Sunday, May 21, 2017

244 Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie

Shot Mark and Ivy Matt finish out our docu-athon this week with the dispassionate Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie, narrated by William Shatner. Its lack of emotion coupled with a minimalist straight forward narrative is argued to be its drawback, while Matt argues the opposite. As an engineering project, Trinity and Beyond takes the viewer through the lab bench proving grounds of the Pacific and Nevada as the United States hones the weaponry which re-defined geopolitics. As a hardware nerd, the film offers quite a bit (or at least as much as it can in 90 minutes), however as a passionate member of the human race, there's little to glom onto .

Download: 244 Trinity and Beyond

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

243 Crumb

Continuing with the docs this week, Matt and Mark review the cult documentary Crumb from 1994. Less a film about the man and his art, its fulcrum is Robert Crumb's dysfunctional upbringing and its creative aftermath. What Robert Crumb channels is the artistic byproduct of his autobiographical torture, accented by interviews with his neurotic/psychotic brothers. While funny and witty, Crumb in the end fits the asshole artist stereotype, going to prove that turmoil and resentment often offers the best muse.

Download: 243 Crumb

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

242 Exit Through The Gift Shop

The week(s) Matt and Mark are still in full doc mode and review the Banksy film Exit Through The Gift Shop. A meta-documentary of sorts, Bansky deconstructs the art hype machine with the human graffiti equivalent Thierry Guetta, an OCD film maker turned street artist. A film so deftly wrought, the ability of the viewer to discover the edge of the hoax and the beginning of reality is seamless. Banksy sets fire to the trash heap of post-modern philosophical mental masturbation and lights his cigarette with it.

Download: 242 Exit Through the Gift Shop

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