Spitball Army

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Screenings: Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

3.1
[DVD, library]

It’s hard to believe that I’ve gone 44 years without seeing this, especially since the original stage concept recording was a much beloved LP in our house while I was growing up – my sister had the sheet music and played it more often than Chopin, and I could (and still can) quote the lyrics word-for-word. So it pains me to see a film interpretation dominated by terrible acting, mediocre singing, and orchestrations buried in the sound mix. God-awful [pun intended].

https://boxd.it/kKKe1

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Screenings: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

8.9
[theater]

Viewed in 2D. The visuals and sound were phenomenal, and kudos to the writing team for creating a unique story that branched out of the original with ease. The only weak link was Jared Leto’s character, who teetered on the edge of megalomaniacal stereotype – though his seeing-eye floater gadgets (if that’s what those were) were far-out and fabulous. As for Tarkovsky references? I saw them in some of the visual set-ups, but they seemed purely coincidental.

https://boxd.it/kKqxH

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Screenings: Fail-Safe (1964)

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

8.1
[DVD, Netflix]

A black & white cold-war nuclear bomb scenario from the early 1960s: unlike DR. STRANGELOVE, there is not an ounce of humor, but like that other film, there IS fighting in the war room.

“The producers of this film wish to stress that it is the stated position of the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force that a rigidly enforced system of safeguards and controls insure that occurrences such as those depicted in this story cannot happen.”

https://boxd.it/kJX7Z

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101 Days of Listening: Day 54

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

  • The Who “Tommy Can You Hear Me?”
  • Bob Dylan “Foot of Pride (live)”
  • Steve Winwood “Higher Love”
  • Lewis Taylor “Back Together”
  • The Flamingos “Hey Now!”
  • Cilla Black “You’re My World”
  • PF Sloan “Halloween Mary”
  • Roger Waters “Deja Vu”
  • Randy Newman “Suzanne”
  • The Damnwells “Lost”
  • The Youngbloods “Grizzly Bear”
  • Bob Dylan “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (live, 1975)”
  • Elton John “Guilty Pleasure”

#randomsongmachine
#musictrumpshate

→ No CommentsTags: Fred FM · music · Random Song Machine · Uncategorized

Screenings: Beatriz at Dinner (2017)

October 9th, 2017 · No Comments

watched Oct 09, 2017,
spitballarmy’s review published on Letterboxd:

6.8
[on-demand]

BEATRIZ boasts a magnificent fake-out ending that had me cheering, and I felt dirty and nasty for doing so. But the film’s true ending is a total downer that I interpreted as an allegory for the current hopelessness of the lower and immigrant classes struggling under the heel of the arrogant rich in Trump’s America, where fairness and conscience are an inconvenient nuisance. Yeah, I know, I know – that sounds like a reach, right out of the Socialist playbook and a mimic of the blowhard from the movie theater queue in ANNIE HALL; but ever since seeing MOTHER!, I’m reading more into things. And that’s certainly preferable to accepting the art I encounter only at its face value; this film has to have some depth beyond a simple tale of a Mexican woman attending a rich folks’ dinner party and being gobsmacked by their shallow callousness.

https://boxd.it/kIz0D

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Screenings: Spielberg (2017)

October 9th, 2017 · No Comments

watched Oct 09, 2017,
spitballarmy’s review published on Letterboxd:

7.7
[on-demand, HBO]

Prior to viewing this, I had read a review opining that SPIELBERG borders on hagiography. That is spot-on. However, the insights that show how closely Spielberg’s personal life hews to topics within his storytelling were valuable and honest. The choice of film clips was well-orchestrated to the documentary’s themes (unlike, say, a dutiful chronology of standard, overused clips one might see in an episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio). Not enough Tintin, though.

https://boxd.it/kHDxJ

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Screenings: Detour (1945)

October 8th, 2017 · No Comments

8.6
[TCM]

One of the wickedest, most deranged, and darkest of all films noir, and easily my favorite of the pure genre entries. Ann Savage is a terrifying harpie as the ultimately doomed femme fatale…hell, everyone in this film is doomed.

The version of this film screened on TCM was tagged at the end as a 2017 restored scan. The print still showed its age, but the sound was vastly improved over the last time I’d seen Detour, on a cheap public domain DVD pressing.

https://boxd.it/kGnAP

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Screenings: Taxi (aka Jafar Panahi’s Taxi) (2015)

October 7th, 2017 · No Comments

watched Oct 07, 2017,
spitballarmy’s review published on Letterboxd:

7.4
[DVD, library]

People in Panahi’s taxicab keep asking him to supply them with fresh ideas for stories. You’ll find them in places you wouldn’t expect, he tells a film student who is visiting his cab to buy some pirated art film DVDs, hoping to get ideas from them for a short film. His hilarious, precocious niece asks him, also, but soon realizes that her uncle is a great subject himself. This 82-minute film is my favorite Panahi yet, a warm and lively slice of life, and the perfect place to start if you’ve never seen one of his films.

https://boxd.it/kFNNX

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Screenings: The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)

October 7th, 2017 · No Comments

7.7
[blu-ray, Netflix]

Such great fun, and a pleasure to see a superhero action film script place character development above explosions and gadgets (although the explosions and gadgets here are top-drawer!).

https://boxd.it/kELir

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: The Hero (2017)

October 7th, 2017 · No Comments

7.1
[blu-ray, Netflix]

This is essentially a portrait of a character’s emotional landscape, and, as such, is not heavily plot-driven. But the approach lends itself perfectly to several meditative stretches that provide lead Sam Elliott with the opportunity to transform his trademark slow burn into some memorable and devastating quiet moments. And it’s great to see Katherine Ross again, beautiful and aging very gracefully.

https://boxd.it/kDXn7

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