What’s New on the Site
The LEGO Batman Movie is Great for the Whole Family – Our review of the fantastic new Batman movie. Thanks to an outstanding cast, sharp writing, and clever direction, this may be one of the best films DC has put out in years.
John Wick: Chapter 2 Goes Bigger in the Best Way – Clint reviews the latest in the John Wick world that expands the world of assassins, and punches/stabs/shoots its way in to our hearts.
What We’ve Been Reading
Clint’s Reading List
Watchmen – Alan Moore
Alan Moore’s ultimate subversion of the superhero gets more interesting each time I read it. The inserts from books and comics that don’t exist, a story about the fear that leads to obsessively desperate characters that lose their identities within a vigilante existence, and mixed in with it all is a series of juxtaposed romances that really asks you to question the role of women in comics, where we’re still at today with that. The film adaptation was faithful and (in my opinion) quite excellent, but it never reached the heights of the source material and to this day it is one of my favorite reads.
Voice of the Fire – Alan Moore
Can you tell I’m on an Alan Moore kick? The novel covers stories in the lives of twelve people throughout a six-thousand year period, all surrounding the Northampton area of England (Moore’s hometown) and connecting them through fire. A book with chapters that can be read in any order, a story that is only connected through one thematic element, and a story told across time and through characters that are far from idea – this is Moore at his best.
Bergman on Bergman – Stig Bjorkman, Torsten Manns, Jonas Sima
Part of the “directors on directors” series, this book compiles a series of interviews with Ingmar Bergman that allow him to talk about his own work. Persona is one of the greatest films I have ever seen, and really paved the way for these thrillers about identity and mystery. Without Bergman we would not have David Lynch. I doubt we would have Roman Polanski (which would be a great thing in the eyes of many) or Darren Aronofsky. So much of this film has leeched into the culture of directorial filmmaking and it is a profound display of what a focused individual can do when they know what they want. Beautifully acted, beautifully written, and masterfully shot, this whole thing sticks with me for weeks after and hearing Bergman talk about it is one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had with a film.
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
Kafka really wrote something weird here. His masterpiece, The Metamorphosis, is the kind of novella you read while conjuring images of Cronenberg films and Joe Hill short stories in your head, the twisted nightmare of every day life burdening the reader like it does the protagonist and asking us to look around at life and see if we’re happy where we’re at.
Christopher’s Reading List
Super Sons #1 – Peter J. Tomasi & Jorge Jimenez
Super Sons #1 kicks off the solo series of the precocious off-spring of Superhero staples, Batman and Superman. And so far it’s off to a great, rollicking start. The dynamic between the two children is entertaining to see play out, condensing everything their older counterparts stand for down in to their purest form. The first issue is mostly set-up for the arc at large, but I will be interested in seeing how the story plays out as the two boys develop their powers and their understanding of their place in a world where their parents are the closest things we have to Gods.
What We’ve Been Watching
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Netflix is killing it lately, and acquiring this snarky series is a great thing for them. Cards on the table, I never read the books, so I don’t know exactly where it point and get excited but I do know that despite any of that the film manages to hold its own and carry its premise. It’s fun and a lot of it.
Santa Clarita Diet – Well this is gross. Gross and hilarious. Drew Barrymore keeps reminding everyone that she is not only funny, she can also be flirty and fun and kind of sexy when she wants to be. Liv Hewson, who plays the family’s daughter, is an absolute joy to watch as she is all of confused, annoyed, enchanted, and put-off by what her mother has become. This show is wonderful and hilarious. For all of the reasons listed and more…you should be watching this Kafkaesque bag of crazy.
We Are the Flesh – What the hell was this? Emiliano Rocha Minter put out this horror film last year (debuted at Fantastic Fest if I remember right) and it was pretty positively received. I can say that this is pretty gross, one of the grossest that I have seen in awhile. From incest to violence to an oddly beautiful color palette, this whole thing is graphic and visceral but somehow enjoyable to watch if you are in the mood for it. The gorehound crowd is going to really latch onto this one.
Children of Men – Confession time! I’ve never seen Children of Men! Not all the way through. I’ve seen the clip passed about on line, the one that should sell anyone on this film, the brilliant one-shot that takes place in the cramped confines of a car trying to escape it’s attackers. But despite that clips argument in favor of me watching it, I just never got around to it. And I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life.
Children of Men is a film that feels classic even as I’m watching it. Especially in such hot-bed times as we live in now, the predictions of the film seem to turn scarily accurate. But beyond its politics and plot, the performances and cinematography of the film are stellar and engrossing. It’s a film that, once you’ve seen it, reveals the influence it has had on a multitude of other entertainment since its release. I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but if you are like me and have been putting off this film for any odd reason, I highly highly recommend you put down whatever you’re doing and watch this film immediately.
The Walking Dead – The Walking Dead returned from mid-season break this week with an episode that, despite the show’s track record, did not disappoint. TWD has a long history of juggling ups and downs, varying in quality not only from season to season, but from episode to episode. That being said, this season may be one of their most solid yet. And if the premiere episode is any indication, the latter half of this season should continue to engage and thrill the audience as it leads to its potential “All Out War” of a finale.
And this clip about Franz Kafka from the animated show Home Movies: