Bourne 3 Best in Series

Posted in Side Topics at 5:58 am by Stephen

Unlike everybody else, I didn’t really get into the other two Bourne movies (Identity and Supremacy). I thought they had a cool premise, and I love Matt Damon as an action hero, but something about them just didn’t work. I was particularly bumped by some of the insane logic in the second movie, along with its way-too-frenetic pace that culminated in the longest and most confusing car chase that I think I’ve ever attempted watching. The third in the series, The Bourne Ultimatum, has many of the problems that plagued the first two, but it has enough well designed action scenes that I could get behind it.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bergman and Antonioni Pass Away

Posted in Side Topics at 1:54 pm by Sam

And just like that, we lose two great directors. On Monday, July 30, Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni passed away. We’ve talked about both in our podcast, most frequently in Top 6 lists — The Seventh Seal for the former, Blowup for the latter. It’s difficult to understate the influence each of these directors have had, especially in the art film world. I’d never have thought I’d talk about them together and find much in common, but each of these directors experimented with open-ended and elliptical narratives at a time when tight, comprehensive plots were virtually a mandate.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Joy of Process

Posted in Side Topics at 11:59 am by Sam

In the podcast, we’ve mentioned the attraction of movies that illustrate some kind of process or craft. For some reason, movies that delve into the details of showing someone engaged in some kind of meticulous process is interesting. I’m not entirely sure why.

Read the rest of this entry »


AFI 100 Years 100 Movies 10 Years 1 World of Movies

Posted in Side Topics at 1:11 pm by Sam

In 1998, the American Film Institute polled some 1500 film critics, historians, and industry leaders and came up with a list of 100 of the greatest, most historically significant films of all time. Ten years later, they did it again, and the television special aired last night.

Read the rest of this entry »


News Round-Up

Posted in Side Topics at 11:13 am by Sam

To Catch a Thief gets lovingly restored for a new DVD release, and here’s all you’d ever want to know about it.

Michael Apted (The “Up” Documentaries, The World Is Not Enough) will direct The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) will direct the 22nd James Bond film, which is apparently at least somewhat a continuation of the story of Casino Royale.

Indiana Jones 4 is finally starting principal photography.

Ratatouille is the best film since Undercover Brother.

Read the rest of this entry »


Smoke… and Get an R Rating?

Posted in Side Topics at 12:11 pm by Stephen

The MPAA ratings system — which we’ll cover in some detail in a future episode of the podcast — is a strange beast, a compromise that came after decades of struggle between Hollywood, governments, and various watchdog groups. One of the most interesting things about is the way that it changes over time, often somewhat silently. What received an R rating in the past might be a PG or PG-13 today, and sometimes vice versa, as the system attempts to mirror current culture. Maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising, then, that smoking tobacco is the latest cultural taboo that could end up causing a movie to receive a higher rating.

Read the rest of this entry »


Random Quotes for Fun and…

Posted in Side Topics at 3:10 am by Stephen

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, but I have a long list of movie quotes that I like to drop into casual conversation, often for my own personal amusement. I’m not talking about obvious cheeseball stuff like “Hasta la vista, baby,” either. I’m talking about somewhat more obscure stuff like, “Oh I get it. It’s very clever. How’s that working out for you?” (Fight Club) or “Have I mentioned that your JOB is on the line?” (Princess Bride).

Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Movies!

Posted in Side Topics at 10:06 am by Sam

Following up with Episode 31, what movies are you most excited to see? Here are the ones I’m most anticipating this season.

Read the rest of this entry »


Netflix Movies Online

Posted in Side Topics at 11:10 am by Sam

Netflix has been rolling out its streaming video service slowly over the last several weeks, and this process is expected to be complete in July. But if your Netflix account doesn’t have that “Watch Now” tab enabled on it yet, you can speed up the process, apparently just by clicking this link, presumably from a browser that is already logged into your Netflix account. The link itself is http://www.netflix.com/InstantWatchingRollout?lnkctr=yas_wnopt if you’d rather copy that into your browser’s URL box directly.

So far, only Internet Explorer is supported, and only on Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista. Support for other platforms is on the way, but I don’t know what or when.

I was sort of annoyed to have to start using IE again to make use of this feature (plug for Firefox: it’s faster, more feature-rich, less of a resource hog, and less buggy). Ultimately, though, it was worth it. Here’s an account of my experience with it so far.

Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Side Topics at 9:55 am by Sam

It’s interesting how much Alcatraz has captured people’s imaginations. Over the weekend, I watched Point Blank (1967), which admittedly does not make much use of the setting — it’s the kick-off point for a revenge story — but there it is, the prison on Alcatraz Island, on film once more.

But watching that movie got me thinking about other movies that use Alcatraz, and what it is about Alcatraz that’s so interesting in the first place.

Read the rest of this entry »

« Previous entries · Next entries »