah has ever worked so well in ironies, and the movie constructs an edifice out of which characters are missing which information that’s both fragile but wildly effective. I’m in awe of what it does, and how it ties ignorance to morally repulsive choicemaking.

          • Son of Griff

            It’s my second favorite, primarily because I am in awe of its ferocious integrity, and the absolute committment to an aesthetic that can be histrionically misread. My sense is that it is often interpreted as an unabashed vigilante fantasy, even by Peckinpah fans. I think that’s why I prefer THE WILD BUNCH–Same ideas diluted by myth to make it more patatable.

          • pico

            Totally fair! It’s a loathsome but compelling film.

          • Son of Griff

            I completely concur–the manner in which the complexity of the character’s perspectives through its shifts in point of view makes this Peckinpah’s tightest and most adroitly executed film– and also his most uncomfortable

        • clytie

          Straw Dogs is my favorite Peckinpah. It’s also the only one I’ve seen.

          I continue to be the embarrassment of The Solute.

          • No you’re not. (You beat us all to the draw on Harvey Weinstein.) And go see The Wild Bunch. It owns, definitively.

          • The Ploughman

            Don’t say that! You’re actually one Peckinpah ahead of me. It’s on my endless list of things to fix (just ahead of “that place in the gutter where it sags when it rains”).

          • Son of Griff

            I had no idea until today that so many of us here held this movie in great admiration. This thread has been a Gift of the Magi moment.

          • “Don’t you like it honey? It’s a water-cooled bipod mount for your .50-cal machine gun! I know I had to sell my scorpions to get it for you, but it was worth it!”

            “Oh sweetie. I won’t be needing this. . .for you see, I sold the machine gun to get you a temperature-controlled terrarium for your scorpions.”

            “. . .well. Ain’t we just fucked.”

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      Most of series 3 of Lovesick, which is quite good and I think nicely complicates the “happily ever after” of the relationships. I also can relate pretty painfully to Luke’s character as my story is kind of similar if less asshole-y. This is a nice “turn your brain off a little bit show” – not stupid but not aggressively challenging either.

      And Armageddon – Holy jesus this is bad. The fetishization of Americana iconography, obnoxious and shitty characters. I mean credit to Thornton for not phoning it in but this is just not a good movie. It may be the Bay-iest of Bay movies which makes it undeniably really unique (the uber close ups, lens flares, fascistic obsessions with military, etc.) but grating. Somebody said Bay is a trash auteur and while I don’t disagree that doesn’t make what he’s doing GOOD. Bay makes me think of Ed Wood in some ways: where Wood was an incompetent man, he was doing the best he could with crap budgets and there’s something endearing and earnest about the films he was making and the personal messages of despair and connection his writing was attempting at (albeit badly). What Bay aims for is deeply harmful, an obnoxious high school jock making movies, and that right wing tendency isn’t even packaged in good entertainment.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Also this movie is racist. Maybe not outright misogynistic either but skating pretty fucking close.

        • Let’s see, women in Armageddon–well, there’s Liv Tyler, whose role encompasses “Bruce Willis’ daughter” and “Ben Affleck’s fiancee,” there’s the wife of the astronomer, the “life-sucking bitch from which there is no escape” (any of the, what, five credited writers wanna claim that line? Shane? JJ? Bueller?), there’s a tough NASA dame who statistically must have had some lines, and as this is a Michael Bay film, there are, of course, strippers.

          Yeah, I’d say this thing Zambonis its way into misogyny.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            A quick IMDb check reveals that I forgot Helga the anal-probing nurse.

            What, were the writers worried that people wouldn’t get it if they didn’t make it literal?

          • In the words of T-Bone, most definitely.

        • CineGain

          It’s a general rule that Michael Bay films are full of racist and misogynist cliches.

        • Miller

          Seanbaby is not exactly a paragon of political correctness himself but he had an old, very funny takedown of racist bullshit in Jerry Bruckheimer movies that obviously ropes in Bay-helmed flicks. The fucked up tour guy in The Rock gets particular love: http://www.seanbaby.com/cleveland/part1b.html

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            Yeah, if you don’t like problematic language, some of that early Seanbaby stuff is really rough. (I think his actual views are much closer to healthy and decent, or at least have grown to be that way.) A lot of it absolutely fucking kills, though. I don’t really read comic books or do superhero media, but his stuff about the Super Friends and shit like the Hostess ads can get me howling. (Also his stuff about video games, which I did do a lot of.)

      • clytie

        One of my brothers once said, “Armageddon is like every disaster movie cliche rolled into one film.”

        • The Ploughman

          Plus the animal cracker scene. I wish inserting animal crackers into the navels of inamoratas was a cliche.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        Didn’t the asshole screenwriter have some line about that terrible animal crackers scene where he was like “Yeah, well, I still got paid”? Jesus, fuck you.

    • Not much, with my whirlwind holidays & this is my first day back to normal schedule, but Happy New Year’s, folks! It’s my favorite holiday because there’s something warming about closing out the old year and starting the new one together. Even if it’s through our avatars, I look forward to seeing y’all every day. No movie-related gifts, but I did spend NYE sipping Courvoisier XO & Johnnie Walker Blue, so it went well.

      SW: The Last Jedi – I paid more attention to the mystical aspects of the Force this time around, and it was worth it. I like the Force more as a hokey religion than something genetic or cellular. It speaks to interconnectedness, which is closer to the traditions Lucas drew on originally. Specifically, I thought of the Bodhidharma, a famously cantankerous Buddhist monk. According to legend, he refused to copy and duplicate books of Buddhist scripture, saying “Did the Buddha need the Buddha-teaching?”, his point being that enlightenment comes from discovery within. Reminded me of Yoda burning the tree and telling Luke to let go. Or the Bodhidharma saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the street, kill him!” To where enlightenment was a personal journey, not something to be dictated by an authority, fitting TLJ‘s desire to burn it all down and start anew.

      I think and hope despite the backlash that this one will only increase in stature. It’s an amazing, overstuffed film, but more difficult than TFA, which is largely fanservice & fluff. TLJ the least Star Wars-y movie in the series, and for that it’s one of my favorites.

      • Jake Gittes

        For me it’s precisely because TLJ is “the least Star Wars-y movie in the series” that it reproduces the original spirit of Star Wars far more successfully than TFA. The Empire Strikes Back recognized that the way to move forward wasn’t by just giving the people the same damn thing as before, and so does this. It understands what’s important and what isn’t.

        • glorbes

          The Last Jedi is a fresh carcass, ready to be picked apart for some decent sandwiches and soups.

      • Miller

        My favorite Force-related thing in the entirety of Star Wars is it not manifesting for Donnie Yen in Rogue One but his belief in and use of it anyway. The Force needs to be for everyone, dammit! I doubt this will happen but the very ending of Last Jedi made me realize that my preferred ending of this saga would essentially be the ending to Shaolin Soccer.

    • Miller

      Paddington – this has a good reputation in general and has been talked up here in particular and it was a goddamn delight. The tone was both silly and restrained and above all kind, and there is a lovely sense of fantasy in its bones – no one questions a talking bear – that the movie uses for why-not fillips like the animated hallway tree or Paddington walking through the movie screen. Also, Paddington’s “hard stare” may be the biggest piece of ownage I saw in 2017.

      iZombie, closing in on the end of season 2 – this show plays by the rules of drama and twist instead of Peak TV cinematics and is wildly underrated for it. Rob Thomas knows his strengths, casts accordingly and is making a TV show that revels in its medium.

      Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena, first four episodes – speaking of knowing your strengths. Trashy as fuck, it makes up for no dragons with a dragon-weight of tits washed down with buckets of blood. But it also moves ruthlessly and pitches character at intense, at times over-the-top levels that make sense in this violent world. And underneath everything is a deep rage at a system that has rules we may not consider just but are fair to the characters’ morality (specifically the gladiators and their ability to prove themselves in the arena) that is constantly, top-to-bottom fucked by whim and assholery of people on the higher levels shitting down (which is why the focus on mid-level characters Quintus and Lucretia is so great). Love this show.

      Prince of Egypt – I am sick, give me cartoons. And this felt odd after Spartacus, the opening number does as good a job a PG movie can do in depicting the Hebrews’ slavery but felt sanitized, as did Moses in general – the relationship with him and Ramses is good but between him and God feels off. High points include the plagues song followed by the silent Angel of Death sequence, very well done especially in the constraints of the rating, demerits include taking a pretty boss-sounding villain song and saddling it with a pathetically juvenile chorus/title. What the fuck guys, you deserve Yahweh’s wrath for that nonsense alone.

      • Those fantastic moments in Paddington make my heart soar. I love those films so much.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Gods of the Arena is the rare prequel that WORKS. Damn it Spartacus is great (halfway through the final season).

        • Miller

          It is fascinating to see Crixus as essentially Spartacus here, Bennett is selling him as raw, untapped potential instead of the haughty boss we know. Although one thing is the same – dude likes to hang dong.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            One of the things that makes the series work early on is how the system of the gladiator is wrong, but not *necessarily* their values. There is something genuinely powerful in Crixus and Spartacus finding their potential as warriors and physical beings, even if its within slavery. Both Spartacus and so far Rome depict a world radically different from the modern one (the characters do not have a conception of psychology for instance) without devaluing its beliefs.

          • Miller

            Bingo. The gladiators do not own their bodies but they can use their bodies for greatness. Where this season is really going dark is how those bodies can also be used for depravity and without consent because they are owned by others. And this goes up the chain – Quintus gets the shit kicked out of him because his “betters” decide to do so and can do so with no repercussion, even though they pay lip service to Rome’s civilization – the Gauls would also kick your ass but they wouldn’t pretend to be your friend.

    • glorbes

      I’m all over the place with my re-watching of Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Superman The Animated Series. I bought them to watch with my kids (I forgot how pervy the shows could be, but that stuff kind of goes over their heads), so I can’t say definitively what I watched, but I have watched a lot of them out of order now. Last night was the episode where Green Arrow and Black Canary start cooking something up, and get Wildcat (voiced by Dennis Farina!) out of the Metahuman Boxing League (!). The night before I watched Legacy Part II, in which Superman has had enough of Darkseid’s bullshit and beats the crap out of him (and yet it is Darkseid that has won, as he points out). I love how the series connected has told its own variation on the New Gods/Fourth World stuff (Intergang, The Female Furies and Granny Goodness, Darkseid, and Orion, Mister Miracle and Big Barda, etc.). I really think the Fourth World stuff could support its own series, but Dini and Timm (with help from Rich Fogel and others) have done a pretty great job of adapting this material as a supporting narrative.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        The Fourth World elements are great and always remind me that I need to read the damn Kirby books once and for all.

        • glorbes

          They crazy. They good. You have to be okay with some really dense and weird shit. The Jimmy Olsen comics basically just toss you into some REALLY big ideas without much preface, and he’s off to the races from there.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            How does Jimmy Olson even factor in them? That’s what I always wondered about when seeing that he introduced a lot of it in friggin’ Superman’s Pal.

          • glorbes

            Jimmy is basically doing some investigative journalism regarding a biker gang, and the next thing you know you’re in some kind of subterranean underworld Empire, and Jimmy becomes the leader of something called the Newsboy Legion. There’s large scale cloning operations, huge wooden cities, and alien technology. That’s, like, by the first or second issue. And all the while, Darkseid and his minions are lurking around every corner. The Forever People are space hippies from New Genesis that are cosmically linked to a superhero called Infinity Man, and they also run afoul of Darkseid and his minions. The New Gods is Orion disguising himself on Earth, trying to route out the influence of Apokolips (this is where Intergang and Manheim are derived from), and Mister Miracle is about…Mister Miracle taking over the mantle of an aging escape artist and…running afoul of Darkseid and his minions. It’s pretty amazing that these all form a tapestry that have an interconnected story, and it really is the template for modern comic book crossovers, for better or for worse. Every issue is super dense.

    • Babalugats

      Brawl In Cell Block 99 – Usually when I turn on a movie and the cinematography is this bad I turn it off, because it’s not a real movie. The sound mixing is also noticeably bad, with all the dialogue recorded at wildly different volumes, and much of it inaudible behind the rustling of clothes and the barely there score. This movie is 132 minutes long. It’s a very simple movie. The characters are shallow. Vince Vaughn’s protagonist is the only one that rises above the level of props, and he’s not a complicated man. The plot is extremely straightforward and the thematics are decidedly “try not to think about this too much”. And yet this is a two hour and twelve minute movie. It takes 45 minutes for Vaughn to get to prison (and for us to get the first decent line of dialogue) and another 15 minutes before the inciting action. The full first hour of the movie could be cut without losing a thing. And the next hour could use a lot of streamlining. Vince Vaughn gives another “better than expected but still not good enough” performance. He seems to be playing a character who’s about thirty years younger than himself, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t rework the script after you cast him. The action is good though. Even if I didn’t have the same “ra ra” reaction to seeing a skinhead beat up a bunch of black and Mexican stereotypes, that the movie seems to expect from me, I can at least appreciate the craft there.

      This film has left behind the excuse making of Bone Tomahawk, but is leaning even more heavily into its regressive politics. Vaughn is introduced with a shot of a black cross tattooed on his shaved head. I kept waiting for the movie to do something with that, until it slowly sunk in that this was supposed to indicate Vaughn’s pure heart. “I can see why you might think that’s a Nazi cross, but it’s actually about states rights.” There’s a scene where Vaughn finds out his wife is cheating on him and he orders her to go inside and wait for him and then destroys her car with his bare hands. I’ve seen critics praising this as a healthy relationship, and it’s certainly better than beating her, but that’s still abusive. This is another damsel in distress movie, but this time the damsel is not just Vaughn’s wife, but his unborn daughter. The villains have hired a Korean abortionist (they make his ethnicity very clear) to torture his unborn daughter if he doesn’t go along with the plan. What are you trying to do here, movie? Is this some hamfisted pro-life narrative? Or are you just trying to position his “wife and daughter” in the least human, most property-like, way possible. I also think this is the first prison movie I’ve ever seen that is really fond of the police. The whole thing’s kind of a hateful mess. A long, ugly, hateful mess.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        I feel like I’m gonna like this movie (I really dug Bone Tomahawk) but I love this take on it.

        • Babalugats

          I had some of the same issues with Bone Tomahawk, poorly paced and too long with ugly cinematography. Although that film greatly benefits from having Kurt Russell in the lead, and a stronger supporting cast.

          I feel like I’m never going to like Zahler, but I’m also never going to be able to skip any of his movies. His next film is called Dragged Across Concrete and is about:

          Two policemen, one an old-timer (Mel Gibson), the other his volatile younger partner (Vince Vaughn), find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics become the media’s cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due.

          Which sounds both terrible and essential. It’ll probably have some incredible action and awful everything else. I look forward to arguing with everybody about it.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            My friend described him as repulsive as a thinker but too compelling to look away from, which sounds right.

          • The Ploughman

            “Younger” being a relative term here.

          • Miller

            Yeah, I had a fair amount of problems with Bone Tomahawk and the ugliness is part of it – I don’t mind cheapness but this is just bad, like watching Bonanza with motion smoothing.

      • glorbes

        …I think I’ll pass.

      • The Ploughman

        Hmm. I was all over this (as one of the Bone Tomahawk fans), but this pushes it down the list a bit. We’ll see if I get to it.

        • Babalugats

          On the one hand, I’m lower on Bone Tomahawk than just about anyone, and I think this is the single harshest take on Brawl in Cell Block 99, a movie with a mid 90s rotten tomatoes score and for that matter the sort of film that would probably slap “a long, ugly, hateful mess” on it’s DVD cover of it had come from Roger Ebert or A O Scott. On the other hand, I’m completely right about this.

      • Delmars Whiskers

        I initially cut Bone Tomahawk a lot of slack, because I knew it was a very cheap and rushed production. But then I thought about Monte Hellman’s westerns, especially The Shooting, which similarly features a handful of characters on a long, long journey, and I realized I was being too kind. Even with a rushed schedule, a competent director can work out a shot list based on the time available for set-ups, but Bone Tomahawk looked for all the world like Zahler just set the camera down, let the actors work things out on their own, then moved on. The climax was well-handled, but there’s a lot of movie before it gets there.

        • Babalugats

          The Shooting is also 90 minutes long. I can tolerate filler in a low budget production, but once you start pushing two hours, I lose a lot of sympathy. Editing is not a budget breaker. And aesthetically, people are getting such great results out of such slim budgets these days, that it’s inexcusable to turn in such shoddy work. If you can afford a movie star, then you can afford some decent cinematography.

          • Son of Griff

            Speaking of ugly cinematography, but has anyone noticed how many “prestige” drama shows coming from British TV aren’t even hiding that they are being shot in digital anymore.

    • clytie

      I continued Riverdale. Why didn’t anyone tell m how great this was sooner?

    • Son of Griff

      IT’S A GIFT– My wife says that there is a l,ot of hate in this world, and most of it begins with your family. This W.C. Field’s movie is dedicated to exploring that proposition. Further evidence that the Golden Age of Hollywood wasn’t as innocent, or sentimental, as we are led to believe.

    • The Narrator

      Still haven’t watched a movie since the New Year began, but I have been listening to Sufjan Stevens. Yesterday, I listened to The Age of Adz, which is another entry in my favorite music subgenre, spiritually and emotionally bleak electronic albums from normally “rock” artists (i.e. Kid A, U2’s 90s output, R.E.M.’s Up). The electronic elements are especially well-used here, because they make it sound like the music is collapsing in tandem with Sufjan. I also listened to two of his Christmas EPs, and the lyric “I don’t care about what you say, Santa Claus, you’re a bad brother breaking into people’s garages!” will stay with me forever.

      I’m also continuing to work on what, god willing, will be the final 20th Century Women-adjacent piece I write here, possibly for publication next Monday.

      • pico

        I love Adz so much, this makes me happy. It’s a widely reviled album.

      • Son of Griff

        Don’t stop in the 20TH CENTURY WOMEN pieces, please.

        • The Narrator

          Lucky for you, I just thought up an idea for another one.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      Alan Partridge: Why When, Where, How, and Whom? A documentary that aired on the BBC last week covering the history of the character Alan Partridge since his creation… And in anticipation of a new BBC series in 2018, which was exciting as hell to discover. All the major players behind the scenes of the Partridgeverse are interviewed; though Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan are most remembered for creating the character, it’s worth noting what a hand the terrific Patrick Marber had not only in creating Partridge but in realizing the character was going to be huge. Marber left the Partridge world in between Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge due to his increased focus on his work as a playwright, and it’s really interesting to hear both the reactions he has to the newer work and the reverence and high regard Iannucci and Coogan hold him in. (Also fascinating to hear that Marber was not a fan of the original I’m Alan Partridge script, but that Iannucci and Coogan went forward with it anyway, and the rest is history.) We also get some good airtime with the major players (David Schneider, Rebecca Front, Doon Mackichan), and during the I’m Alan Partridge segment we get time with Simon Greenall (Michael) and Sally Phillips (Sophie). We also hear from Rob and Neil Gibbons, who joined the Partridge team to collaborate on writing I, Partridge and future endeavors. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear about the books, though we cover all the greatest broadcast and screen hits– On the Hour, The Day Today, the two aforementioned series, Alpha Papa, and Scissored Isle. Really great documentary if you’re a fan, and fact that a new series is coming out later this year inclines me to think it’s about time I start my “American in a Pear Tree” (or some less corny title) classic reviews of the Alan Partridge oeuvre.

      Monday I watched the College Football Playoff Semifinals. One game was a lot better than the other.

      Also watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “Frank’s Back in Business” and “The Gang Buys a Timeshare.” See my conversation from a couple of days ago with Drunk Napoleon for my thoughts on the former. (I didn’t mention how much I do enjoy how Frank is in his element when he’s doing business.) I decided to follow it up with the latter for sort of a “The Gang Overestimates Their Business Sense” doubleheader. Of course they’d be taken in by a scam because they think they’re too smart to be taken in by a scam.

      30 Rock, “MILF Island” and “Subway Hero.” The first two post-writer’s strike episodes of season two. Mrs. C wanted to watch the former; the latter was next up, and a good Dennis Duffy adventure is never disappointing. I don’t find “MILF Island” particularly memorable outside the lengths Jack goes to to get Liz to confess. (How “Class A Moron” compare to “Donkey Brains”? I think I gotta go with the latter.) Dennis gets a ton of great moments in “Subway Hero,” but perhaps my favorite is his wardrobe demand for a flaming skull t-shirt and a porkpie hat.

      American Dad, various episodes. Roger and Stan practically banging to “out-act” one another is pretty funny, as is the one where Stan clones Steve to determine whether he or Francine is the better parent. (Individually, they’re each pretty terrible at it, it turns out.) Also, there’s an episode where Steve and his friends have a sleepover and spend most of their time trying to suck their own dicks.

      • Rosy Fingers

        I’ve just gotten hold of the series’ of Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge, having only seen a few episodes of Mid-Morning Matters and that movie that came out a couple of years ago. So I’m finally about to immerse myself in the Partridge-verse. Wish me luck.

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          I’m a huge fan. I’d definitely recommend watching with the captions on, though.

          • Rosy Fingers

            Why is that? Because of the accents or is there something else? I grew up on a lot of BBC programmes so I can get in tune with Northern English accents fairly easily.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            The accents, mostly. You’ll be fine. I’m American, and it was a bit of an adjustment period– hard to find the show funny when you can’t understand the dialogue. (You might need the captions anyway for Michael the Geordie.)

          • Rosy Fingers

            Haha, yep. Geordie is definitely it’s own thing. And to be fair, I often have zero idea what Alabamans and people from around the Mississippi are saying without subtitles.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            As I learned from the documentary, Iannucci had Greenall really go in on the accent. He even does a bit of “normal” Geordie accent in the documentary to show the difference between that and his fast-paced accent for Michael. (Even Alan can’t understand Michael most of the time.)

      • The Ploughman

        An all-SEC final in a not-great year for the SEC is pretty disappointing. I’d be curious to see what Central Florida would have done, considering they were able to handle Auburn.

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          Yeah, seems like a good case that Central Florida deserved a shot.

          I didn’t really think Alabama deserved a shot, but they handled Clemson pretty easily, so here we are. (And they could’ve been kept out if Ohio State hadn’t completely crapped the bed at Iowa, or Penn State hadn’t blown their lead over Ohio State.) I guess the best thing I can say about the all-SEC matchup is, at least it’s not a rematch.

          • The Ploughman

            Not to mention Wisconsin failing to pull off one last fourth-quarter victory. My argument against Alabama (and Ohio State last year) has nothing to do with whether they “deserve” to be there or not (Snoop teaches us that “deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it”), but whether they won the right to be there. In my mind no conference championship, no playoff. You can argue the 2007 Patriots were one of the greatest NFL teams of all time but you can’t argue they were Super Bowl Champions. That’s not how playoffs work.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            On the other hand, the Patriots lost to a team that wouldn’t have made the playoffs if “no division championship, no playoff” was true in the NFL.

            I’m fine with the committee taking the teams they think are the four best, and in the end, they took four major conference teams with only one loss. (Wisconsin’s schedule was even weaker than Alabama’s; they dodged basically all the good teams in the Big Ten until the championship.) My bigger issue this year was that a deserving UCF team was shut out, and I don’t know if the committee will ever seriously consider a non-power 5 team.

            The only solution I can think of that gives every team a fair chance without being overlong is a 12-team playoff. All ten conference champions are automatically in, plus two wild cards selected by the seeding committee. The top four teams get a bye, so there’s incentive to be great; no team can complain about getting shut out, because the conference championship is a clear playoff path for everyone; and in the rare cases where one of the nation’s best teams happens to be second in its own conference, the two wild-card spots can address that. (As well as the possibility of Notre Dame deserving to qualify.)

            Looking at the last playoff rankings this season, Alabama and Wisconsin would be your two wild cards. A playoff with those two plus all the conference champs, with Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State getting byes (gotta win your conference to get a bye, IMO) would’ve been a lot of fun.

          • The Ploughman

            That’s a good point about the Giants.

            I’m honestly surprised they haven’t expanded the playoffs to at least six teams already and I think 12 or 16 is inevitable eventually, and I’m all about it. You can eliminate a couple games out of the non-conference, not give the best teams a month off at the end of the season, and make conference championships more meaningful again.

    • pico

      Phantom Thread. Hoooooooly shit this movie is great. Two hours of deliciously petty passive aggressiveness, way weirder and funnier than the trailer lets on: it starts off good, gets exceptionally good, then swings for the fences in the final minutes. Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville are amazing in it. Got to see it in 70mm, too, and the whole thing has a gauzy – one might say “fabric-y” look – that really flatters the material even as it softens and flattens it. Maybe the only disappointment is Greenwood’s score, not his best, but a pleasant enough riff on Vince Guaraldi (the main Woodcock theme is basically “Skating” from A Charlie Brown Christmas).

      American Vandal (complete). Who knew that an extended dick joke/parody of the Serial genre could turn into something more emotionally raw and true than the material it’s parodying? This was really fantastic work, mostly laugh-out-loud funny, occasionally too arch, but its final episode was devastating – even if it pulled one of its best moments from a Todd Solondz movie.

      My Happy Family. Recent Georgian film that I watched on the strength of recommendations, but did not like. The initial setup is fine and intriguing, but it becomes an exercise in giving a suffering woman more reasons to suffer, and I mentally checked out long before the banal ending. Eh, well.

      • Rosy Fingers

        American Vandal was a triumph. Thoughtful and insightful about the power dynamics at play in high school (and society at large), with so many grey areas. It was really empathetic to all involved, even the accusatory teaching staff. And the casting was supurb. But most of all: really, really funny. I think it’s my show of the year.

        • pico

          It exceeded all my expectations. Hard to pick a show of the year for such a packed 2017, though, between this, Twin Peaks, The Good Place… ugh, just a surplus of good television, and no time to watch it all.

    • CineGain

      The Thin Man-This is charming enough end of year watch, though being next door to a party in a apartment drown out much of the dialogue being played out, which hindered much of my appreciation.

      After Hours-Very good dark comedy from one of New York spiritual filmmakers. I can’t help but think of the Mozart opening as Scorsese imitating Kubrick in mastering classical music with film, though the rest of the film soundtrack is consists of standard pop jams and a haunting Howard Shore score. This feels like another entry into that retro eighties genre “Yuppies Night gone Wrong”, which consists of this, Something Wild, Miracle Mile and few other movies.

      • Miller

        I don’t know if Pay to Cum counts as a standard pop jam (and I love that Scorsese cameos during that scene).

    • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

      Teeth dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein

      Trashy film not unlike I Spit On Your Grave except with a much clearer dedication to female empowerment. Veers into comedy for the second half, which i really wasn’t a fan of. Totally worth watching with a group as the ideas are present, but poorly realized.

      Dead Awake dir. Phillip Guzman

      Yikes! The least interesting ripoff of A Nightmare on Elm Street Imaginable.

      Star Wars Episode 8 dir. Rian Johnson

      I’m sure this movie had been talked to death here (because it definitely is a most interesting blockbuster), so:
      Porgs: Yes!
      Hamil’s Performance: Sure?
      Stuff about letting go: Sure…
      Middle section with space horses that feels more like a 1st date for Rose and Fin: Sure, why not.
      Princes Leia’s Force Powers: Why not!

      Clash of the Titans dir. Desmond Davis

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Miller

    I want to buy a copy of Rebel In The Rye and glue a dildo on it just so I can kick the movie in the dick for having a title that bad.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      I forgot that movie existed til now but so did everybody.

    • The Narrator

      Preferably glue the dildo over Kevin Spacey’s face/credit on the cover.

      • DJ JD

        Replying as a second upvote because this got “Preferably glue the dildo over…” to appear in that Recent Comments sidebar at the top, and I pretty much had to check in and see what was what.

        • Miller

          “Preferably Glue The Dildo Over” – the hip new catchphrase (and forthcoming Of Montreal EP) of 2018!

    • clytie

      Someone responded to an old tweet of mine about another Hollywood predator.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/678d2f2bcbd5416be502555f0b909d8b4f18b3830b33568ae01a46e58a7a3dc3.jpg

      • Miller

        Ha!