Sunday, April 23, 2017

241 Grizzly Man

This week Matt and Mark discuss the indifference of survival and nature's cruelty when we discuss both United Airlines contract of carriage and the definitive Herzong documentary Grizzly Man. Tim Treadwell created an anthropamorphized fantasy world in the Alaskan Tundra where he spent 13 summers with Earth's most fearsome carnivores, the North American Grizzly. Passions exceeded pragmatism and in the end, Tim paid the price inhabiting his self-created world. An interesting character sketch the likes of which we rarely see on film.

Download: 241 Grizzly Man

Monday, April 17, 2017

240 Waltz with Bashir

Matt and Mark continue to review documentaries this week with the 2008 Lebanon War animated film Waltz with Bashir. Not so much a reconstruction of events leading up to the infamous Sabra and Shatila Massacre, as it is the personal exploration of an Israeli soldier who 20 years on finally comes to terms with his complicity in the atrocity. Such horror is endemic to human history it seems, and in away, no human being is truly innocent of crimes done in their name, despite the paper thin facade of nationalism. An amazing movie and one of kind, Waltz with Bashir is an important film.

Download: 240 Waltz with Bashir

Sunday, April 9, 2017

239 Pumping Iron

Time to Ahneld it up once again with the movie that made Schwarzenegger Schwarzenegger, the semi-scripted documentary Pumping Iron. Despite its contrived situations and its cursory treatment of the body building's "Je Ne sais quoi", it does give us insight into Mr. Schwarzenegger's persona and his charisma. Besides the subject matter, the film unknowingly gave birth to the the ripped bodies of the modern action stars. Prior to Arnold, a trim Sean Connery circa Dr. No used to be cinematic gold, but now we require comic book hero caliber physiques. A boon to Hollywood dietitians and trainers, no doubt.

Download: 239 Pumping Iron

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

238 The Running Man

"I'll be back (again)..." This week we review the classic Schwarzenegger mid-80's camp action film The Running Man. A movie that works on many levels, its shining stars are a supporting cast who manage to play themselves spectacularly, including game show host Killian played by a venerable Dawson and the retired stalker/wrestler Captain Freedom played by the one and only Jesse Ventura. While attempting to predict 2017, this 1987 film gets many things right, including the nefarious ubiquity of staged reality television and the conmen/entertainers who profit from their fake narratives.

Download: 238 The Running Man

Sunday, March 26, 2017

237 Edge of Tomorrow

Despite Matt's cold-rattled voice, we review the recent sci-fi hit Edge of Tomorrow. A Groundhog's Day for the Warhammer 40k fanboys, we get to see space marines crash the beaches of Normandy. Despite its working gimmick, EoT's mimicry (pun-intended) of the Sisyphian exercise of video game save points/respawns lacks a true human element. Cage (Cruise) is nothing more than an avatar for the "player"/viewer, but, hey.... were we really asking for anything more?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

236 Memento

This week Matt and Mark review the Christopher Nolan timeline reversal Memento. While gimmicky, the regressive timeline synthesized the amnesiac Leneord's sense of disorientation, all the while keeping the reveal until the end/beginning. Skirting the ragged line of plausibility, Memento attempts to question the mnemonic landscape which helps us stitch our lives together. Have you ever walked into a room of your house and not know why? What's the bare essentials of your brain's memory operating system? Maybe there's a little Leonard in all of us.

Download: 236 Memento  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

235 Face/Off

This week we review the stateside John Woo effort Face/Off. Mark appreciates the "switcheroo" action take of typical comedy tropes while Matt laments the overwrought over-length action sequences and melodrama. Besides the plausibility elements, Cage and Travolta's effort to impersonate their stylings was notable, but without a true immersion, the illusion isn't fully complete. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, Face/Off is possibly a harbinger of Michael Bay's to come. Too much action with too little substance.

Download: 235 Face/Off