Review: Seu Jorge at Benaroya

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by Greg Carlson

It’s random and unpredictable how the legacy of a movie plays out. Prior to its December 2004 release, many arts/entertainment editors and studio heads predicted that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou would further Bill Murray’s career as a dry-humored dramatic actor, following his Oscar-nominated performance in Lost in Translation. Once the film hit the theaters, it garnered mixed reviews from film critics and even some Wes Anderson fans alike, and was not the holiday counter-programming/Oscar contender that the Disney-owned studio had hoped for. Read More

Movie Postmortem # 3—Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

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by John S

Movie Postmortem is a monthly series that reviews certain films that showed promise but misfired (critically and/or commercially) upon initial release. Join us in our attempt to find out exactly what the hell happened.

The Casualty: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

(NOTE: This postmortem examines the theatrical release, not the so-called “Ultimate Edition” release on Blu-Ray, which restores about 30 minutes of story that makes the flick a tad clearer but ultimately still doesn’t save it.)

The Case History: The concept of Batman and Superman pimp-slapping and bitch-slapping each other through Gotham and Metropolis isn’t exactly new. It’s been around at least since 1986, when the comic-book mini-series The Dark Knight Returns pitted them against each other. However, it wasn’t until 2007, during a brief scene in Will Smith’s I Am Legend remake, that we unexpectedly got a glimmer of what a duel between The Bat and The Muscley Dude In Red Underwear And Blue Tights might look like on the big screen. Read More

SHRIEK Women of Horror: The Witch

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by Evan J Peterson

Join us at Naked City Brewery in Greenwood for SHRIEK: The Witch! Robert Eggers’ divisive 2015 film takes horror into small, quiet, domestic territory—making it all the more frightening.

Tickets available here.

Stats on The Witch (2015)

Director: Robert Eggers

Writer: Robert Eggers, based on historical documents and folklore

Major actors: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson

Score: Mark Korven

Nudity: Only female

Sexual Assault: Strongly implied child molestation (off-screen)

Gore: Spare yet effective

Major Protagonists: Male and female

Villains: No spoilers

Does it pass the Bechdel-Wallace test? Yes, more or less.  Read More

Drunk Cockney Aliens and Skanky Spaghetti Witches, Oh My!

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by John S

My reviews for Suspiria and The World’s End were meant to be for the Back to School and Rocktoberfest cross-cuts, respectively. However, these two flicks are better lumped under the more accurate and common banner of Euro-Horror (or in the case of The World’s End, Euro-Horror-Comedy), and it really wouldn’t do to separate the two, now would it? And, no, there hasn’t been a more desperate attempt to rationalize one’s tardiness in submitting assigned writing in the history of tardy assigned writing. Just roll with it. Read More

Lance Rhoades on Frankenstein

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by Lance Rhoades

Join us at Scarecrow Video for a free Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau event featuring Lance Rhoades giving his presentation, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Anatomy of a Masterpiece.  This event takes place Saturday, November 12, 2016, 7:30 pm.

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“It’s alive!”

So exclaims Frankenstein in the classic 1931 film adaptation [He’ll say it again in the excellent 1935 sequel Bride of Frankenstein]. The declaration immediately puts the creature’s status into doubt. It’s alive, but the implication couched in the doctor’s professional opinion is that “it” is not human. Although the films depart significantly from Shelley’s novel – most obviously in their physical characterizations of the creature(s) – this attitude is consistent with the novel, and it informs his treatment of him throughout the narratives. For example, Frankenstein never gives his creation a name, other than to curse him (the list in the novel is extensive: “creature,” “monster,” “demon,” “fiend,” and so on). As horrifying as the circumstances of the creation are, readers and viewers alike typically share the doctor’s reaction, but this sentiment gives way to sympathy, as we witness the cruelty of Frankenstein and other people toward the creature. Read More