Movie Diary 3/11/2015

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014). Teens, sex, and horror – and the good news is, there’s a way to work a spooky variation on the familiar conventions of the genre. In particular, the movie acknowledges (from its eerie opening shot on) that screen space is a pregnant and dangerous element. (full review 3/20)

An Honest Liar (Tyler Measom, Justin Weinstein, 2014). Docu-bio of the Amazing Randi, the longtime magician whose second job as a debunker of supernatural claims makes him a hero in our faith-filled world. The movie’s no F for Fake, but it’s a fine portrait of a skeptic – and the footage of spoon-bending huckster Uri Geller is worth its weight in gold. (full review 3/20)

Movie Diary 3/10/2015

Wild Tales (Damián Szifrón, 2014). Argentina’s Oscar nominee, an anthology of ironic stories. The brief opening tale is worthy of Rod Serling, and there are some decent twists along the way, but I dunno – maybe I like the idea of this movie a little more than the movie. (full review 3/13)

Kung Fu Elliot (Matthew Bauckman, Jaret Belliveau, 2014). Documentary about a guy who fancies himself the Chuck Norris of Canada. Starts out very much in freakshow mode, but the revelations grow more troubling as it goes along. The dude’s self-made feature-length efforts look like they need to be seen, however. (full review 3/13)

Best Exotic Salvation Buzzard (This Week’s Movies)

Joshua Burge: Buzzard

Joshua Burge: Buzzard

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. “Hanging around with a group of witty old pros in a pleasant location. There are worse reasons for enjoying movies.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly version here.)

The Salvation. “Works cleanly enough, even if it’s hard to locate a fresh take on the material.” (Weekly version here.)

Buzzard. “I think it might be the real thing.” (Weekly version here.)

Keep up with the Overlook Podcast, where Steve Scher and I talk about movies. Our upcoming edition on The Second Best Exotic etc etc goes live shortly.

Movie Diary 3/3/2015

Buzzard (Joel Potrykus, 2014). A Michigan filmmaker comes through with a tiny-budget thing about a conniving slacker (Joshua Burge, an ineffable presence) whose ludicrously petty scams finally threaten real trouble. The movie definitely has something – including writer-director Potrykus in a funny supporting role. (full review 3/6)

The Salvation (Kristian Levring, 2014). The Danish director of the weirdie Dogma picture The King Is Alive does a Western, and like many such Euro exercises it has a second-hand feel to it. But Levring has seen lots of Sergio Leone, and the cast is led by Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green, and hey, it’s a Western. (full review 3/6)

Song of Fuller (This Week’s Movies)

Samuel Fuller: Subject and voice of A Fuller Life

Samuel Fuller: Subject and voice of A Fuller Life

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

A Fuller Life. “If you’ve never encountered one of the man’s two-fisted yarns, you’ll almost certainly wonder how you got this far without stumbling across this flabbergasting character.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly version here.)

Song of the Sea. “The filmmakers really want kids to know about folk tales.” (Weekly version here.)

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I talk about A Fuller Life and the unlikely person of Samuel Fuller; listen here.

Movie Diary 2/23/2015

Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014). One of this year’s Oscar nominees from the Feature Animation category, and the follow-up from the studio that did Secret of the Kells. Gorgeous animation, but I can’t shake the feeling these guys are insisting on how valuable their stories are to the cultural literacy of the next generation, and all that. Sometimes you just want Bugs Bunny to come tearing through the place. (full review 2/25)

A Fuller Life (Samantha Fuller, 2013). Is Sam Fuller’s cult/auteur star fading in recent years? His survivors are reluctant to let that happen, so here’s his daughter pasting together an affectionate tribute to a one-of-a-kind man. The words are Fuller’s, taken from his posthumously-published memoir A Third Face, and read by a quirkily-chosen gallery of colleagues (including a good section of the main cast of The Big Red One – and the awesome Constance Towers). There’s also 16 mm. footage Fuller shot while he was part of the 1st Infantry Division. I hope this documentary makes a lot of unsuspecting people go straight to the movies. (full review 2/25)

Hard to Be a Girlhood (This Week’s Movies)

You Are Now In Arkandy: Aleksey German's Hard to Be a God

You Are Now In Arkanar: Aleksey German’s Hard to Be a God

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Hard to Be a God. “Everybody else looks miserable too.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

Girlhood. “How these girls are brightened by their shared experience.” (Weekly version here.)

Some Oscar predictions for the Herald, 32nd annual edition.

More Overlook podcasts coming soon; stay tuned.

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