By Tim Murr
In the summer of 1999, Detective Ben Walls (Clayne Crawford) is enjoying time off with his wife and daughter when he is called in to investigate a bombing in downtown Atlanta. Not long after arriving on the scene, Walls is injured by a second blast, set intentionally to harm first responders. He awakens in the hospital, seemingly unharmed, but nothing is as it seems. Worse, the terrorist behind the bombing may be in the hospital with him.
Charlie Chaplin is one of those filmmakers that gets a lot of lip service. For someone who was once the most popular movie star in the world, Chaplin seems to have become the sole property of film schools and scholars, while the general public, the non-academe, have rarely seen a Chaplin movie.
Perhaps modern audiences don’t care about Chaplin because he’s become such a stereotype. His Little Tramp character, with his tiny mustache, cane and awkward waddle, has been played by others and included in cartoons. People see him as that character, not as an accomplished director or composer.
Although Criterion has released Chaplin movies before, perhaps their release of The Kid will be the one that gets regular film fans talking about Chaplin again as the multi-faceted artist he was.
A Brilliant Young Mind, sadly changed from its far-superior UK title, X + Y, is a film that shows how much a fairly overdone concept can be elevated with outstanding performances, very thoughtful casting, and an intriguing directorial vision. It’s not the most innovative piece in the world, but for the kind of sentimental comfort food it’s aiming to be, it’s satisfying and even moving. Should you watch this movie? I think you should.
Movie studios are often thought of as being owned by faceless bastards, money men, and committees. The reason for that is because it’s true. That is how most studios are. There was a time when some folks set out to change that.
Welcome to Episode #08 of The Official Popshifter Podcast.
Less Lee Moore and Jeffery X Martin have a hard time dealing with the state of the Hivemind, and discuss the Popshifter Manifesto, which is the driving force behind the pop culture coverage at the site. Also: The Oscars, the Royal Rumble, The X-Files and other stuff requiring the article, “The.” Please enjoy this podcast responsibly.
Toronto residents can watch a special theatrical screening of Gilda at The Royal tonight at 7:30 p.m., presented by the Ladies of Burlesque.
Without Gilda, my life would have been very different. As a naïve young English major at UC Santa Barbara, I registered for a Film Noir class to fulfill a requirement for my degree. I wasn’t new to old cinema; the giant poster of James Dean on my bedroom door and my stash of Gary Cooper movies recorded onto VHS were a testament to that. I didn’t know, however, about German Expressionism, Jim Thompson novels, the word “chiaroscuro,” or how important Citizen Kane was to the development of the noir style. I would soon learn.
The way we rate movies in America is confusing and arbitrary at best. The stranglehold the Motion Picture Association of America has over artists and the way they present their art is unconscionable. It is an outdated, lopsided system which falls apart when you apply even the least amount of thought to it.
By Tim Murr
There is no good reason Thor weren’t bigger than KISS. Oh, sure, there were reasons, but not good ones. Starting out in the body building world before moving on to rock and roll, Jon Mikl Thor made a name for himself with feats of strength and great stage presence. His first serious foray into rock as Thor was a glam classic (Keep The Dogs Away, 1977). It should have been huge. It was not.
The most cursory viewing of Radu Muntean’s One Floor Below reveals a very banal, uninteresting portrayal of a man who does nothing, and frankly, that’s the point. Examining the Romanian thriller beneath the surface, however, provokes some hard questions about what it means to exist in society and the responsibility we have to each other in times of tragedy and danger.
By Tim Murr
It’s only been a few days since actor Angus Scrimm died at the age of 89. Though he also worked outside of the franchise, it was the Phantasm series, in which he played the Tall Man, that made Mr. Scrimm a horror household name. His final film, Phantasm: RaVager, is set to be released sometime this year.