Freaky Fridays: Flatliners

Flatliners (1990)

The other day I watched a short video by IMDB on the film Flatliners. The theme of the video was “So ’90s It Hurts”. The video proceeded by showing all the ways Flatliners fell into ‘90s tropes. Now that I’ve seen the film, I call bullshit. Though the film was released in the summer of 1990, more than anything Flatliners feels like the last great movie of the ‘80s.

Continue reading

C.A.T.: Tago Mago

Can – Tago Mago (1971)

A few weeks ago we lost legendary Krautrock bassist Holger Czukay. That’s the second member of Can we’ve lost this year. Drummer Jaki Liebezeit died last January. Guitarist Michael Karoli died in 2001 which leaves founder/keyboardist Irmin Schmidt and vocalist Damo Suzuki as the only surviving members of Can’s most fruitful period between 1970-1973. Before we talk about Can, and more specifically their best album, let’s talk Czukay.

Continue reading

Everybody Loathes a Clown

It

In only two weeks, It has become one of the most successful horror movies of all time. The film has already broken the record for a September opening and is currently the third highest grossing horror movie in history (223 million) after The Exorcist (232 million) and The Sixth Sense (293 million). But why? What is it about this movie at this time that has made it a huge hit?

Continue reading

Mildly Pleased Summercast

What we did on our summer vacation: watch lots of Criterion movies, see a few quality blockbusters, and rock out to some sweet summer jams. Oh, and not post very frequently. But fortunately here’s a special end-of-summer podcast to let you know what we’ve been doing this summer pop culture-wise as we head into the cold hard crispness of Fall.

Play

C.A.T.: Zen Arcade

Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade (1984)

It’s unfortunate that once again I feel compelled to write an impromptu Classic Album Thursday due to the passing of an alt-rock legend. In recent years, it’s felt much more like Bob Mould has been the one preserving the legacy of Hüsker Dü, due to an accomplished solo career and the fact he’s probably more equated with the band’s greatness than drummer/singer/songwriter Grant Hart, who passed away earlier today. But make no mistake, Hart was just as much a reason for the Hüsker’s being one of the most important and influential rock bands of the ’80s. Continue reading

For A Good Time, Call The Twilight Guy

Good Time

It’s fairly odd that I saw Good Time the same day as Columbus, because I can’t think of two more tonally different movies I’ve seen this year. And yet, somehow I think that contrast worked in their favor, since they both present two sides of the same pleasure coin that more adventurous cinema can provide these days. In particular, Good Time feels like a much more down-and-dirty version of Baby Driver, offering the sensation you get when a film aims to grab you by the neck and never let go. Continue reading

Character Architecture

Columbus

It’s strange to see a movie that wears its influences so heavily on its sleeve, and yet seems so completely devoid of cliche. Granted, the two most obvious influences of Columbus, the debut feature from director Kogonada, are in themselves influences that are very good at avoiding cliches. Because when first hearing about this movie upon its arrival at the Seattle International Film Festival (I didn’t catch up with it until last week), the names Ozu and Linklater seemed to naturally come up. Yet somehow, Columbus feels like such a singular little meditation about taking stock in what surrounds us, that it transcends whatever familiarity might be there on the surface. Continue reading