Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ep 19: Far From Heaven

Sometimes Blogger just cannot find our videos on youtube, so here is a link to our episode about Far From Heaven.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Coming Soon: Far From Heaven

Come back tomorrow when we discuss Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven and how it riffs on All That Heaven Allows.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ep 16: Gun Crazy

I can't get Blogger to recognize our latest video, so click here to watch our show on Gun Crazy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Star Wars vs Raiders of the Lost Ark

Tonight we will be discussing the relative merits of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Which one is better? Watch and see!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Masque of the Red Death

This week we will be talking about Roger Corman's Masque of the Red Death. (And how it was influenced by The Seventh Seal.)

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Seventh Seal

This week's show is going to be about The Seventh Seal. And it's Io's birthday!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Go Watch Austenland

Austenland is the most fun movie I have seen all year. Check out my review at the MacGuffin and then go see the film. So good!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Tomorrow night we will be discussing Stoker, especially how it relates to Shadow of a Doubt.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Coming Soon: Shadow of a Doubt

Yeah, we've been on a little break, but coming tomorrow will be a new episode on Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. We will be starting a new 10 episode cycle, featuring 4 great films and 4 other awesome films that riff on them. (Plus 2 episodes welcoming back awesome guests Chris and Kenzo!)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Episode 9: John Carpenter's They Live

For some reason I can't get the video for episode 9 to embed here, so I am providing a link until I can get it to work.  Episode 9. Do yourself a favor and watch They Live. Such a great movie.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Prince of Darkness

We will be discussing Prince of Darkness on this week's Super Awesome Film Club. We have three films left in our John Carpenter series, Prince of Darkness, They Live, and The Ward. Try to prepare for the awesomeness.

Friday, May 17, 2013

What to Watch on Instant Watch: Manhattan

Not only is Isaac a bad boyfriend, he is a creepy one too. But, it turns out this movie is not about a creepy stalker obsessing about a teenage girl. (Well, kind of it is.) It is a love letter to New York, and never has the city looked so lovely. This film drives me crazy, and yet I watch it over and over again to witness its flawed genius.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coming Soon: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Tomorrow we will be recording our seventh episode on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Can't wait to talk about one of my favorite movies!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What To Watch on Instant Watch: Gosford Park

Everybody's big on Downtown Abbey, but I prefer this earlier Julian Fellowes-penned project. Directed by Robert Altmant, this film deals with the English class system under the guise of a mystery. Great cast, great story, great look; it's one of my favorite Altman films.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What To Watch on Instant Watch: Bernie

I'm not a huge Richard Linklatter fan, but this ended up being one of my favorite movies that I saw last year. Mortician Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) befriends lonely (and controlling) widow Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine). When her friendship becomes too much to bear, he kills her, but no one in town want to see him do time. It's Jack Black's best performance, and the movie resonates with warmth and biting humor.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Short Review: The Lords of Salem

So, I've never wanted to see a Rob Zombie movie before. I love horror movies, but tend to go old school, and his stuff just doesn't look like anything I'd be interested in. However, The Lords of Salem previews looked kind of intriguing, so I thought I would attend an early matinee today since I had some time on my hands. The story is about radio DJ Heidi Hawthorne (Sheri Moon Zombie) who gets an unexpected record delivered to her at the radio station. She plays it, and all sorts of weird shit starts happening, much of it concerning an ancient witches coven referred to as The Lords of Salem.

So, a lot of reviews have been throwing around the names Dario Argento and Ken Russell when describing this movie, and they are right to do so. You are not going to find a conventional narrative here. This film is high on visuals and atmosphere and low on sense-making. Did I like it? Not as much as I wanted to. It wasn't so much that this film is crazy, it's that it just isn't crazy enough. It does owe a lot of Argento and Russell (I'd even throw in a little Kubrick) - Zombie knows his film history and it shows. The problem for me is that it is just too sedate. When I watch a movie with unrestrained hallucinatory imagery, I want to question what the hell is going on. I don't want crazy; I want batshit crazy. I'm not sure how a typical Rob Zombie movie fan is going to take to this movie, but Argento/Russell fans are going to appreciate it, if not exactly like it. It's a little bit silly, and sometimes has a 70's made-for-tv feel, but I liked that. It also has some fun performances by Bruce Davison, Dee Wallace, and Meg Foster. I'd recommend it with the caveat that it is more interesting than good, but it's cool to see Zombie taking a risk here; I can't see a lot of other folks being willing to go so far out there.

A note about Sheri Moon Zombie: I don't think she's a great actress, but I think she did fine here. My greatest issue with her character, is not really with her, but with how she is constantly sexualized by the camera. It might just be the creepiest thing in the film. However, I do like that her character represents a different way for female lead characters to look. She's still a skinny white lady, but with her dreadlocks, tattoos and glasses, she's got a unique look you usually only see in peripheral characters.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What to Watch on Instant Watch: The Thin Blue Line

I remember the first time I saw this movie on PBS; I was blown away - not by the content (which is good) but by the sheer style of the thing. I had never seen a documentary quite like it. The Thin Blue Line tells the story of Randall Adams, a man purporting to be falsely accused of killing a police officer. Director Errol Morris' investigation of this case helped free Adams from prison.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tomorrow night we will be discussing The Thing From Another World and John Carpenter's The Thing with special guest Ben Nason. We will also be pleading our case for The Thing getting picked by the National Film Registry.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Personality Crisis: Nick's Thoughts on David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook"

David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook received near universal praise; the all-knowing Tomatometer gave it a whopping 96%, and the now late Roger Ebert said the film was “so good, it could almost be a terrific old classic.” It was nominated for eight Oscars, and Jennifer Lawrence even got to take home the little shiny man for Best Actress. Everyone loved this movie.

I saw it last night. The local art house was chalked full with the Thursday night crowd – mostly 55 and ups. They loved it. They laughed on queue. They even awwed on queue. Some of them clapped at the end.

I was shuddering, and had been doing so throughout.

I couldn’t help but compare the anxiousness Silver Linings bred in me to the anxiousness people feel when watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love – the anxiousness that so infamously drove our benevolent host, Adelaide, to pop a Xanax and view the film in 15 minute increments. When a movie has that kind of effect on its viewer, it’s doing something right. But I walked out of Silver Linings feeling like I’d been played. I absolutely hated it, and that’s not something I throw around lightly. How could I react so negatively to something that 96% of the movie-going public enjoyed? Am I that much of a contrarian? 

I don’t think so. Contrarians are sad and lonely, and probably listen to Metallica ironically. My gripe was not with the unease that was created on screen; I didn’t walk away feeling violated by the content of the film. I did, however, walk away feeling violated by the haphazard way in which the unease was presented.

A little backstory: Silver Linings Playbook is about mental illness. Or at least that’s how it starts. Bradley Cooper plays Pat, our severely bi-polar protagonist, who has been staying in a mental health facility. Pat went through a breakdown after walking in on his wife taking a shower with a fellow teacher. He is prone to delusions and fits of rage. It’s serious stuff. His father, played by Robert DeNiro, also shows signs of being bi-polar and exhibits a few chronic obsessive compulsive tics. There are two untreated mental illnesses under the same roof, and little is being done about either.

In one scene, Pat gets into a physical dispute with his parents, which leaves his mother, albeit accidentally, elbowed in the face. The edits are quick and the shots are all a bit too close to their subjects for comfort. As a viewer, you feel claustrophobic and trapped – helpless –  just as we can presume Pat feels by his disorder. That’s the tone set the film’s first half.

It’s all very realistic, and this is where an important distinction can be drawn between Silver Linings and Punch Drunk Love. When watching Barry in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film, there is never any question that he is a caricature of humanity – of the loneliness and isolation we can all feel to be specific – but Silver Linings clearly sets its viewers up for an unflinchingly tough and realistic look at mental illness. 

And then, halfway through, everything changes.

Pat meets Tiffany, who has recently become a widow, and displays similarly neurotic behaviors. From this point on, Silver Linings meanders into the territory of Rom-Com. I won’t go into specific plot details, but the strange interactions between the two, fueled by their respective mental conditions, become punch lines. Serious mental problems are passed off as quirks, and as I said, people laughed at them. Seriously, red wine spilled on white khaki slacks laughed.

It’s not as if I have an aversion to films experimenting with genre. On the contrary, Punch Drunk Love plays with elements of noir, the western, and new wave, among others. Where Anderson experiments artistically with genre and explores the nature of humanity, Russell feels around, trying to suss out his film’s identity. Its big finish is even a literal one, as the film is wrapped up with a dance number, miles removed from the violent outbursts of its first half.  Russell’s tonal shift from “hard look at mental illness” to “Pat meets Tiffany” exhibits a kind of irresponsibility that is difficult to anticipate. 

The film lacks cohesion, and so far, I haven’t been able to come up with any sort of intentionality on David O. Russell’s part. 

But, 96% of critics can't be wrong, right?  

Catch SAFC's discussion of Punch Drunk Love here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What to Watch on Instant Watch: Slither

Good, gooey horror fun starring Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks. Creepy slugs from space take over a small town, and man are they disgusting.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Punch Drunk Love

Join us next week (Wed this time), when we will be taking a break from John Carpenter and discussing (fighting about) Punch Drunk Love.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What to Watch on Instant Watch: Murder She Wrote

Murder She Wrote: J.B. Fletcher solves murders when she isn't busy writing about them. Yes, it's a little old fashioned, but nothing can beat this show for fabulous guest stars and cheesy 80s outfits. Also, Cabot Cove must be the murder capital of the world, but no one ever mentions it. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Coming Next Week: Our Series on John Carpenter Begins

Next week we are going to kick off our series on John Carpenter with a discussion about how he riffs on Rio Bravo with Assault on Precinct 13. Why John Carpenter you ask? Because he's awesome, that's why.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

Go here to read Allen Almachar's review of the new Die Hard movie.  In case you haven't heard, it sucks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Episode 1: Why is Die Hard so Darn Good


Welcome to Super Awesome Film Club! Where we share the movies we love via blog posts and Google Hangouts. Our first episode will be about why Die Hard is so good. (Especially in light of how bad the latest one is.) Let us know why you think this film is so good. Is it Bruce? The script? The myriad of catchphrases? There's something special about this movie, and tonight we try to figure out what it is.